Student Voice

2018.03.19Student Voice

Expanding my Comfort Zone: Wasini Arayawathanawet, Thammasat University, Thailand

Akita International University Kanto Team Wasini Arayawathanet Thammasat University

Wasini (rear, center) with the Kanto Team O-hayashi

First Exchange Student to AIU

I always want to go outside of my comfort zone in order to expand it. Being the first exchange student to AIU from my home university, Thammasat University, is my biggest step out from my comfort zone.

The reason I choose to come to Japan is simple. I just want to explore and learn more about Japan. Studying abroad to AIU has been one of the best decisions that I had ever made in my life.

Joining the Kanto Team O-hayashi

There are so many clubs in AIU. The one I choose to be a part of is Kanto Team, O-hayashi (musicians) part. At first, I didn’t expect anything much from this club. I just joined the first practice because the performance at the matriculation ceremony was impressive. The atmosphere at practice was formal but enjoyable, so I decided to be a part of Kanto Team.

Being in Kanto Team is not easy. I put a lot of effort and some parts of my budget into it. People around me, not only Japanese but also exchange students, always say that the Kanto Team members are so serious. I don’t deny that fact, but there are some good things behind it. The relationship between senpai and kohai (senior and junior members) in the team is really close and the blending between international students and Japanese students are incredibly perfect.

Things that I’ve learnt from being a part of the team is not only friendship, but also the way to respect people, to understand the culture, and to be responsible.

Working at an Apple Orchard

Yokote apple orchard community outreach Akita international university

Wasini (rear, center) at the apple orchard, fruits of her labors in hand.

If I have to tell a story that are the best story that happen in the fall semester, I would say it’s the apple orchard stay in Yokote.

Even though it was only two days during the weekend that we were there, there were many good moments happened during these two days. We stayed at a nice, modern hostel with a little touch of traditional feeling, called Kamosiba. During two days in Yokote, we worked with two apple farmers who have a strong passion for and pride in their work.

The work was really hard but I found that the best apples are the result of every single detail that farmers put into the apple trees. I had a chance to meet Obara-san’s mother, one of farmers that we worked with. She said that the apple orchard is the job that feeds her family, so that’s why they work their best even though it’s a hard job.

Elementary School Visits

I’d heard before coming to Japan that elementary school food is delicious. How many Thai people will have a chance to have lunch with elementary school kids in an elementary school? The answer is not many.

AIU provides some activities for exchange students to teach some English to local kids in the school and tell kids stories about the country that we come from.

I enjoy participating RCOS activities, especially school visit activities. At the beginning, I was worried about talking to them because I’m not good at talking to kids. But after joining some activities I found that they are always excited to listen to stories about my country and to play with me.

Every activities has its own memorable story. It’s not only me that teach them something. I also learn something from them too. Thank you kids for all nice stories that you were trying to tell me even though I didn’t understand all of them.