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CMIS Class of 2007

Schools in the South open amid high security

CMIS Class of 2007

The CMIS graduating Class of 2007

Nathen Rhead
Chiang Mai International School has a long history of sending its graduating students to far-flung places across the globe to pursue personal interests or goals, altruistic aims, and/or varied fields of study, often in prestigious institutions within Thailand and abroad. This year is no exception.
Of this year’s 33 graduating seniors, we have those who will take up offers at very fine institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (to study chemical engineering), the University of California Riverside (for liberal arts), Trent University in Ontario, Canada (to study economics), and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok (to study communications management in one case, and business and accounting in another). We also have a student who will attend Ohio State University on a full National Merit Scholarship (to study biological sciences).
What determines where one of our students will end up? How do they make their decision? It is not based on prestige or academics alone. There are many factors that influence where a graduating senior will go in the year following their departure from high school. For some it is a question of money and/or opportunity: What can the family afford, especially if there are siblings to consider? What scholarships or other financial aid opportunities are available? How expensive is it to live, study, or work in a certain location? For some families, money is no object; but for many, it is crucial and often affects things like whether a local family’s son or daughter will remain in Thailand or go abroad. Some members of the Class of 2007 have received offers from wonderful institutions for courses around the world, but the financial burden, even when some financial aid is offered, is simply too great. So, perhaps for many good reasons, some local students will stay in Thailand and will undertake a great education here, with the future opportunity of entering graduate studies abroad. For others whose families come from countries other than Thailand, it may be more financially viable to have their son or daughter attend a university or college in their home country. One of our graduating students, for example, will go to Germany to pursue his interest in international relations or business, combined with Chinese language studies, where financing his education will be easier with his German passport. Many graduating students with American citizenship choose to return to the U.S., such as the graduate who will start his career at Columbus State Community College (exploring the fields of philosophy, politics, bio-chemistry and computer science, with plans to transfer later to a state university). This is also true of two seniors who will apply later in the year to Korean universities, when applications open there (for international relations in one case, and pre-med in the other), even though they have already received offers from universities in the U.S.
We also have students who will receive financial aid or scholarships to study abroad. For example, we have a student who will be attending Biola University in California on an athletic scholarship (to study international business), another who has been offered a great financial aid package to attend the University of San Francisco (where she will likely pursue her interest in occupational therapy or special education), and yet another who has received funding from Taylor University in Indiana (for liberal arts studies).
But money and financial aid are not the only important factors. For some, it is a question of connection, security, or how much they already know about a college, institution, or place. Some of our students who hold Thai passports choose to stay in Thailand because their families are here and also because they can get an education of great value and quality in their home country. Of the Class of 2007, we have students heading for to Mahidol (for marketing and information communications technology), Thammasat (for business administration), Chiang Mai University (for software engineering and tourism industry management) and Payap University International College (for international hospitality management).
For other students, it is a question of where they can pursue the kind of course that interests them. Two members of the Class of 2007 will pursue their interest in art and design at OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Another student will go to New Zealand to study physical therapy. One of our graduates is going to Northwest Arkansas Community College to train to become a fire fighter. Another will go to Sacred Heart University in Connecticut to study special needs education. Two more graduating seniors will go to Singapore, a hub for international business, to study business and management.
Another factor for our graduating students may be the question of difference: Where can they go to experience more of the world and to pursue other, sometimes very altruistic, aims? We have seniors who will take a “gap year,” or at least part of a year off, and some will remain in Thailand, while others will venture to many other places, including Japan, Canada, China, and Switzerland. Some will work, while others will combine work and study. Our China-bound student intends to study the language for a year, while the student heading for Canada plans to continue her studies in French in Montreal. One of our Class of 2007 members will attend Hume Lake Christian Camp for the valuable experience of working with youth groups, while another is planning on spending time in the U.S., the Philippines, and Thailand visiting, working, and volunteering abroad before attending college in the U.S. to study communications.
Of course, it is likely that a combination of factors plays a part in where CMIS graduates go, including other influences not previously mentioned, such as the fit between the education we offer and where further opportunities lie. And this is true for the Class of 2007 who will graduate from CMIS in a ceremony in our auditorium on June 7, 2007. To all of our graduates, your community wishes you the very best for the future, and we salute you on your achievements.


Schools in the South open amid high security

More than 1,000 schools in Thailand’s three southern border provinces opened last Wednesday for the new academic year amid heightened security, although some schools remain closed, rebuilding after arson attacks, and some remain shut due to teachers’ fear for their safety.
Inter-provincial Teachers Federation chairman Boonsom Thongsripai, who heads the educators association for the three southern border provinces, said almost all schools in Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala provinces have opened except for some schools in at-risk areas where teachers are afraid to go back to work.
In Narathiwat, Bandohae School in Sungai Padi district, torched during the school break, reopened with makeshift tents as temporary classrooms. However, the school lacks textbooks and other teaching materials as they were burned in the arson.
In Pattani, parents accompanied their children to school on the first day of the new academic year.
Soldiers and police officers escorted teachers to their schools and provided security at schools in violence-prone areas.
In suburban areas, more security personnel are guarding teachers going to school and on the premises. Teachers now travel to school in groups and have stopped using motorcycles, as solitary travelers are more vulnerable to hit-and-run attacks. Teachers riding motorcycles were often attacked by insurgents.
Not all schools have reopened. Pakaruesong School in Nongchik district remains closed because teachers feel unsafe; although a full complement of security personnel are on duty at the school.
Students at Banbuego School in Yarang district are attending classes in the library because their classroom building was burned down. School administrators said a temporary classroom building will be built soon. (TNA)