The students enrolled in Thrival Academy: Indy, a one-year study-abroad program housed on Arsenal Technical High School’s campus, have been learning about the agriculture, customs and culture in Thailand since January.

While in the Southeast Asian country for three months, students have explored organic versus non-organic farming, lived with host families, visited various parts of the country to see how the locals live, and attended school.

They’ve also learned to speak the native language, marveled at the sunset during a dinner cruise in Chiang Khan, participated in hands-on pre-calculus and geometry assignments at a local temple, hosted debates and picked up some new skills through various workshops.

Personal reflections have also been part of their experience.

Living in a new country, with some students being away from family and friends for the first time in their lives, and experiencing new ways of life isn’t easy. But their time in Thailand has offered some new perspectives for students.

Below, is one student’s personal reflection.    

A Leap of Faith

By Chanya H. 


I guess I kind of created a good foundation for myself by coming (to Thailand) open-minded. It made a lot of things easier, but surprisingly I reached some triggers that I didn’t expect to face.

I thought I had everything under control, until I got here and realized I had no control — which contributed to me finding myself. Even though I’m living my best life, some things have been difficult.

Something I had to relearn while being here is that with God all things are possible, and they are better. I’m learning to focus on myself and wholeheartedly love others at the same time. It’s so easy getting caught up into the world, and sometimes things seem so good to where you forget what’s really good. Also, I’m learning not to wear my pride. 

I feel like it was so much easier maintaining my composure being at home, rather than being in an environment where everybody’s energy bounces off of everybody else’s energy, and it’s so much easier to attack anger with anger.

Even though this is harder than it’s ever been, you just have to get through it. Putting God first in everything I do is helping me. He is my direction.