By: Andrea Vernon and Keri McWilliams
Arriving in Thailand and being welcomed by our generous host organization, Volunteer Spirit Network, we were immediately immersed in the culture, history, and education of Thailand. Touring historical temples and the site of college student demonstrations for democracy, we quickly learned the Thai values of spirituality and education. Spending time with NGOs learning about innovative and impactful programs meeting important community needs that engage community members and college students as volunteers was very inspiring and informative. In our meetings with university administrators we are discussing service learning and civic engagement programs, and discovering many similarities between programs in the U.S. and Thailand recognizing our shared goals of developing students’ capacities as informed, engaged citizens of their local and global communities. We are thankful for the many friends and colleagues we’ve met on our exchange to this point, and look forward to our continued work in Thailand.