CONTACT RYE D. 3350 Rotex Withawat D 5130 USA/ สร สิงห์บุรี วีรชน


PP.Napaskamon Promopakorn
YE program staff

Khun Prapa


When I was an Exchange Student in United States of America
Hello, my name is Withawat Poopongpanish. I had an opportunity being an exchange
student in the United States of America by Rotary Youth Exchange Program with
supporting by Rotary club of Singburi Veerachon.

I had very good time when I was an exchange student. I got many experiences.
I saw many new things. I had a warm one family and I knew Rotarians who supported
me all the time. The place I went to is Petaluma city which is located on northern
part of California. The beginning of my exchange student life is when I stepped out of
the exit way and met my host family. Not only my host family but also Rotarians,
my counselor and some other people. We had a hug (hugging is American culture.
We can hug somebody when we just met), but I wasn’t shy or anything because
I was taught to be open to every new culture.

On the first day, I got some problem because of my English skill which is not good
as it should be. What I was thinking was “what did they say?” I got it when we are
greeting because it’s just some basic words. But when I was on the car and my host
parents were speaking I couldn’t understand it. What I was thinking is “oh my god,
I got a new problem what should I do?” But the problem is still here when my host
mom asked me about the classes I want to take. I was just confused and don’t know
what classes I would like to take, so I just went to bed. In the next morning, my host
mom took me to school to take some classes. Because it’s my second staying in America,
so my English skill is not really good. I didn’t understand the explanation about the classes.
I thought I should take some classes that I had ever taken before when I was in Thailand.
But after that, I changed some classes that I thought it’s too hard. My first problem
at school is when I couldn’t understand very well about what I had studied. But I try it
and then I began to get it in three months. It’s true that when we go to school we need
friends. At first, I didn’t know how to make friends at school because the student move
to another class in the next period all the time, so we didn’t spend in a class to long.
But eventually, I had a friend, his name is Phillip. Phillip is in my Anatomy class, he is a
funny guy and when he say something funny and I didn’t get it. I asked him. Then he
explained it and we talked a lot more. Then I asked him if I could go to have lunch with
him and he said yes. After I knew Phillip, he introduced me to a lot more friends of him,
so I got a lot more friends and that’s the beginning me having friends. When I had friends,
my life was getting better. Having friends is very important, so I can learned a lot more
cultures and practiced my English skill.

There were a lot of activities to do being an exchange student in
Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Going on a trip, going on a camp, presenting Thailand
to Rotary club. I had 3 Rotary clubs supporting me, Petaluma, Petaluma Sunrise, and
Petaluma Valley Rotary club. I had to do a presentation to these three clubs. I was so
excited because I had never presented anything in English although I already had some
practicing, but this is real!! But when I did it I realized that it’s not too hard and got used
to it, so it’ easier to do it with the other rotary clubs. When I went on a trip I met many
exchange students from many countries. Talking with them was really fun because we
understood each other and sometimes it’s funny to talk about some cultures of their
countries. We had very good friendship, so on the last trip when we had to leave, somebody
cried, somebody told me to go visit them if I go to their countries. I thought I couldn’t
find these good friends anywhere else and if I had an opportunity I would like to go visit
them some time.

About Rotary clubs and Rotarians who supported me when I was in America, I met many
Rotarians because I was supported by 3 Rotary clubs and I had to go to the meeting each
of them once a month. Sometimes they took me to see something new. A Rotarian also
taught me English because I wasn’t very good in that time. They encouraged me when
I met with problem. I want to say thank you to everybody who helped me got through
all the problems and help me to pass through my exchange student year well.

I had 2 fantastic host families. I stayed with each of them for 5 months. My host parents
had a lot of activities for me to do. My first host family like sports and I like it either,
so we went to baseball and basketball game many times. My first host family took me to
many dinner places and they said if I want to do something or if I want to go somewhere
I can just tell them I they will do it for me. Staying with my second host family was very
fun too. I had 2 host brothers. They are good kids and always ask me if I want to go to see
some new movies with them. We also played a lot of things together when we had free time.
When I was staying with my host family, we did a lot of things on vacations like on
Christmas day we gave each other some presents. On Black Friday we went out to buy
a lot of things. On the weekend I helped my host dad to wash his car or whatever they
want me to help. Thank you for your supporting and having me, I was very happy staying
with you.

Finally, I want to say that I’m proud of myself being an exchange student. I had opened my
world. I have known a lot of new people that I’ve never met. I met a lot of good friends
who was having fun with me. I had improved my English skill, so I can speak it better.
I met Rotarians who supported me. I met with the best host families who helped me with
everything I want them to. I want to say thank you to Rotary district 3350 for giving this
awesome opportunity and I want to say thank you to Rotary club of Singburi Veerachon
who is my sponsor club who supported me in this Rotary Youth Exchange program.
Thank you very much.



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