“My father was an Irish man and I was raised in Ireland. I was already in my mid-teens when my family decided to move back to Thailand. I went to an international school where I was taught both Thai and English. I had to live at the college because my family’s home was just too far from the school. I didn’t know much Thai at the time; I knew how to say “Mom, I’m hungry” but that was about it, and it didn’t seem to be very useful between the students. The first few days I was pretty nervous. There were kids of all ages there asking questions and I couldn’t speak a word, and barely any of them could speak English so I felt like an outsider. After school, my teacher would give me private lessons to help me keep up with my classmates but it just didn’t work. I was too stressed I guess. One day he told me “I give up.” and that we wouldn’t be having any more private classes. I felt really bad about my situation and that my parents were spending so much for my education, I was too afraid to tell them what happened so I thought of a plan. Every day I would take a book from the library, get to a computer, use google translate, and ask my friends in my class how to pronounce certain words and their meanings. It wasn’t easy, but after a half year, I was able to speak and understand Thai at a level that I could keep up with the rest of my class. If it wasn’t for my friends and perseverance I probably would have given up.”

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