Hello!!!, my name is Panjamaporn Phinyophithak, but everyone calls me “Film”. I study at Sacred Heart Convent School or most people known as Praharuthai Convent School. I came to America for being an exchange student in year 2019-2020 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, United States.
Firstly, I want to introduce my host parents. My host dad named Brian, he is Korean American that studied and lived in American most of the time in his life. My host mom named Ally, she is American. My host parents moved from China 2 years ago because they want to find new experience to host international students. My host parents have 2 dogs named Herc and Xena, they didn’t have any children. They know a lot of Asian culture so when I stayed with them, I ate many of Asia food, I think I ate more Asian food than American food sometimes. Actually, my host parents didn’t have their own house because they just moved from China so we lived in the Campus house in the area near by my school. I also have other 3 international students from China that lived with me. It was a fun experience to live in a big house and everyone has their own room. We stayed and spent most of the times together. When we have free time, my host parents always take all of us to shopping mall every month. One time my host parents just took me and my friends to the shopping mall for 9 hours, it was a new experience and longest time that I spent for shopping. After that time, I have never asked to go shopping for a month. It has something happened two weeks ago that I felt sad because my host parents need to move to another state. They had this idea at the beginning of this semester, but because of the Coronavirus, they changed their idea and decided to move earlier. For right now I stayed in the same house but have 2 American ladies live with me and my friends until end of the school year. I think it was good for me to adapt myself and learn how to stay with other people more.
Next, I would like to talk about my school and education system. I studied at Manitowoc Lutheran High School. Everyone in America calls me “ Faronika”. My school had an international student program so that means in my school, we have about 20 international students who studied until graduate. When my first day arrived in America a teacher that in charge to take care international students came to my house and talk about the information of school and invited me to watch the football game. Everyone in my school are friendly and nice to make friends with international students even it was my first day but it didn’t make me feel scary or weird. My first day of school my teacher was going to pair me up with American girl and took me to each class also introduce me to all the teachers. I felt comfortable and happy to study in American, I think the education system here isn’t difficult but not easy. I studied in private school that mean all the teachers will more caring and serious about students. Some teachers in my school also have a modified version of test for international students on the paper will be the same test as American students but the vocabulary will be easier to understand. For me I took biology and chemistry in the same year so I have to work hard but all my teachers understand and welcome to help me all the time and when they found the way that helpful for me, they will choose it for me. The thing that I surprised was we can retake all the quizzes but not the test so that made me think it was a good idea and different from education in Thailand. I could say that I loved this school even I just studied for one year but I learned many things from here. I made a lot of good relationship and great memories from here. I promised with all my friends that if I have a chance I going to come back and visit them again.
For Americans in my school, I would like to say that if I want to have a lot of American friends, I should be the one who start talking to them. Some of Americans will come and talk to you but just a few of them. My teacher in here always want me to talk and don’t have to be serious about accent or pronunciation. I think we can talk and have a little bit wrong than don’t talk at all. At first, I was shy and I didn’t want to talk with Americans or use my English to have conversation but after I spoke with a lot of Americans, they didn’t care my accent. They also tried to fix and help me to say the words correctly. If you don’t be brave to speak, you won’t improve your English skills. The best way for me to improve my English skills is trying to talk with American more often and use English language in daily life.
Finally, I would say that it was an amazing year for me. I learned a lot of culture and tried many new things. It was a correct decision that I chose to be an exchange student and came to American. It made me grow up a lot and learned how to stay with stranger and right now they become part of my life already. I would like to recommend people who can’t decide to be an exchange student or came to America for studying, I truly said you should come and study because it’s a best opportunity and in the future it will help your life and earn more advances that going to happen in your job and study skills. These great experiences will always in my memories.