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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.


Hi! I’m Alyssa (pronounced Aleeeesa), and I’m a huge foodie, a bit of a klutz, an adrenaline junkie, and a dad joke fanatic.

Other than trying and eating the different types of South East Asian foods (such as mangoes, sticky rice, etc), I’m really looking forward to seeing how people live along the Mekong River and how the river has influenced certain populations. How similar are the Lao to the Khmers to the Chinese? Does religion/spirituality influence the way they view the river? How does food play a role in their culture? I’m excited to figure out more about the people there to hopefully be able to answer and understand these questions better.

I am currently in the middle of a gap year between high school and college, and I’m hoping this program will teach me some useful life skills such as acceptance, compassion, dilligence that I can’t learn in a traditional school environment. I can’t wait to meet you all!

‪”So whatever you want to do, just do it…Making a damn fool of yourself is absolutely essential.”‬

—Gloria Steinem