Twenty years ago there were a great many Thai students coming to study English and then continuing on for university degrees in the Northwest region. The influx of Thai students and immigrants resulted in a wonderful panoply of Thai restaurants and other Thai influences in the region. But in 1997 the Asian economies began to go through a prolonged economic downturn and Thailand was heavily impacted, much as the U.S. is now experiencing economic challenges. However, like a phoenix, Thailand has risen again and its economy is growing rapidly. One key evidence of this is the renewed interest in studying in the U.S. by Thai students.
During the week of October 6 – 10 A.C.E. and fellow institutions hosted 14 representatives of the Thai International Education Consultants Association in various locations around Washington State. A.C.E. President David Woodward recently became co-chair for Study Washington, a coalition of 40 institutions in the state dedicated to promoting international education. In this new capacity, President Woodward welcomed the visitors at a group presentation on Friday in the offices of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce Trade Development Alliance. On the 9th the A.C.E. Language Institute and partner institution Seattle Pacific University played host to half of the delegation on the SPU campus. The campus visit included a session with the Dean of the School of Business, Dr. Jeff Van Duzer, and the Admissions Department. A.C.E. Language Institute Director, Sally Thomas, took the group around campus. Later in the afternoon they visited the A.C.E. Central Office for a multimedia presentation on the A.C.E. Language Institutes. To cap the evening A.C.E. staff and delegates from Thailand enjoyed a meal together – naturally we went to a Thai retaurant!
Everyone in A.C.E. is excited at the prospect of seeing students from S.E. Asia in our programs for the diversity and cultural heritage they bring.