Packing your bags and moving to the other side of the world can be a little scary. But, it can also be fun. For Casey Kraichoke, it was the experience of a lifetime.
Kraichoke spent October 2017-18 in Thailand as part of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program.
As an alumna of the university’s teaching English to speakers of other languages master’s program, teaching abroad was an experience Kraichoke wanted. Meeting Fulbright scholars studying at the university inspired her to apply for the Fulbright teaching assistantship. She chose Thailand so she could explore her father’s homeland.
Kraichoke was assigned to Maechan Wittayakom School in Chiang Rai. While there, she taught conversational English to more than 500 high school students each semester. She spent her free time integrating into her new community, traveling the country and getting to know her Thai family.
Every day of Kraichoke’s year-long stay in Thailand was a new experience. From navigating a schedule-less bus system to eating almost entirely new foods, she learned to be flexible.
Being open to new experiences allowed Kraichoke to more fully experience the Thai culture. She built lasting friendships and made memories that will last a lifetime.
Kraichoke’s best piece of advice for those traveling abroad? Always come from a place of yes.
“Say hi. Be friendly. Start a conversation,” she said. “You don’t always know what to expect but say yes and you’ll have a good experience.”
Kraichoke is now a foreign student adviser in the Office of International Students and Scholars.