Santa Clara University

Amelia Evans '13

International Ambassador

Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
I am excited to have the opportunity to reflect on my semester in Thailand and my return to SCU with other students who studied abroad.  But most of all, I am excited to share my recent experiences abroad with prospective study abroad students! - Especially any who are interested in Southeast Asia.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I wanted to go to a country that I would most likely never be able to go to on my own, or at any foreseeable time in my life. The CIEE Khon Kaen program also seemed to have the perfect focus for my interests: development, globalization, human rights, community, and grass roots movements. The alternative education model of the program also intrigued me.  I also just love Thai food…
Defining moment abroad?
During my program, I stayed with several different Thai families for varying periods of time.  I went back to one family three times.  I remember the first time my paw (father) called me luksao, or “daughter” in Thai.  The warmth and generosity from my host-father and that family was truly incredible.  There I was: a foreigner, an outsider.  I came from a very different culture and socioeconomic background.  Not to mention, I could barely communicate basic sentences.  And yet, I was still “daughter.”      
Advice to prospective study abroad students?
Just go for it!  Going to Thailand was the first time I had left the United States, and I didn’t speak a word of the language.  Despite all of the ups and downs, studying abroad is something that I will always remember.  I truly believe that it changed me for the better.  Seriously, study abroad.  You won’t regret it.