Pariyakorn Magphanthong

UWC attended: United World College Thailand International School
Class Year: Class of 2023

Throughout my whole experience at UWC Thailand (UWCT), many people have asked me, what I enjoy the most about the school? I can never answer that question, now that I have graduated from UWCT I still have no idea how I can answer that question. This is neither because I did not enjoy any moment spent at UWCT, nor because it was too unremarkable, but because every second I spent at UWCT, every event I attended at UWCT, every person I met at UWCT, and every memory I have of UWCT are so special, memorable, and meaningful that I cannot pick what I enjoyed the most about my experiences there. The best I can do is to pick three aspects of UWCT that I enjoyed the most.

First, the people and the community. The things that stood out to me about the people of UWCT are how different we were but we still managed to blend in homogeneously, how we all never once ran out of stories to tell each other, how we always have each others’ backs no matter what, and how we can make everyone felt included even though we were all so different. These are just fractions of how amazing UWCT community was, and why I call them my ‘family’.

Second, the diversity and the open-mindedness. Have I ever thought that I would have friends from 58 different nationalities? No, not at all. But do I? Yes, I do, and I am so proud of the fact that I have established strong, and meaningful friendships with people of 58 different nationalities, this is by far the coolest fact about me. The diversity in the community is one of the experiences that I enjoyed the most, not only because I was exposed to different cultures in the deeper level, and got to learn how each person thinks and perceives the world differently, but also because the diversity in the community promoted an open-minded environment that everyone could share their stories. One memory that I can still remember vividly was the time when I had a conversation with my Myanmar friend about the war between Thailand and Myanmar back in the day. That conversation brought me to the whole new story that I would never had a chance to know from a history book in Thailand. We were exchanging what we knew, which was very different than the story I have learnt in the school, while I was having that conversation with her, I was thinking ‘this is amazing, she is so open-minded about the information and belief that was different from hers’. That was the moment I realized how blessed I was to be surrounded by people that were so different but so open to new ideas and beliefs.

Third, the campus. UWCT campus is surrounded by mountains and nature, the campus itself was filled with trees, and the boarding house has a ‘home’ vibe to it. The fact that it is located on Phuket island made it even more special, we were able to go explore the nature and visit gorgeous islands in the Andaman sea, while at the same time we were able to enjoy the touristic aspect of Phuket. I would say that staying at the UWCT campus in Phuket made me feel like I was on vacation my whole two years. I am proud to say that I am an alumnus of UWC Thailand, and I am confident to say that UWC Thailand is my home, and people of UWC Thailand are my family. I am proud to say that UWC has made me a passionate, creative, and open-minded person. I have learned and grown so much through my UWC experience. UWC has not only made me a better leader but also a better follower, not only a peace creator but also a conflict resolver, and not only a global citizen but also a proud Thai. I can say that UWC experience has truly brought out the best in me as a scholar and a person. At the end of the year when I was preparing to leave and move on to the next chapter of my life, I had to do lots of research to ensure that the next place I move to will give me the similar worthy experience I have received at UWCT, and that was why I chose Lewis & Clark College.

I first learned about Lewis & Clark College (L&C) through my school counselor. I remember I went to him seeking for the “perfect school” where I will be spending the next 4 years at, and the place where I will be gaining friendships, experience, and connections. My counselor suggested Lewis & Clark College, he said and I quote “this is the perfect place for you, Pari.” Honestly, I was skeptical at first, I asked him how did he know this is the perfect place for me? He said I need to have a look at it, so I did. The first thing I saw when I googled L&C was the pictures of the gorgeous campus, I instantly fell in love. When I did more research on L&C, I found that the school is a diverse and intellectual community with the core theme of the cultivation of sustainability and leadership for the just society, which is very similar to the mission of UWC movement. That was the moment I knew that L&C is truly the perfect school for me to learn the necessary skills and connections that will help me grow as a global citizen. Moreover, L&C is a highly ranked liberal arts college, therefore, I will be able to liberally explore my interests and passion. I am currently undecided on the major, but it is likely to be something surrounding psychology and anthropology, as it is something I have been interested in for a long time. I also planned to attend the business and management pre-professional to receive further guidance and assistance on the enrollment of an MBA program.

Besides studying, I love to cook and bake. Baking is my favorite hobby and my most effective stress reliever. I also spend a lot of time watching movies, especially classic romance movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany, and Pride and Prejudice. The classic romance movies help me understand the perceptions and traditions that people in specific era underwent as they portray the beliefs and values of that period of time, which I believe is the foundation of the present social dynamic. Additionally, I do enjoy occasional trip abroad. Although, adventurous travel and nature are not particularly my cup of tea, but I truly enjoy cultural travelling. I love to explore different culture and history of different countries and how the history influences the way people perceive the world and their culture. I have visited Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong SAR, China, and I have explored how people in mainland China and people in Hong Kong SAR can have very similar culture and tradition but a totally different perception and mindset. I have also visited Korea and Singapore as well. In the future, I hope to explore the different parts of the US, as well as Canada and countries in South America. Now that I am entering a new community, L&C, I hope to further develop myself to be a better thinker, a more open-minded global citizen, and a prouder Thai. I hope that my experience at L&C will help me achieve and excel in both my academic performance and my social experience. I also plan to contribute to L&C as a representative of Thailand to spread the culture and traditions of my country both at the surface and deeper level. I will contribute to and help strengthen the diversity and intellectuality of the community at Lewis & Clark College.