Alumni Guest Post: Samantha Edwards Discusses Working for the Indiana State Government and Teaching English in Bangkok

Two years ago, Ball State English alumna Samantha Edwards contributed a guest blog post in which she discussed her internship in the Indiana Statehouse and how her English Degree helped her excel (read Samantha’s first post here). Samantha concluded her post by advising readers “to be swept away by the [English] major.  You won’t regret it.” Now, two years later, Samantha returns with another guest post in which she discusses working for the State of Indiana and then traveling across Europe and teaching English as a second language in Bangkok, Thailand. Continue below to read about Samantha’s life since her Legislative Internship as well as how her English degree continues to support her.

*Photo provided by Sam Edwards

*Photo provided by Sam Edwards

*Note: (Addendum to last blog post) I did not end up interning at Sarabande Books, Inc. as I was later offered and accepted a full-time position with Indiana’s Health Care Reform Team through the Indiana Department of Insurance.

Both my English degree and a persistent thirst for new experiences continue to carry me through a winding path post-graduation.  It has been 3 years since I received a B.A. in English, Creative Writing from BSU, and I’ve gone more places—both in occupations and geography—than I had imagined possible for somebody at the age of 24.

Following an internship with the Indiana State Senate (see past blog), I accepted a full-time position on Indiana’s Health Care Reform Team through the Indiana Department of Insurance.  This position required me to be knowledgeable and current on the politically significant—albeit controversial—Affordable Care Act’s affect on Hoosiers (commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare’).  Upon being hired, my employer expressed excitement at my English background and noted that my writing and editing skills would be utilized a lot.  They were!  Though insurance and law can be inherently rather dry, being a source of information and assistance for Hoosiers having issues with their insurance coverage was incredibly fulfilling.

But after one year, I decided to leave the position and use my earnings to travel abroad.  I trekked across the European continent during the summer of 2012, jumping from trains to cheap hostels and back again.  I saw the Running of the Bulls in Spain, the cerulean waters of Croatia, and the towering Alps in Slovenia.  It was the best possible use of my hard work and earnings.

Then in the fall, I ‘settled down’ near Bangkok, Thailand to teach English as a Second Language.  This job—more directly related to my English degree—requires me to work full time at a Thai school teaching English to kindergarten and grade school students.  Though controlling a classroom of hyperactive youngsters in their second language is often taxing, I get to sing kiddie songs and play classroom games for pay. When I leave in April to return to the U.S.A., I will most miss being greeted every morning by a gaggle of bright faces shouting: TEACHER SAAAAMM!  Seriously, it’s every morning.  Not to mention, it’s 85+ degrees and sunny here every day (and this is their “cool season”).

What else is there to say?  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my path since graduation and the consistent support my English degree has provided each step of the way.

 *(Another) Note: For those interested in teaching English abroad, I went through CIEE.  Website here: http://www.ciee.org/teach/about/where.aspx

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