Monday, June 16, 2008

New Faculty

I will have more than 20 new colleagues from around the world who will also be arriving in Bangkok in late July. 
We have been communicating via email and wiki, getting to know each other as well as one can in an electronic mode, and asking questions about the unknowns of being expatriates in Thailand. Although it has been five years since I've been there for any length of time, I still remember much that has been helpful to relay to others who will be there for the first time: Tax information, cultural norms, language basics. The school--Human Resources, administrators and department heads--have been wonderfully helpful. There will be someone at the airport to meet us and take us to a hotel where new teachers may stay until they find a place to live. At least three of us, including myself, have found houses near the school already. The biology faculty members have been in communication, and have included me in the collaborative effort to revise the curriculum. What a great thing for a new faculty member to experience, even before arriving.

Our house is a nice 4-bedroom about a 20 minute commute to school for both of us--in
 opposite directions. The rent is less than half of what it would be in much of the States, and far less than in any major U.S. metropolitan area, and which my housing stipend will cover. It was somewhat serendipitous for Kat to find it while exploring potential housing. I will arrive in Thailand ten days before Kat, so I will move her things from her apartment, and get the animals acquainted with their new digs. They--and we--are going to love the shaded yard on a quiet street.

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