An International Relations student at the National University of Laos, Chindavanh Siliphokham has already possessed good knowledge about ASEAN issues. However, she feels that a theoretical knowledge about ASEAN will not to amount to much if she wants to be a savvy diplomat. “I needed more than knowledge,” she said.
To quench her thirst, she scoured the internet to find more opportunities that can enhance her diplomatic skills. Then and there, she stumbled upon the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting Programme (AFMAM) 2019 on social media and immediately hooked. “After reading about AFMAM, I found out that this is a great platform that provides both theory and practical lessons about ASEAN,” Chindavanh said.
During her participation in AFMAM 2019, she faced some obstacles. “Role-playing as a representative for other country was be very challenging,” Chindavanh confessed. “I had to understand different policies as well as seek ways to achieve win-win solution.” She managed to overcome it thanks to the support given by the alumni, advisors and, especially her teammates. “They helped me a lot by giving invaluable advices that I could use to make my performance better.” she said.
Chindavanh believes that the overall experience of AFMAM has made her a better person. The experience did not only provide her with new insights into the ASEAN-Australia relation, but also helped to get her out of her comfort zone. “I’m actually a shy person,” Chindavanh confessed. “My experience in AFMAM 2019 has made me much more confident.”
She highly recommends ASEAN youth to participate in this program. “This programme will help you to expand your knowledge about ASEAN, sharpen your diplomacy and negotiation skills while at the same time widening your connection with amazing youth across ASEAN,” Chindavanh said.
Written by: Fernanda Rizkianita