Thai student at home in Winton

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Central Southland College Year 9 pupil Pongth-awath Viriyawan (14).

INTERNATIONAL student Pongth-awath Viriyawan, of Thailand, says there are advantages of living in the small rural town of Winton in Southland.

The 14-year-old Year 9 pupil at Central Southland College said he preferred the weather in Southland compared to his home city of Bangkok.

“I don’t like hot weather.”

P, as his friend’s call him, said college staff, which had two international students, both from the same school in Thailand, had been supportive, introducing them to New Zealand’s ways and cultures.

He and his parents chose New Zealand because it was closer to Thailand, compared with other countries, such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

Learning English was also another factor, he said.

He chose New Zealand “to study English and for the experience of living in another country” and culture.

So far, it had been “very good”.

Although living in Winton was “good”, he said it was also “different”, especially when the population of Winton was compared to that of Bangkok at more than 8 million.

However, with a smaller population, it also meant it was more “convenient” when travelling and there were other opportunities.

Athletics day at the college was one of his highlights, especially throwing the shot put, he said.

The diversity of sport and the opportunity to experience different sports, especially playing soccer for the college and a Winton club, was another positive.

And as “there was no snow in Thailand”, he was looking forward to trying skiing.

Although he was enjoying his time in Winton, P was also looking forward to reuniting with his family, including his two brothers, in Bangkok in December.

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