STEP Camp, Thailand
The Singapore-Thailand Enhanced Partnership (STEP) Programme started in 1998, with the aim of promoting long-term strategic partnership between both countries. It seeks to foster international understanding, collaboration and bonding between students through cross-cultural learning. Over the years, many students have benefited from this partnership, forging international friendships, and strengthening collaboration between Singapore and Thailand.
We had the privilege of being part of the delegation who visited Thailand in 2015, and this year, it was our turn to return the hospitality. We waited for our friends from Rayongwittayakom School, led by Mr Mongkolwat De Nobraga and Mrs Peeraya Gibson, with great anticipation as they touched down Singapore on 10 July 2016. For the first three days of their stay, all twenty schools from Singapore and Thailand participated in an adventure camp at the Dairy Farm Outdoor Adventure Learning Centre. We also visited Gardens by the Bay and the National Gallery, where our Thai buddies had a taste of Singapore’s unique culture. Despite the initial language barrier, we managed to overcome this and forged a close bond through the fun and interaction.
After the adventure camp was the homestay programme, where our Thai buddies stayed in our homes. They got to immerse themselves in the Singapore culture and experience our daily life. This provided us a platform to deepen our friendship, as we created more fond memories together at Universal Studios Singapore, Skyline Luge Sentosa, Marina Bay and Chinatown.
STEP 2015 / 2016 was such a memorable experience which allowed us to widen our horizons and understand each country’s unique practices. The programme has truly fulfilled its aim of promoting international understanding and collaboration through cross-cultural learning. Looking forward, we hope that our next batch of STEP students would make full use of this golden opportunity to learn as much as possible and forge close friendships with our Thai buddies.
While we may have waved good-bye to our Thai buddies on 17 July 2016, our friendship will continue to blossom, and the fond memories of the time we spent together will be etched in our minds forever!