Faculty of Political Science and Laws, Burapha University
2007-8 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence
Being the only Thai scholar who received the 2007-08 Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (SIR) Program, I never felt alone as there were may exciting things for me to explore and learn during my nine and a half months teaching at two universities in the State of Georgia: Clayton State Universitiy (CSU) located in Morrow; and Georgia Southwestern State Universitiy (GSW) in Americus.
I spent the Fall Semester 2008 teaching one class, i.e. Asian Politics- at CSU. The university is located in Morrow to the south of Atlanta. After experiencing the ways of life of American people in the outskirt of Atlanta for one semester, I then moved down to Americus, where Georgia Southwestern State Universitiy (GSW) is located, teaching two classes there in Spring, 2008. The two places I have been are very different in their environments. I gained increased experiences living in a rural area. However, Americus is also consodered as a place of national historic sites, with its wealth of antebellum and Victorian architecture. This also enticed me to stay there happily during my last four months in southern Georgia.
Besides my regular teaching assignments, I also gave lectures at more than half a dozen consortium universities and colleges to increase the knowledge, understaning and awareness of students and faculty members regarding fifferent aspects of Thai society and culture. I was constantly invited to give special Times-Recorder, once published the news of my visit to Georgia in order to infuse Thai and Southeast Asian dimensions into various courses of the Universitiy System of Georgia.
Being known as a Fulbrighter created a very useful chance for me to widen my horizon, I have developed the academic and personal relationships with a number of distinguished professors and scholars, especially in the University System of Georgia. This would enable me to utilize my personal relationships to initiate academic collaborations between Burapha University and my host universities in the near future.
Because I had never visited this part of the United States before, I also fulfilled my personal interests as a curious traveler by visiting several states in the Southeast region. This included some famous historic places, tourist sports and comprehensive universities in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Noorth and South Carolinas, Verinia, and Tennessee. I also participated in a Fulbright Conference in Denver, Colorado, between April 2-5, 2008, organized by CIES. Again, on the way back to Thailand from Atlanta, Georgia, I spent two days in Seattle, Washington. This short visit impressed me with beautiful landscape of Seattle and the generosity of a Thai friend who I just met in Denver one month earlier.
Almost ten months passed by so quickly! I finally returned to Thailand, bringing with me wonderful memories and experiences offered by the SIR Program. My Appreciation goes to TUSEF for giving me this great opportunity. I truly hope that there will be more Fulbright grantees selected to join this program in the near future.