Thai student Sudjaporn Khumanun, 23, from Phuket knew quite a bit about Lithuania before coming. The Siam University student said she had read about Lithuania’s history, culture and food. The Business major knew about Lithuania’s “pink soup,” made from beets, but has yet to taste it. She says the transition from sunny Phuket to Vilnius was not so difficult.
Sudjaporn Khumanun
Sudjaporn Khumanun
© Organizacijos nuotr.

It also helps that she’s been traveling with her family since her teenage years. She agreed to share her experiences after finishing cooking Thai chicken noodle soup for the Mykolas Romeris University Students International Dinner on Feb. 7th.

- Why did you come to Vilnius?

- Siam University, which I attend in Bangkok, had organized a competition to spend a semester at Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius. There were 4-5 students that took part including myself. I decided to try, but did not expect to win. When I did, my mother agreed to let me go to Lithuania. My father was hesitant at first because he thought it was some type of fraud. But after spending much time in discussion with him, he allowed me to go.

- Coming from the island of Phuket wasn’t it cold for you in Vilnius?

- No. Lithuania is not my first cold weather country. I’ve seen snow in Switzerland, in the U.K. This cold weather here doesn’t bother me at all. So far, I have not seen snow yet this winter in Vilnius.

- You like to travel. Where did you “catch” the travel bug? What countries have you visited?

- Well, one of my first trips when I was 14 years old was to Australia. Since then, I have already visited 10 countries. I traveled to Italy with my family. We visited Rome and Milan. I’ve been to Japan, Turkey, and Switzerland. I enjoy traveling and learning more about other cultures. Originally, my sister introduced me to travel at a young age. She’s a dentist in Thailand.

- Which country is your favourite?

- I like Switzerland. It’s a nice country with great chocolate and the views are very nice, breathtaking I would say – especially the mountains. I don’t ski, but I did try snowboarding, when I was in Japan.

- What do you think of Vilnius? How does it differ from Bangkok or Phuket?

- The landscape is different in Vilnius. The weather is also different. But, I see some similiarities in our histories that we both wanted to be free and independent. If comparing to Bangkok, then it is much more noisy and more traffic jams in Bangkok than in Vilnius. Also, more buildings, skyscrapers in Bangkok. But, the public transport system is much better organized in Vilnius than in my country and it is easy to get around Vilnius on busses. Also, there are cultural differences. In my country things are much more formal. I noticed that art is also different here from Thai art, which is quite delicate. Here the art is simple, yet understandable.

- You mentioned that you spent a year in the U.K. at the Cambridge Regional College? What did you do there?

- Yes, when I was 16-17 years old, I went to Cambridge Regional College to study acting. At one time, I thought that maybe I would be an actress, but my father didn’t really like the idea. Now, I think of acting as a hobby. I am now studying Business and Public Relations.

- What are your plans after you complete your studies?

- Well, you never know what’s going to happen in life. I have plans. I want to be a diplomat. My other plan, if that doesn’t work out, is to work for an airline company, perhaps Thai Airways. Time will tell. Now I want to enjoy my time in Lithuania and learn as much as I can.

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