Immigrant Heritage Year (#
Where are you from?
What was it like growing up?
I lived with my family in the capital city of Thailand and I went to school by bus close to home. I had dinner with my family everyday. My parents told me education is important and they encouraged me to practice English and apply for many scholarships.
What brought you to Cleveland?
I got a PHD scholarship from the government to study abroad. I chose the USA because it’s the greatest country in the world. The many technologies, research – everything in my field comes from the USA.
What were your first thoughts on coming to the United States of America? Did those change?
I was excited to come here and be here. This is my first time being here, I’m alone and I have to study for 4 years without my friends and family so I have to adapt a lot, but I’m excited. I had heard that the culture was totally different but I didn’t know until I arrived. I learned quickly people don’t take of their shoes. In my country soda is not popular but here people drink it. Native people here speak very fast and they have a lot of slang. I also noticed people don’t use an umbrella in the sun, we take one everywhere when the sun is out but here not so much but I’ve only been here 5 days. I have to walk a lot and this place is very quiet. I compare it to my town which is dark. The sunsets very late here. It affects my sleeping and it’s just different from home.
What traditions and customs will you continue to practice?
I will cook here, that’s the only one I have to continue. Nothing special I just want to learn to cook different types of food not just my country.
Why is it important to welcome immigrants and refugees?
Because we don’t know a lot of things. We are foreign and our English might not be good and we might not have any friends, but if someone welcome us it is very useful and helpful.
Why is it important to study abroad?
Because it opens opportunities, and it makes your vision so much better than just your country. There is so much to discover when you travel. We should travel to gain new experiences.