Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo


An Orientation to Life at a US University is a six-week pre-departure orientation designed for Thai students at The Human Development Foundation (HDF). The youth are preparing to study abroad in the United States at a four-year accredited institution. HDF is an international non-profit, founded in 1973, with its headquarters based in Bangkok, Thailand. The organization’s headquarters, settled in Bangkok’s largest slum area of Klong Toey, is known as The Mercy Centre, often affectionately shortened to Mercy. The organization grew from a one-baht-per-day preschool for children of all religions in the slums, to a Foundation with over 25 slum preschools, having educated over 50,000 slum children. HDF has continued to grow and expand to encompass four major programs: providing resources for children in need, education, HIV/AIDS programs and community services. The Mercy Centre is home to all administrative offices for HDF, but also houses over 180 abandoned, orphaned and trafficked children, as well as children with HIV, in one of Mercy’s six children’s homes. All the homes and offices in Bangkok are a part of the Mercy Centre. Some of the youth whom have grown up at Mercy and others from the community who excel academically have been given the opportunity to study internationally on scholarship. The orientation’s curriculum was developed based on the data collected from a needs assessment in the form of typed questionnaires. HDF’s Executive Director, Senior Advisor and six of Mercy’s students participated in the assessment. The program includes sections on logistics, health and safety, academic norms, culture, time management and US/World news, tailored specifically for Mercy’s Thai students. The orientation is ready for delivery with a step-by-step implementation guide for the facilitator, along with all necessary handouts and worksheets.


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | English Language and Literature | International and Comparative Education | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


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