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### College Student from the Northeast Embarks on an 8-Month Global Journey

Eric Kenny, a Northeast native, fulfilled his long-held desire to explore foreign lands by embarking on an eight-month journey starting last May.

After a three-month work stint in the Middle East and Europe, Eric dedicated the entire fall semester to academic pursuits at Mahidol University International College in Thailand.

His global expedition commenced on May 11, 2023, right after completing his final exams. Engaged in a travel assignment, he immersed himself in the diverse cultures of Israel, Poland, Germany, and Ireland. Following a brief 14-hour return to the United States on Aug. 18, Eric jetted off to Bangkok, Thailand, to pursue his studies at MUIC.

A 23-year-old political science major from Neumann University, Eric openly acknowledges his deep-seated fascination with global diversity and cultural nuances.

While at MUIC, he delved into a range of subjects including cooking, political philosophy, Asian war history, Thai language and culture, and basketball. However, it was the extracurricular experiences that truly left a lasting impact on him.

Reflecting on his time in Thailand, Eric marveled at the vastness of the world and the stark contrasts in living conditions. Despite the pronounced wealth disparities, he was struck by the genuine warmth and helpfulness of the Thai people, known for their ubiquitous smiles.

Although surrounded by American, European, and Australian peers at MUIC, Eric often found himself as the sole foreigner in his classes. While English was commonly spoken on campus, he had to quickly adapt to local customs such as ordering food, communicating with taxi drivers, and navigating daily life.

In planning his overseas academic venture, Eric sought guidance from Victor Betancourt, Neumann University’s associate provost for global engagement. Impressed by the seamless process facilitated by Victor, Eric expressed his gratitude for the support in making his unconventional study-abroad choice a reality.

Throughout his semester at MUIC, Eric seized the opportunity to explore neighboring countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, enriching his cross-cultural experiences.

Advocating for the transformative power of studying abroad, Eric emphasized the unparalleled value of immersing oneself in a foreign culture and embracing the role of a ‘local’ resident.

MUIC, Thailand’s pioneering public international college, aims to cultivate a global perspective among its students, a mission that, in Eric’s view, was undeniably accomplished during his time there.