Natchaya May Vutrapongvatana: First Week Experience by Thai-American Second Generation in Washington, DC

As a part of orientation for the Thai American National Internship Program, the students of the program were invited to attend meetings at various think tanks and government agencies around Washington, DC. The US-Asia Institute and the Royal Thai Embassy put together a program that allowed the students to visit places such as the Department of State, the Pentagon, and the US Chamber of Commerce. During the meetings, we were able to meet with various staffers and they spoke to us about their experiences working in DC and the offices they work for. Personally for me, the most interesting part of the meetings were the opportunities to be able to tour places such as the Pentagon and get an inside look on a day to day life in the various agencies that people usually do not get on a typical tour to DC. Another interesting aspect of orientation was the fact that we were able to network with various professionals who dealt with issues relating to US and Southeast Asian relations. We were able to get their perspective and opinions on issues such as the military coup in Thailand and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and was able to see a new side on policy issues that many of our families speak about.

For me, one of my favorite moments from orientation week was when we were able to sit in on a meeting at the Royal Thai Embassy with all of the ASEAN ambassadors and to be able to network and have lunch with them. As an aspiring United Nations diplomat and ambassador, I enjoyed the chance to meet the ASEAN ambassadors and to talk to them about various Southeast Asian issues that I am interested in such as the human trafficking crisis in the region. It was also a great experience to be able to tour the Thai embassy and to visit all of the different agencies in the embassy. Getting to talk to the different representatives of the departments such as Science and Technology, Agriculture, and the Military was a great way to be able to understand the functions and work of the Thai Embassy and how it works alongside US policy makers in order to promote diplomacy between the United States and Thailand.

By Natchaya May Vutrapongvatana from New York

โดย นางสาว ณัฐชยา เมย์ วุทราพงษ์วัฒนา จากมลรัฐนิวยอร์ก

Click HERE to learn more about the Thai-American National Internship Program (TANIP)