Life at Camp: Korat
Korat is located in the Isaan province of Thailand and is known as the gateway to northern Thailand. You may or may not have heard, but northern Thailand and southern Thailand are almost two different worlds. In the north there are still many areas that are untouched from the exposure of tourism in the south. Korat has recently become a popular city for tourists, especially expats who have been living in Thailand for many years and are looking to escape over populated areas, but are still interested the comforts of modern society. Korat is one of the poorest areas in Thailand and the work I do here with Global Teaching Adventures is greatly appreciated by the local community. English is not just a useful tool, but it can help to lift a family out of poverty. Most of the work is done at the local university and so there is an immense amount of extrinsic motivation for students to expand their English skills. This fact alone makes working in Korat really exciting. This is a place I love to meet people my own age, get to know them on a different level.
Korat is also one of the areas where Global Teaching Adventures originated. In my previous post, I mentioned how, Kevin Meldau, the founding director, created this company by first volunteering in northern Thailand. I can't imagine what it was like fifteen years ago in Korat! On the outskirts of the city you feel like you are entering the unknown. One day we took a drive on our motorbikes through the northern part of the city and were surrounded by nothing but the green of the trees with the occasional white peaks of giant Buddha statues. This is a great aspect of Korat and you will appreciate the comforts of an established city like shopping malls, internet, and Western food, but also the ability to escape the hustle of everyday life.
Here, you will also see how life differs from the other areas of Thailand, from the architecture to the food, Korat is unique on its own. You get a sense of the direction Thailand is going towards, like the millennials of the Western world, Korat's population is fueled by making their own place in society. One thing remains constant here, the importance of family. It's common to see entire families out and about together around the city, something that is becoming less common in other parts of the world. I think this is a breath of fresh air; seeing the mix between young college students and grandparents is quite unique. Being a university town, Korat also gives the sense of what it's like to study in Thailand as a young adult. Many days are spent at the university where the students often take part in our nightly outings. They want to experience what it's like to be around foreigners, not only to learn from us, but to become friends. Korat is a unique experience compared to the other camps as we get to know the students on a personal level and you can create friendships that will last far beyond the short time we spend in this up and coming city.
You can read more here
- Johna Hunger