Hi, everyone! I’m Emi and I’m spending this summer in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m interning with an international organization and working with a teacher education team which currently focuses on gender sensitive teacher professional development as well as other initiatives designed to support teachers in Asia-Pacific region. It’s my third time to visit Thailand but first time to live and work in Bangkok. I’m very excited to experience and learn about Thai culture for the next few months!
I arrived in Bangkok two days before my internship started. On my second day, I woke up early and started house-hunting. After checking out 5 rooms in the different condominiums/apartments, I decided to move into a room, which was in a very convenient area, in the evening. Although I was unsure about how housing search would work, I managed to find several available rooms through my friends living in Bangkok and Facebook housing search groups. I like my room so far as it only takes 20 minutes by train to commute to the office and 5 minutes’ walk to access grocery stores and shopping malls. I’ve learnt that there are so many Japanese restaurants and shops (i.e. drug store and bakery store) in Bangkok and even near my condominium because Japanese food and products are very popular here (plus an increasing number of Japanese people living in Bangkok). As I’m from Japan, I’ve found it easier to live in Bangkok than Philadelphia because Japanese food is more accessible and very tasty.
The first week of my internship went by so quickly. My supervisor and colleagues are very welcoming and supportive. As my supervisor was going to Uzbekistan to attend a regional meeting of the gender sensitive teacher education program in the next week, I spent most of my time preparing meeting and presentation materials. I collected information about the existing stand-alone gender and teacher education courses at educational institutions and created handouts which contained a summary and comparison of key features. These handouts were distributed to the participants at the meeting to help them design their own stand-alone gender and teacher education courses. I really enjoyed doing my research on teacher education courses and analyzed how these courses were structured to deepen the understanding of gender and equip teachers with skills to improve gender equity at schools. I was very glad when my supervisor emailed me after the meeting saying the participants found the handouts useful and some of them even asked for a soft copy so that they could share with more people. I am looking forward to engaging in more tasks and leaning about gender sensitive teacher education and other programs initiated and managed by the organization.
After my first week at the office, I explored the city with my friend from work over the weekend. We visited the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, which is one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok, situated near the Chao Phraya River. Also, we went to Asiatique which is one of the most unique and popular night markets in Bangkok. I really enjoyed visiting cultural and historical sites and trying Thai food culture (fresh tropical fruits, various types of noodles, bubble tea, and more!). During my stay in Bangkok, I’d like to explore the city as much as I can and find out my new favorite Thai dishes!