I am Kewarin Donthong from Thailand. I was born and raised in Bangkok but I am originally from another province of my country. I think I am really lucky to be raised by two parents whose love and warmth shaped me into who I am today.
I have always dreamed of being able to speak English fluently. I was inspired to study English by my classmate who moved from a private school to our school when I was in the fourth grade. English was my favorite subject. I used to dream of studying aboard and speaking like a native speaker. I studied English through radio broadcasts for a while and it was fun. I tried every way I could, listening to music, watching movies, and so on. Learning English and studying abroad were dreams that I thought I could never obtain. The costs were just too high.
Fortunately, and unexpectedly, I received a scholarship from the Human Development Foundation (HDF) or Mercy Centre to study abroad at Red Cross Nordic United World College (RCNUWC) in Norway. I continue to be part of the HDF Foundation where we work to help the poor, street kids, HIV infected patients and others under the leadership of Father Joseph Maier, an American priest who has worked in the slums of Bangkok for over 30 years. For me, the scholarship was like winning the lottery, only better. I have learned a lot from the Foundation. I have broadened my perspective about life. I have experienced working with sea gypsies on an isolated island in the southern part of Thailand and I got to know how simple life can be. I also learned to help and to contribute.
I also learned a lot from RCNUWC, both academically and socially. Studying and living at RCNUWC for two years changed my life, my perspective, my beliefs and my future. It was such a great opportunity. It was incredibly valuable. I have changed a lot personally. The person who went to Norway for the first time two years ago and now is completely different. I grew up a lot and I am more mature. Living far away from my parents has taught me to be strong. Though the IB program was very challenging and difficult, it was very useful.
It is my hope that at Lewis & Clark College, I will be able to discover what I really want to do and what I want to study in the future. I also hope that I will be able to strengthen my abilities at L&C.