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Thai students in each university in the UK would form a Thai society, and affiliate that association with the university in some way e.g. by registering it officially with the clubs and committees organization or something similar.  These societies are almost completely self-run, with their own finances and constitutions.  Membership is never compulsory, and some Thai students do not choose to join their university Thai society at all.

Most of these Thai associations would then register with Samaggi Samagom, the national (UK-wide) association of Thai Societies, under the Royal Patronage.  Samaggi Samagom has a very close working relationship with the Royal Thai Embassy, especially with the Office of Educational Affairs (OEA).  The Ambassador usually attends Samaggi Samagom events in person.  In terms of organizational structure, a President of the Samaggi Samagom is elected annually from the votes of the previous committee members and of the presidents of the registered Thai societies from all over the UK.  The newly-elected President then forms his/her committee, which in turn runs Samaggi Samagom.  Samaggi Samagom is also regional in character, as there are regional representatives who are elected and who represent the Thai societies of different regions (e.g. Scotland, Midlands, South, London).

Samaggi Samagom’s biggest event is the annual Samaggi Games.  This is a sports day that involves several thousands of people, and is well attended by most Thai students and workers in the UK. Many Thai companies and stalls also use this opportunity to advertise their respective firms.  These firms range from PTT to small Thai restaurants in the UK wishing to do additional marketing.

Other large events organized by Samaggi Samagom are the academic conferences, held bi-annually and also regionally.  These are opportunities for doctorate students etc. to showcase their work, and for discussion forums (usually on topics related to Thailand and development).

Samaggi Samagom has also recently attempted to incorporate job opportunities either as a standalone event or into these academic conferences, generally by co-operating with Thai companies in the UK, the Anglo-Thai Society and the British Chamber of Commerce.

More information can be found  here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaggi_Samagom

 

 

Chanchanok Poolvoralaks