An ocean apart; a world away . . . In less than a week, I will be embarking on a three-week long study abroad journey to a country I have never stepped foot on before. The land of smiles, as that is what Thailand is known as, will be the first ever foreign country I will be traveling to – and it will also be the first time I will be riding on a plane.
On Saturday, April 18th, I attended orientation at Wat Temple located in Elk River. Although I have never seen a temple before in person, through photos i have seen, I initially expected to see a big building with stone pillars and a scenic location. I was surprised to see how different the temple looked like compared with the photos I saw. Reflecting on my experience at the Wat Temple, the entire orientation session helped me become familiar with Thai culture. From listening to the monk speak about the etiquette for temples to learning that there are 13 smiles in Thailand culture and having Acharn Cathy explain further into detail more information about Thailand and it’s culture has all contributed to me becoming familiar with Thai culture.
Growing up, I have always dreamed of traveling the world and immersing myself into learning about a world other than my own. To learn how the world functions and how different life is outside of my own bubble, one learning goal I have for myself in regards to this study abroad opportunity is to educate myself about the culture of Thailand. I am ecstatic to embark on this exciting journey.