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Photo captions: Rocky mountain college student Jennifer Donaldson (’15) explored the Peninsular Botanical Garden in Trang, southern Thailand, during her internship experience aborad.

Rocky Mountain College senior teaching in Thailand for her internship

Jennifer Donaldson in ThailandBILLINGS, May 30, 2014 – “Every moment I have with my students is a learning opportunity,” writes Jennifer Donaldson (’15) of her internship teaching basic English grammar, sentence structure, and pronunciation to students at the Prince of Songkla University in Thailand. “They learn just from hearing me talk and working to converse with me, and I learn about Thai culture and their way of life.”

Donaldson’s six weeks of fulltime work and travel comprise an internship for her double major at Rocky Mountain College in business management and literary studies. She receives a stipend from her placement site in return for her teaching; her only expense was her plane ticket.

Donaldson reflects on her time in Thailand and the experiences she has had with her students. In the evenings, she and her charges go “to a night market and my students help me pick out what to eat. I am overwhelmed with the generosity that my students display. They are always coming up to me, handing me things to eat. Whenever we cross the street (which in Thailand can be terrifying) they make a circle around me and tell me when it's safe to cross,” Donaldson said.  

The motto of Prince of Songkla University is “Our Soul is for the Benefit of Mankind.” “The more I get to know my students, the more I see how this resonates in each and every one of them, the most selfless and respectful people I have met,” she said. Donaldson writes that while she loves Thailand, and that visiting has made her realize and further appreciate the life and opportunities that she has been provided.

Donaldson said, “I have been able to learn about a beautiful country from people who have grown up here.” Donaldson’s experience has prompted her to consider teaching abroad after college. “[I have] recently considered taking a year or two off to teach full time in a university abroad. I am a tutor at Rocky and never quite realized just how much I enjoy teaching and being in an academic environment,” Donaldson said.

More than 80 percent of Rocky Mountain College students complete an internship for credit using the professional skills they learn in their academic major.