The first step in the U.S.

I Sarawut Peakhunthod, from Thailand has been selected to join this programme.

I cannot believe when I checked my email to inform me three months ago. I have become part of this YSEALI Professional Fellows programme of 2018 Spring. It is very amazing Because USA has never been in my plan for studying or researching and I always think that completing the MSc study in the UK is quite enough for me. However, when I saw the advertisement of this Spring programme on the website. I just wrote my CV to apply for this without any expectation. It was only one effort. After two months, I got the email to inform me about the interview date. So, I am very excited for interviewing. This is because it was a good chance to show my strong intention to help save the environment and to make my home country sustainable under environmental and climate change in the present time.

Unfortunately, I had some problems related to the signal of the phone between interviewers from different areas all over the world like USA, Australia and Thailand. At that time, Irene from Australia told me that there were some issues on the mobile signal in the interviewing day after making attempts for 3 times to call me. Thus, I felt giving up and commuting to work. After arriving at my workplace, Irene called me again with a clear signal and this meant everything was ready and we could start talking, asking and replying answers at the terrace of my workplace without any expectation due to the problem making me to give up.

Since I have known that I have been chosen to take part in this programme. It has brought my confidence back. It means that I cannot give up and try my best to do anything until the last minute of time. It is very wonderful for me. Thus, this opportunity is not only allow me to learn and meet smart people from different nations with the solid intention to protect the environment, but I can take this change to broaden my horizons in learning from experts and exchanging good ideas from other fellows in various backgrounds.

In travelling day, I could not deny the fact that I felt excited to travel to the large and powerful nation here, USA, where I have never planned to come before. It is just only one effort. During the transit flight period at Incheon international airport in Korea, I met other fellows from my neighbour nations; so, we traveled together to the U.S. with more fun and assistance to each other.

In the first orientation day, we all met Tony and Kara who are two smart officials from ICMA to keep communicating, coordinating and providing useful information for us from the first day since I stayed in my home nation. Moreover, I and my friends exchanged and shared our helpful ideas together. After the class, I kept walking to sightsee and capture pictures around this Capital city.

In the second orientation day, I had a good chance to meet experts; one person from American Farmland Trust and another person from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). More importantly, I met, Chris Remsen, from Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – US Department of State. Hence, I got helpful information and knowledge that it can be adopted to activities and training schemes in my host community. In the evening today, I also enjoyed walking around the charming capital here for searching for local American food and capturing memorable moments prior to leaving this beautiful capital city for going to my host community, the City of Dubuque, Iowa, later on.

Finally, it can be stated that this orientation period is an excellent time for us that I will be capable of gaining new experience, valuable knowledge, making new friends and setting the proper plan for training and presentation at the Congress in the near future.

Really appreciate
Sarawut Peakhunthod
fellow from Thailand

#YSEALI2018 #thailand #ysealifellowprofessionalprogramme #sarawut

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