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Global Connections Student Success

Where in the World is Miami: Thailand

Study abroad experiences in Luxembourg encouraged alumna Olivia Casey (Class of 2022) to teach high school math in Suphanburi, Thailand.

Global Connections Student Success

Where in the World is Miami: Thailand

In this week's Where in the World is Miami, we meet Olivia Casey, a 2022 graduate who is teaching math in Thailand through CIEE Teach Abroad.

What organizations were you involved with at Miami?

A social sorority, EHSA ambassadors and MAP. 

How did your time at Miami prepare you for your work abroad?

In addition to my major in Middle Childhood Education, I earned my TESOL Endorsement, which means Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. The courses within this endorsement have benefited me when teaching students abroad, and I tend to think back to them often! It has prepared me to provide certain accommodations and differentiation to my lesson planning and teaching.

I also completed the Urban Cohort Program and Global Readiness Certificate (GRC). The GRC required me to travel abroad, attend seminars, and volunteer in the Oxford community: all things I loved to do! It prepared me with skills to use in an international environment and to think more globally about my future career abroad. I am grateful I had the opportunity to complete this program because it has supported and encouraged me to live abroad post graduation. (Thank you to my program coordinator, Alicia Castillo Shrestha!)

Tell us about your work in Thailand.

I am a high school math teacher in Suphanburi, Thailand (about 2 hours north west of Bangkok). I have been here for one month and am absolutely loving it. Yes, there have been challenges along the way, but I am taking it day by day, slowly adjusting to life/cultural changes and making the most of my surroundings.

I teach four sections of math, dance, health, and an English for tourism class. Although I receive an outline of what I should cover for the semester, I am freely allowed to make my own lesson plans, pace my class how I think is best, and have fun with the students in an educational way!

As part of the English Program, I have befriended other English teachers, as well as Thai teachers. I've been here only one month, and it is already one of my most rewarding experiences.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part is that each day is so different. I have about 70 students, and every day I learn something new about them.

Did previous study abroad experience play a role in your employment?

Yes! I was able to travel to Luxembourg four times when I was at Miami. I studied abroad in Spring 2020, which sadly got cut short because of COVID. Then I traveled there in summer of 2021 for the ELL Summer Camp in MUDEC, Fall 2022 for Student Teaching, and Summer 2022 for a school field trip with my fall host teacher and class.

From my experience in Luxembourg, I was able to find my passion: teaching abroad! I love the diversity of my classroom and immersing myself in new cultures, environments, and languages. I have learned through my time at Miami and in life, it is important to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. You need to make sure you are constantly challenging yourself and finding ways to grow as a person. Once you find your groove, it is the most rewarding and fulfilling feeling.

What are the coolest places you have visited so far?

I am traveling almost every weekend and trying to see ALL of Thailand (which is a lot) But my favorite place at the moment is the 7-layer waterfall in Erawan National Park, just outside a city called Kanchanaburi. One of the coolest hikes I have ever done!

Traditional dancers at orientation dinner
All the students came together to make krathong (buoyant, decorated baskets to be floated on a river) from banana tree trunks, banana leaves, flowers, and some fish food!
Glass bridge in the city of Kanchanaburi

What do you like to do in your free time?

Striking a yoga poseYoga! This is one of my favorite things to do in my evenings on the weekdays. I joined a studio in my city and go about four times a week. The class is all in Thai, and the instructor and other yogis are so helpful during class.

I have been practicing yoga since I was 14 so I thought it would be easy. However, yoga in Thailand is much more difficult because everyone seems to be much more flexible and able to do more difficult poses. The classes have also helped me learn more Thai! 

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to look into other teaching programs in other countries, potentially in Nepal or Kenya! But I have not looked that far ahead yet. All I know right now is that my career abroad will not be over, just started! 

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career abroad?

Definitely do it. Step out of your comfort zone and just book the flight. Obviously, research your program or career and area you'll be moving but what is holding you back? I am happy to answer any questions; email me at or drop me a DM on my Insta travel blog @livrose_adventures!

Where in the World is Miami is a news article series that features stories about Miami students and alumni who are

  • international students;
  • studying abroad/away (current or past);
  • interning abroad/away (current or past);
  • working in an international company or organization.

In each article, we travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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