West Virginia Wesleyan College student Maggie Lohman participated in a summer study abroad program, spending six weeks in Thailand. Thanks to a generous gift from Dr. E. Maxine Moose Bruhns ’45 Hon. ’07, the E. Maxine Moose Bruhns Summer Study Abroad Scholarship provided funding for Lohman and three other students to participate in an international educational experiences.
Lohman enrolled through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) at Khon Kaen University (KKU). Located in the heart of northeast Thailand, this study abroad program combines KKU professors with those from the US to teach health, wellness and culture.
Lohman is in her senior year majoring in English literature at Wesleyan. Throughout the program period, Lohman enrolled in courses including an introduction to Thai language, global health issues, and the history of greater Mekong sub region. In addition, she also had the opportunity to volunteer with storytelling in the pediatric cancer ward of Srinagarind Hospital. “It was amazing to be in a setting where I could still connect with others despite the fact that most of the people in the room did not speak my language,” Lohman said. “I will always remember the smiles of the patients as we colored and sang with them. It was humbling to see how joyous they were in the face of serious health fights. It inspired me and showed me that even if we do not speak the same language, it is still possible to connect with others and that smiles can sometimes be the best medicine.”
“My travel experiences and the classes reaffirmed my desire to pursue a career in law. After graduation, I hope to go to law school and concentrate in international human rights law. I would like to eventually have a job that allows me to work with immigrants and refugees or in genocide prevention.”
When asked how this experience has impacted her outside of the classroom, Lohman replied, “Being away from home gave me a greater appreciation for the opportunities and experiences I have had, and an even deeper love for West Virginia.”