- Course: Thai and Southeast Asian Studies
I chose my degree in Thai and Southeast Asian Studies at Leeds as I wanted to learn about another culture. After travelling and teaching English in both India and Thailand between school and University I felt that I had only begun to scrape the surface of understanding Asia and I soon realised that the language barrier was responsible for this.
I very much enjoyed my four years at Leeds, particularly the opportunity to study abroad at Chiang Mai University for a year. The small class sizes were ideal for learning a language so alien to our own. I graduated in 2010 and have since chosen a career as an English teacher. I am currently working at Prince of Songkla University in the south of Thailand where I teach undergraduate students. I also take part in outreach programmes teaching short English courses at rural southern schools in preparation for the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community when English will have a greater importance in the region.
Having learnt Thai from scratch, I have gained invaluable experience from the point of view of a foreign language learner and I remember this every time I plan a lesson. Although I am currently working in Thailand, my chosen career may well end up taking me to other parts of the world. Wherever I end up I will always consider the importance of learning a language and will be able to draw from my experience studying at Leeds.