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Joe Paul

Thoughts from a First-Time International Traveler

by Joe Paul Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hello Friends! My name is Joe, I'm a Junior from Arden Hills, MN (a small town just north of Minneapolis). I'm on course to graduate from the business school with a major in marketing and a certificate in digital studies. Outside of school, I enjoy spending my summer downtown with friends! I also work for a local non-profit off-campus during the week.

I will be attending Chulalongkorn University in the heart of downtown Bangkok this fall. I am incredibly excited to live in a bustling city, interact with students from around the world, and immerse myself Southeast Asian culture! On the academic side, I'm eager to enroll in a majority of marketing classes while at Chula. Our world becomes increasingly connected every day, so to be able to enhance my area of study by completing courses with a foreign perspective excites me the most!

That being said, I have a fair share of nerves preceding my departure too. To start, I will be the only student from UW attending Chula. Actually, there's just a handful of Americans going in total! This will be my first international experience, so embarking on a 27 hour travel-day solo seems very daunting. I'd also like to mention that during my trip you might see a common theme emerge as I recount my experiences. I'm an individual who identifies as LGBT and am incredibly curious to see how this will impact my life half-way across the world. Will being LGBT steer my decisions, hinder my experience, or turn out to be a great asset on my journey?

I've often been asked how I'm prepared to adjust to living in such a foreign region of the world. But between you and me, I really don't know what to expect! Despite all of my worries and excitements, one thing I know for sure is that this will be the most formative experience of my life. I look forward to sharing my adventures!

Until later!

Joe