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Fulbright 2015-16 ETA Narrative Reflection March Edition

Check out the second edition of narrative reflection from our 2015-16 English Teaching Assistants (ETAs)!!!!

Emily Parker is the current Fulbright-AMCHAM ETA teaching and living in Sansai, Chiang Mai. A Vermont native, Emily graduated from Tulane University in May of 2015 with a Bachelorís Degree in Public Health and International Development. At Sansai Wittayakom, she teaches high school students, leads the English Club for younger middle schoolers, and tries to learn from the many languages that chorus the Foreign Language Department. Emily likes exploring nearby Chiang Mai city, meeting locals and travelers alike, and keeping with the consistent challenge of staying vegetarian while in country. She is also passionate about migrant rights, maternal and child health, and equitable access to health care. After Fulbirght, she hopes to acquire further field experience in the realms of health and development before attending graduate school. In her narrative, Emily shares about her experiences as a teacher, which have been challenging, inspiring, complex, and unique, and how she deals the countless challenges to living and working abroad alone by the support from her host community and the generosity of Thai people which continues to astound her.

Thomas Amburn is a native Kentuckian from Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Transylvania University with a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry and minors in biology and Asian studies. Thomas is a 2015-16 Fulbright-AMCHAM ETA in Kamalasai, Kalasin in Isaan, the northeast region of Thailand. In his free time, Thomas likes to run, eat sweets, spend time with people in Kamalasai, and is up for anything. In the future, Thomas wants to pursue a career in medical sciences either as a physician and/or researcher. In the story, Thomas shares his understanding and appreciation of agriculture in Kamalasai, which he believes is integral to the community and Thai culture. His narrative portrays a vivid picture of scenery and atmosphere in the rice paddies and farms surrounding his home in the rural Thailand.

Carolyn Wallace is the current Fulbright-AMCHAM ETA teaching and living in Mae Moh, Lampang, Thailand. Carrie graduated from the George Washington University in the spring of 2015 with a degree in Human Services and Social Justice. When not teaching, eating, or hanging out with students and teachers, Carrie enjoys exploring and taking pictures of her beautiful new home. After Fulbright, Carrie hopes to work with non-profits who provide a quality education to sex trafficking victims and survivors. In this narrative, Carrie describes the role that respect has played in her Thailand journey and how the teachers and the students demonstrate respect towards one another, which she believes reflects the collectivism concept in Asian cultures.

Crystal Kumtong is a Thai-Taiwanese-Chinese-American from Los Angeles, California.She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in Applied Developmental Psychology and Education. Crystal is a 2015-2016 Fulbright-AMCHAM English Teaching Assistant in Lampang, northern Thailand. She teaches kindergarten, a special abilities class, and grades 4 through 9, and promotes English learning through songs and silly tongue twisters. Crystal is passionate about promoting access to high-quality education to all students and wishes to work in early childhood education policy and reform. Outside the classroom, Crystal enjoys biking around her province and stumbling upon beautiful Buddhist temples, eating delicious food, and sleeping. In her narrative story, Crystal shares with us about how body language like smiles, laughter, and facial expressions play an important role in communicating with Thai people. She believes when we are willing to go out of our comfort zone, there are always many ways to communicate with someone of different cultures than just the language.

Dung Nguyen (aka Nu Dee) is from Atlanta, Georgia. Her Alma Mater is Wake Forest University where she earned a BA in Politics and International Affairs and a minor in Sociology. Dung Nguyen is a 2015-2016 Fulbright ETA in Ubon Ratchathani province in northeastern Isaan Thailand. In her free time, Dung likes to explore hipster coffee shops in Ubon, looking for delicious coffee beans and pastries. After her Fulbright fellowship, Dung plans to explore more of Southeast Asia. Once she gets back to the U.S., she will pursue a Masterís degree in public policy. In the narrative story, Dung shares her Fulbright ETA experience that allow opportunities for both her and her students to have moments of cultural exchange and understanding through smiles and the fusion of spoken and body language.


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