The Thai American National Internship Program (TANIP) is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Thai-American students to gain a firsthand look at the American government and political system in Washington DC, and to reflect on the role they, as future leaders, might play in strengthening the US-Thai relationship.
The Royal Thai Embassy initiated TANIP to provide Thai-American students with the opportunity to intern/shadow in various offices of elected officials or public agencies at the national level. This experience will develop a stronger understanding of how government operates by experiencing it from an insider’s perspective.
The program will prepare elite young leaders to participate in the political/legislative arenas and is dedicated to developing skills of individuals who are interested in public service. Not only will this be an invaluable professional experience, but it will also benefit the Thai community by increasing the interest of Thais in American politics in the future. View the Thai Embassy’s 2019 announcement here.
Participation in the political process is crucial to ensuring that a community’s needs and concerns are heard and addressed. The Thai community in the United States should be more civically engaged and represented at the municipal, state, and national levels given the substantial Thai population in the United States (237,629 according to US Census 2010). While providing support to elected officials who are friends of the Thai community is one way to achieve this objective, a more effective way is to support the community’s new generations to enter politics and represent their own community.
Three-four students will be accepted for the 2019 program. The students are responsible for all expenses related to the program (estimated to be approximately $2000), which include travel to Washington, D.C. and return to home location; housing (inexpensive housing option available through the US-Asia Institute or on own); food; ground transportation throughout the program; and cultural and spending money. All participants must, after acceptance into the program, show proof of health insurance and sign a liability waiver. The Thai American Youth Political Leadership Awards sponsored by the Royal Thai Embassy will be given to participants to help cover expenses for the program. Interested participants must indicate their needs for financial assistance in the application form.