My name is Ryan Kirchner and I am a senior majoring in Food Science here at Rutgers. I am excited to say that this will be my second abroad program with Rutgers and I’ve found that studying abroad is one of the most memorable, engaging, and impactful methods of learning new material. I am very excited to begin this journey as I have never travelled to Asia before and I am interested in seeing how Thailand compares to the life that I am used to. I expect that there will be very different social and cultural norms that I am not accustomed to, however I am ready to experience these differences with an open mind and will hopefully bring something back with me that I can use to offer new perspective on my life in the United States. I am interested in the Food and Sustainability course because it is extremely relevant to my major and it is a large problem both in the US and globally. With increasing climate and social issues, I feel it is very important to better understand our food supply, where it comes from, and how to maintain it in a way that allows for future generations to thrive. It will be interesting to see what Thailand has to offer in respect to this issue while being guided by Dr. Karl Matthews and Mahidol university, the number one ranked college in Thailand. This university assisted in organizing this program to provide us with a comprehensive course schedule and I am excited to see what they have in the itinerary.
In my personal experience, it is critical to broaden ones knowledge about the world in order to make it a better place. Without seeing the world and learning from others, it is easy to develop a lack of perspective. By seeing how others live on a daily basis, their quality of life, social relations, and cultural values, it is easier to determine how one can help identify solutions and inspiration to tackle global issues. Through this program, I hope to learn more about Thailand’s culture, as I’m sure it is drastically different than mine, as well as bring back insight and hands on experience I may use to help further my success in my field. I am extremely excited to embark on this journey, so follow my blog to learn along with me!