Angela Roman - EarthRights International Internship in Thailand
Name: Angela Roman
Major: Biology and Secondary Education
Hometown: Mount Prospect, Illinois.
Interning with: EarthRights International
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Position: English Teacher
- What are your everyday responsibilities as an intern?
I work mostly with the adult students to strengthen their English speaking skills. I start off my day by teaching and leading an hour long English class with my partner Annika Fuller ’21. This can range from teaching different vocabulary words to facilitating games and discussions to push the students further with their English abilities. Another responsibility that we have is to lesson plan and prepare each day to teach our class. So far, we have played many vocabulary games, made an escape room using vocabulary words as clues and introduced Quizlet and Socrative into the classroom. In addition, we observe the content classes where the students learn about earth and human rights.
- How did you land this internship?
I got this internship through the Freeman Asia scholarship, an opportunity that I scheduled my life around because it is SO COOL! With the help of Dr. Amoloza, my advisers Maggie Evans and Loni Walker, and the whole education department, I was able to schedule my busy double-major/student teacher life so that I can be here right now.
- What drew you to this internship?
I was drawn to this internship because I knew that it would give me an opportunity to steadily practice my lesson planning and teaching skills prior to student teaching, as well as build connections with my students. Furthermore, I wanted to expand my knowledge of earth rights and to gain an understanding of what that means, because at home we do not talk about these topics.
- How did IWU prepare you for succeeding as an intern?
IWU has prepared me for succeeding in this position as an intern because through the educational studies department, I have already had 100+ classroom hours, so I already knew what it feels like to be the teacher in the situation. Furthermore, I came to EarthRights with a collection of different teaching strategies and activities to help me when lesson planning. I have already studied abroad in Ecuador (again, thanks to IWU for being accommodating to my academic schedule), so I was already accustomed to culture shock and what extended amount of time in a new country is like.
- What do you hope to gain from this internship experience as you look forward to being a student/professional?
This internship experience will allow me to be the real teacher in the classroom, which is a skill that I will enhance prior to student teaching. It also allows me to interact with and teach students who are learning English as a second language, which I am bound to encounter in my future teaching endeavors. My students come from countries within the Mekong region: Cambodia, Lao, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and China, all countries whose cultures I am not very familiar with. Teaching in a foreign country gives me a chance to relate to students with different backgrounds than I have, a skill that will be essential to a career in teaching.
- What's been a particularly rewarding experience as an intern?
The most rewarding thing about being at intern at EarthRights International is meeting all of the staff and students, who come from diverse backgrounds and have a wealth of knowledge. I have learned more about Southeast Asia than I could ever have in a classroom. I've made friendships with people that I would have never met otherwise.
- In your opinion, why is it important for students to experience internships?
To me, it is important for students to experience internships because it gives students the opportunity to apply all of the lessons that they've learned from classes to get real life experience that will be applicable to future jobs.