*warning: very long bragging, moaning and whining, though it's a bit interesting*
I pulled off an academic stunt back in 2005.
I was lucky that Thai ministry of education thought that 5 subjects of IGCSE is equivalent to Thai high school education.
Dead wrong, they were.
Even though IGCSE stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education, it is British Junior High standard. That's right, it's only accounts for the first five year of their curriculum (O Level), not the last 2 years (A level)*
So there I went, exploiting that academic hole, and I managed to passed the exam in 5 subjects a year before my friends. I "barely" passed the exam, I'm not a genius, and no, I didn't worked that hard, things simply fell into their correct places. The threshold grade for passing is 'C', I managed to get an A* (A star - highest achievable grade, in Maths, it's dead easy, trust me), 2 Bs (ESL - English, ICT - Computer) and 2 Cs (Physics and Chemistry).
If I roughly translate my grades into a Thai standard GPA, I'd only get 2.8, and the threshold to be a decent student in Thailand is 3.0. See? I'm just a lucky ape. But I just saved 2.5 years from my high school years.
I was a few months short of being 16 when I started my freshmen year. I enrolled in the second semester too, not the first, I didn't want to waste half a year doing nothing at Saint John's.
Dead wrong, I was.
I had no idea of what "differentiation" was, while other students from Thai school probably studied at least half of the content in the freshmen subject in their prior school, because Thai university entrance exam is extremely competitive, and therefore they made it so advanced that students completed half of the freshmen content.
My GPA started falling from 3.33 in my freshmen year to 2.64 in my first semester of my sophomore, where I enrolled my major subjects (Telecommunications, just a sophisticated name of Electrical Engineering) and the tragedy of my GPA began. As of now, at the end of my Junior year, it's 2.58.
2.58 is quite low by any standard but mine.
I'm proud of it.
I worked hard for it (a questionable statement indeed), but for this major, yeah, 2.58 is my proud GPA.
As you may know (probably not), I'm doing my internship in Paris.
Thai curriculum is 4 years for Bachelor and probably 2** for Master. (6 in total)
French curriculum came in a package like Germans, 3 years for Bachelor and 2 for master. (5 in total)
But the solution of this exchange program is real interesting, take 3.5 years of bachelor in Thailand and 1.5 years of master in France! 5 years in total! Simply skip the last senior semester and transfer the credits back from France instead.
Real interesting. Seriously.
Consider my case, at first, I entered SIIT on the second semester, so I was aiming for 3.5 years completion of my Bachelor. Now if I take my last semester off, I'll complete in 3 years (next semester is going to be the last then), and then I'll do a master for 1.5 year, totaling to 4.5 years.
Quite a stunt to pull, compared to normal 6 years in Thailand. I save 1.5 years of study, that's enough time for another Master degree (think MBA)
So if things work out, I'll be able to save 4 years of my education time in total. (2.5 high school, 1.5 bachelor+master)
See why I'm so determined to pull this one off?
Think of my age when I finish the whole thing.
I'm 18.5 years old now, beginning my senior year. Add 2 years to that, and voila, you get a 20.5 years old Master degree graduate.
I'm going for it, no matter what, must-pull-this-stunt.
* British curriculum has 2 years in Kindergarten/Reception, 6 in Primary and 7 in Secondary. The total is still 15, same as in Thailand (3/6/6).
** Most Thai graduates opt to take their master elsewhere, UK/Australia (1 year only), USA (less than 2 years), etc.
tl;dr version: Paris, I'm coming back for Master degree.