royal thai scholar christmas program
In 1897 King Rama V of Thailand created the King’s Scholarship program to gather western skills and knowledge appropriate for the development of his nation. This initiative, along with many others, stimulated country’s modernization so that Thailand, alone among the countries in Southeast Asia, retained its independence from the imperial domination of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. King Rama V selected young people to go to Western universities to bring back their learning to Thailand. In 1992, the Office of Educational Affairs of the Royal Thai Embassy concluded that the scholars who came to the United States would benefit from an Orientation to American culture and the American educational system. Part of this orientation was Thai scholars spending 1 year at American boarding schools in an effort to help prepare the students for their transition into college. After their time studying in the United States, the scholar return to Thailand, prepared to help further the goals set forth by King Rama V over 115 years ago.
During their boarding school year in the United States, Student Cultural Exchange hosts all the Thai Scholars on a Christmas break program at a conference center in Western Massachusetts. The students congregate to enjoy day trips into Boston and various nearby attractions, and to work intensively on their college applications. The Scholars work closely with trained Student Cultural Exchange staff to finalize their college lists and complete every aspect of their college applications. Student Cultural Exchange is honored to play a part in the overall education and journey of the Royal Thai Scholars as they prepare for college and the learning that they will bring back to better their country upon their return.