“The activity I enjoyed the most was the Education Exchange, where we had to plan lessons to teach kids at the local school in Udon Thani. First, we planned the ice-breaker, an opening activity to get to know the kids and to make them feel comfortable with us. We wrote down a list of easy games that we could use for this activity. We were then all split into groups where each group was assigned to teach a different age group - I was in charge of Grade 5.
We planned out a total of four activities, including English vocabulary charades, musical chairs etc., and estimated the time it would take for each activity. I felt very confident in our plan and anticipated the best for all the activities.
As expected, the reality was very different from what I anticipated as the ice-breaker activity turned out to be quite awkward and the kids looked more interested in doing something else. The class activity, however, was much better than the ice breaker as the kids seemed to enjoy the activities we planned out. They seemed to particularly enjoy the vocabulary charades despite not understanding some of the words that they were given.
The English language was a barrier for the kids as their knowledge is very limited in comparison to students in Bangkok. I found this activity enjoyable as I felt I was able to bond with the kids here despite our different backgrounds. I have also learned that these local schools are not supported by the government as they encourage students to enrol in larger schools in towns. This is a problem for many kids as they are unable to afford the travel costs, so many students stop going to school altogether. The activity has also taught me to value the education that I have as I have realized that many kids are still struggling to afford everyday life.”
Ton-Naam (Year 12)
Also during Residential Week, 41 STA students visited Arusha, Tanzania as part of a Nord Anglia Expedition. This trip allowed students to learn about the local communities and their way of life. They helped to plant flowers and trees in local woodlands and contributed to the bricklaying of a new secondary school block, as well as experiencing a safari. They worked on their projects with students from schools in Texas and Bratislava, making new friends along the way. Here are some comments from our students:
‘I gained a lot of experience from this trip. I saw how tough it was for other less fortunate people to live. How tough it was to earn the slightest bit of money by doing all the labor work and all kinds of other jobs. I saw the importance of school and proper education.’