ASU global studies alum travels to Thailand to teach

By

Matt Oxford

Arizona State University's global studies major, within the School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS), aims to address real-world problems and their solutions. For 2015 graduate Andrea Singer this means traveling abroad to teach English in Thailand.

During her time at ASU, Singer studied abroad in China and participated in the McCain Institute Policy and Design Program in Washington, D.C. While in the nation’s capital she also was able to intern with the U.S. Department of Defense at the National Defense University. Experiences like these gave her the assurance that she could pursue work abroad after graduation.

“The School of Politics and Global Studies provided me with confidence and independence to try something new. I had no previous experience with Thailand before now, but I was able to utilize my heightened global awareness from my coursework and internships with SPGS to reassure myself that I could do it. In addition, SPGS provided me with enough career counseling and resources (i.e. resume and cover letter writing/editing, interview prep) that enabled me to land several different options after graduation.”

Working abroad can be challenging, especially when you don’t know the language but Singer’s relationship with her students makes it all worth it.

“Watching these kids improve and grow in their language skills has been the most rewarding part. I’ve become so close with some of them and I’ve come to realize that the student/teacher relationship can be so special. Those kids teach me way more than I could ever teach them.”

"The best advice I could give anyone who is looking to work abroad is to keep your mind open to any experience and do not underestimate yourself. Utilize the career resources and staff at SPGS — they can steer you in the right direction. Thailand was unexpected for me and I had no prior experience with it, but I wouldn’t trade my experience here for anything.”

After her time in Thailand, Andrea Singer plans on pursuing a master's in refugee studies and global security in order to aid in refugee asylum and resettlement. The School of Politics and Global Studies offers global experiences like this one every year through their Global Studies Internships.