A very good morning to all respected members of the monastic order, the Honorable Deans of Faculty, our fellow office staff, students, brothers and sisters in the Dharma.
First of all, let me on behalf of international Buddhist College, particularly The Office of Student Affairs extend my warmest welcome to all of you in joining the extended family here at The International Buddhist College. We are now entering our 8th Academic Year since becoming established in 2004.
So on this beautiful morning, by the Blessings of Triple Gem, all of us are gathered here in this hall to prepare and equip ourselves with the responsibility of accepting these new challenges in our lives. The day to day dedication required in reaching our goal takes commitment and determination and I welcome you all to take up that challenge in the long journey of learning.
We were supposed to have about 50 new students, including all level of BA, MA, and PhD Programs from about 10-11 countries to be gathered here for the commencement of the leaning year. You here present today are the lucky few, as some of your co-students are still waiting on approval of their visas by the Royal Thai Embassy, and some through no fault of their own have been delayed in attending today and have missed the wonderful opportunity of being part of orientation.
We have travelled from various places all over the world (more than 20 countries including returning students and our teaching staff, i.e., Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, United States, Australia, Belgium, Russia, Greece, Switzerland, Czech and so on), from various Buddhist traditions and diverse cultural background; therefore, it is a golden opportunity for us to learn from each other. Here we learn to share and care for each other, and to have respect for others' opinions even though they may not always reflect our own.