Grinnell Corps: Thailand
The newest Grinnell Corps program is in Chiang Mai, Thailand, established in 2010. Fellows in this program work and live at Payap University, where they teach English for 12-15 hours per week in the English Language Enhancement Center (ELEC), tutor students in English in the dormitories, and assist with special events in the International Affairs office. Fellows will be given a general curriculum to follow in teaching their courses, but will be responsible for daily lesson planning.
As with our other international Grinnell Corps programs, we plan to send two fellows to Thailand; they will depart in July 2014 for thirteen months, returning in August or September 2015. During July and August 2014, the Fellows will take a TESOL course as well as an intensive Thai language course at Payap, before beginning their teaching duties in August. Fellows will have vacation during the university's breaks in April and September, but will not receive a stipend for this time period (unless they elect to teach optional courses during this break). Fellows will live in a residence hall on the Payap University campus, where they will have a single room with bath. Fellows will not be responsible for rule enforcement in the residence hall. Fellows will also be paid a stipend of 10,000 baht (approximately US$330) per month. In selecting fellows, we are most concerned with finding candidates who demonstrate flexibility and the ability to cope with ambiguity; who have a genuine interest in Thailand and in teaching at the university level; who have a tolerance for tropical weather; and who have strong intercultural skills.
Our contact person at Payap is Martha Butt ’64. Ms. Butt first traveled to Thailand in the 1960s as a part of Grinnell’s 5th Year Travel Service Scholarship Program, which was a precursor of the Grinnell Corps. Payap University was established in 1974, by the Church of Christ in Thailand (a national, mainline Protestant church), as Payap College. It began with about 160 students. In 1984, the college was granted university status and was renamed Payap University. Today the university enrolls over 6,000 students who study in both Thai and international (English medium) programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Although most of the students are Thai, Payap has students and teachers from nearly 30 countries and many religions. Grinnell Corps fellows in Thailand will need to be comfortable working in a Christian university, though there is no expectation that they themselves be Christian.