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Manchester grads teach English in Thailand,
find more than just careers

A degree from a liberal arts university is a gateway to many opportunities. Recent Manchester graduates Zach Washington ’11 and Emma Weiler ’12 discovered opportunity in an unconventional way.

When Zach graduated with a double major in peace studies and philosophy, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. He decided to travel and work simultaneously. He knew that some of his friends had decided to teach in South Korea, but he leaned toward Thailand because “there is no such thing as winter or snow here.” He completed his certification, and a company placed him in a job teaching English as a foreign language.

When not teaching, Zach takes full advantage of all that Thailand has to offer. Already, he has backpacked across Southeast Asia, including through Cambodia and Laos, and witnessed the sprawling ancient capital city of Ayutthaya. “Every day is an adventure,” he says.

Graduating a year later, Emma, an exercise science major, taught as a substitute in the United States while Zach was immersed in his first teaching stint in Thailand. She visited him twice, and “realized how much I was fascinated by the culture, language and the scenery–just everything about Thailand.” She decided she wanted to teach there too, so she joined Zach and the two found teaching positions together.

“My experiences have been more than I could have asked for,” says Zach. “I have stories and memories for a lifetime.” A new world opened up for Emma, too. She discovered a love for children and sees her experience leading to a career in physical therapy involving children. Zach is still unsure. “I couldn’t say it is leading me anywhere,” he says. “Like many 20-something graduates, we are taking opportunities as they come to us.”

In the meantime, their work is rewarding and the experiences are rich. Zach and Emma are living an adventure for which Manchester helped them prepare.

Their next journey? Marriage. Zach and Emma will exchange vows on April 25 in Thailand!

By Ben Ogden ’12

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