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One senior and one alumnus to teach in Thailand

March 29, 2021

When University of North Georgia (UNG) student Jacey Sherman took her first multicultural literature class, she realized she wanted to explore foreign cultures. That seemed to oppose her plans to become a teacher.

Then Sherman, a senior pursuing a degree in English with a teacher certification, learned about Teach Thailand Corps (TTC). It recruits and places graduates of American colleges in schools in less-developed provinces to teach English and other subjects.

"They specifically serve underprivileged areas of Thailand," said Sherman, who interned at West Hall Middle School with English as Second Language learners. "I loved working with those students. I feel they need better teachers. That's why I need to do this."

Sherman, who has never been outside of the country, was accepted into the program in March and won't go alone. Her fiancé, UNG alumnus Trevor Bowman, will join her.

Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president of research and engagement, said UNG has had students accepted into TTC, but Sherman and Bowman will be the first to go.

"Jacey and Trevor will make excellent cultural ambassadors and educators in Thailand, and I'm thrilled they will be the first to represent UNG on this competitive program," Lin said. "Jacey's academics, work ethic and interest in international cultures has impressed me since having her in my own class in 2019."

Sherman applied to the program first, followed by Bowman, a 2020 graduate with a degree in kinesiology.

"We knew we wanted to do something like this together, but didn't know if it was possible," said Bowman, a 23-year-old from Lafayette, Georgia. "When she got accepted, we decided I should apply, too."

Bowman said teaching abroad appealed to him after he started a study abroad program in Germany in spring 2020 through UNG's College of Education. The COVID-19 pandemic cut the program short.

"Even though I was only in the classroom with high school students for two days, it gave me the desire to do more," said Bowman, who works as a paraprofessional at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy in Gainesville, Georgia.

Bowman said TTC fast-tracked his application and interview. Then he was accepted, allowing him to join Sherman.

"The stars just aligned for us," Sherman said.

The pair, who will leave in May for Thailand, do not plan to arrive empty-handed. They are sponsoring a children's book drive at UNG with a collection box outside of room 4164 in the Martha T. Nesbitt Academic Building on UNG's Gainesville Campus.

"We want books for grades kindergarten through high school," Sherman said.

Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive opportunities should contact ncs@ung.edu for more information. Students interested in learning about study abroad opportunities through various programs may visit UNG's Center for Global Engagement website.

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