Hi, my name is Bec and I was an exchange student to Bangkok in the far distant past! Well, not that long ago, only about 14 years. I spent 1989 (2532) with a wonderful family in Bangkhuntien, attending school at Suksanareewittaya (no, not Suksanaree in Thonburi, this is a smaller co-ed school a bit further out).

While I wont pretend it was the easiest year of my life, it certainly rates amongst the best. Once I was over the initial homesickness, which was probably made worse by arriving during the main school break, so I had nothing much to do, I spent my time learning.

My family ran an export business, so they really wanted to learn to speak business English. I was a little older than the average exchange student, and had finished high school, so I had more scope to enjoy myself. I made friends with the younger employees of the business, and taught English lessons. I spent a lot of time with my friends, who were coming up to their entrance exams and really needed to learn more English for that, as well as any help I could give in their other subjects. (I had just finished my final exams in Physics, Chemistry and two Maths subjects, so the crash course in scientific Thai I had while trying to pass on what I could remember made life very interesting for a while.)

My year was a combination of highs and lows, but it certainly taught me a lot about myself, and made me grow up a lot. I made some very good friends, fell in love (unfortunately with a Thai friend, so it went nowhere on pain of being sent home - long story&#33, and ate the best food of my life!

Nothing comes close to the experience of immersion in another culture. My only regret is that I lost touch with my friends over time, and I have no way of tracing them now.