CISABROAD BLOG · February 12, 2019 · 3 Min Read
Why Choose CISabroad? | Intern Blog from Thailand
Guest Author: Mackenzie Lefler, University of Tennessee - Chattanooga, Intern in Thailand, Summer 2018

My name is Mackenzie Lefler. I’m a nursing student at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. I’ve traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to intern at a public health clinic. One of my biggest goals in life is to become a disaster-relief nurse. To help solidify this dream, I chose to travel here so that I would be outside my comfort zone and have a little taste of providing care to people of a different culture. 


Why Choose CISabroad?

Many people ask me, “Why choose CISabroad to intern in Chiang Mai, Thailand?” The answer is simple: Interning in Chiang Mai through CISabroad was the best option for me. I was focused on finding the right time to go, finding the best locations, and finding an internship that catered to my interest in the medical field. CISabroad’s program coordinators were right there with me every step of the way and helped me get the best program dates, the best location, and the best experience I could imagine.

Flexible, Personalized Advising

I had a limited amount of time during the summer that I was available to intern abroad. As a busy student, it was hard to find time to go overseas on an adventure to another country. CISabroad worked with me to find a time to go abroad that was best for my busy schedule.

I chose the location based on what I wanted to do with my time abroad. My focus is nursing. Therefore, I wanted to intern in a hospital or clinic. Most places that offered medical internships were in Africa or Asia. I eventually chose to go somewhere in Asia. I wanted to experience a culture foreign to my own. I had already heard that the food was good and the people were nice, so I chose Thailand, which I have come to know as the “Land of Smiles.”

Cultural Experience Excursions (included in the cost of the program!)

CISabroad helped make my experience of Thailand wonderful. For instance, I had two excursions included in my program fee: a trip to an Elephant sanctuary and a Thai cooking class. As an added bonus, I had free transportation to and from these events. I never had to worry about finding my way back home.

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At the elephant sanctuary, I got to feed and bathe elephants. I was so close to these amazing animals. I could reach out and pet them and give them sugar cane and bananas directly from my hand.

I also got to learn to cook traditional Thai dishes in a Thai cooking class that CISabroad took us to. The chicken and cashew stir-fry, red curry, coconut soup, and spring rolls the class introduced us to were some of the most delicious things I have ever made. Afterwards, the cooking facility gave us a free cookbook. Now, I can recreate these delicious recipes anywhere!

A Good Fit All Around

After my time as an intern at Ban Mon Clinic, it’s clear that I had the right answer to “why choose CISabroad?” The people, the food, and the environment were amazing. I made many great friends and many great memories. Each time I cleaned a wound or visited a patient’s home, I was happy with my decision to come to Chiang Mai. Despite being a small clinic, Ban Mon offers a lot of services to the community, ranging from diabetic clinics to traditional reflexology to home visits.

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When I came to Thailand, my goals were to learn to cook like a Thai person, speak a little Thai, and practice traditional Thai medicine. I can happily say that I have accomplished all of these goals. CISabroad is responsible for all of the fun things I got to do in Thailand. If I hadn’t found CISabroad, none of this would have been possible, so I’m extremely thankful to everyone at CISabroad for this amazing opportunity.

The CISabroad blog is run by Zoë Crabtree, Jenn Weisgerber, Siobhan Tripp, Emily Negard, and more folks on our marketing team. Head over to the “Meet the Team” page to learn more about us as individuals. On the blog, we share student-written content and information for students, advisors, other study abroad professionals, and families of students studying abroad. Check out our Facebook and Instagram for more from us and our students!