Exploring the Peace Corps’ sixty-year history in Thailand

Peace Corps in the news

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964-66)

by Samantha Rose
Thaiger Latest News


It is always exciting and impressive when encountering foreigners who can communicate excellently in the Thai language. Recently, at the Peace Corps swearing-in ceremony in Suphanburi province, the Sanook team was astonished as all American volunteers were able to speak Thai fluently and even performed Thai songs. Apart from their language ability, the volunteers’ goals and aspirations for their journey in Thailand were equally remarkable, such as working within Thai communities, living with locals, and exchanging cultures with one another.

For over six decades, the Peace Corps has been providing English language education support to Thailand. This is the story of the 134th batch of Peace Corps volunteers, who recently returned to Thailand to serve and learn about local culture. The Peace Corps is well-known for allowing its volunteers to live in local communities, learning the Thai language, arts, and culture for two years. However, before joining their communities, the Peace Corps always has training sessions to prepare their volunteers for local life.

The training is conducted by Thai instructors who teach the volunteers about Thai culture, language, and food. In return, American volunteers share their knowledge of English and American culture, forming a unique and valuable cultural exchange. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation that disrupted the celebration of the 60-year anniversary, the spirit and determination of the Peace Corps volunteers remain strong, as they continue to contribute to the development of English language skills and instill confidence in Thai youth for the future of the nation, reports Sanook.

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  • As one of those Volunteers (Thailand V), it is exciting to see the collaboration between Thai education and Peace Corps resume and flourish. For me, the experience in Thailand led to a career in international development. For other Volunteers, the experience of working with Thais in such a welcoming culture led to an appreciation of welcoming difference.

    Chok Dee

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