Why did you pick this program?
Allie: I picked this program because of all the programs that I saw it had a variety of service activities. Service ranged from the Hoi Ya Village to the Elephant Nature Park.
What is the most important thing you learned abroad?
Allie: Two lessons I took away were the level of mistreatment of elephants in Thailand and the world and I learned to really see the value in all of the advantages that I have.
What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?
Allie: Take the most out of everything. Even if you are tired, try to see, taste and try everything because every moment is precious.
What was the hardest part about going abroad?
Allie: Leaving my parents because I am very attached to my family. Also, leaving Thailand because once you go you never want to leave. The people you meet, the food you eat, the places you visit all draw you in and you always end up wanting to stay a week more.
What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?
Allie: I was told by our teacher, a Thai cook, not to touch a spicy vegetable and if I did, not to touch my face. She also told me that if I did touch my face, not to splash it with water because the spicy juice would spread. However, I managed to do all of this and look like a tomato for the rest of the day. We all laughed and it was super fun.
What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions or future path?
Allie: I think seeing the kids at the village made it super meaningful to me. They are always so happy and cheerful even though they are far from a perfect life style. This really spoke to my sister and I and helped us appreciate everything we have. Also, the people who work at Loop Abroad are amazing. Jane, Adam, Emily, Noom, Aum and so on (the entire pack) rock and really try to make it the best trip ever for everyone. I will forever be thankful to them for their hard work and dedication to every single student.
Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.
Allie: Touring the markets was something that doesn't really exist where I live. The markets are super crowded and loud. They are full of food, Thai pants, clothes and pretty much everything you can think of. Everything is also super cheap. The overall experience however is remarkable. There always music playing somewhere. You always have to bargain and by the end you consider yourself a master at bargaining. It throws you into Thai culture in a really different and fun way.