Surapoj Pochanatwong: First Week Experience by Thai-American Second Generation in Washington, DC

The Thai-American National Internship Program is a great experience for Thai-American students to gain firsthand experience with politics. Five Thai-Americans students have the opportunity to participate in this program and will be interning at various offices in Washington D.C. The internship is approximately five weeks long, beginning on May 30th and ending on July 5th.

The first week of the program operated as orientation week. We were able to observe and experience what life in Washington D.C would be like. This to me was very helpful because it helped me familiarize myself with the surrounding area and life would be like in D.C. Our schedule was tightly packed with many meetings throughout the day. Some meetings that stood out to me included was the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders (APPI), Stimson Center, and briefing of the Thai Sustainable Development with Geoffrey Longfellow.

white house picThe goal of the White House Initiative on Asian Pacific Islanders to be improve the quality of life for Asian Americans as well as persuading the Asian communities to be more involved in public service and engage in civic opportunities. Their goal is to provide a better education and a safer environment in school. While they are unable to directly fix the issue, they provide important information and resources that will help aid individuals.

The Stimson Center plays a crucial role with debating and providing research and solutions on nuclear, environmental, national security and many other areas. The Stimson Center are diverse in their research and renowned for their work. Stimson are nonpartisan and focuses on a wide variety of programs ranging from peacekeeping operations, to drones usage in the military, private sector, etc. The Center is ranked as one of the top 25 think tanks in the United States by the Global Go To Tank Index at the University of Pennsylvania.

US AsiaThe Thai Sustainable Development with Geofferey Longfellow is a meeting where he provide his personal views with what is going on in Thailand. Geofferey Longfellow experiences including being in the Peace Corps, advisor of several consultant, and a lecturer in American foreign policy at several Thai universities. He discusses the problem the middle class faces and the corruption that has been hurting the Thai government. His expertise in this field has made him an important figure to American officials by not only helping them understand what is going on behind the scene but how the United States can help aid the Thai government.

Being able to participate in TANIP has been a great experience for me. The program has made me become a better-rounded individual and I look forward to the different challenges I will face in upcoming weeks.

By Surapoj Pochanatwong

โดย นาย สุรพศ พจนารถวงศ์ จากมลรัฐนิวเจอร์ซีย์

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