I also have learned a lot about myself while studying in Thailand. I have gained a newfound confidence in my own abilities. It is a great feeling to know that I am not completely alone in the world, and that I can succeed in this profession! Also, I have learned a lot about my own beliefs and perspectives of music therapy. While I was in Thailand and Malaysia, I was constantly surrounded by people with different opinions than me, and this forced me to examine my own beliefs. It helped me to have a firmer understanding of the way that I have chosen to view the world, and it also leads me to grow and expand my perspectives. No matter where we are in the world – amongst different cultures, religions and languages - I believe music will always bring us to be more understanding and respect others’ beliefs, helping to bridge the gap between our differences.
Now, I’m back in the States. At first, staying at KU another year seemed to be a setback, but it has turned into something very beneficial for me. I am not only gaining knowledge that will take me further in my music therapy career, but have also gained a deeper respect and appreciation for countries and cultures different from my own. I have come to love traveling and learning about the different countries’ cultures, religions, histories, languages and the way of life. Now I am planning in the future to travel to as many different places in the world as I can, especially exploring music therapy in different countries. I would recommend to anyone searching for a new educational experience outside of the books or wishing to learn more about themselves, to travel to other countries and experience a different culture. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I am already planning a trip back to Thailand, and I just cannot wait to explore more. Who wants to follow??? Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.