Studying in London with a British Council Inspire! Scholarship
Tanat Sangwong (Tai) from Thailand won the opportunity to study English at Kings London with the British Council Inspire! Scholarship. He tells us about his classes, exploring in and around London, and cooking Thai food for his classmates!
Hi Tanat, tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Tanat, but you can call me Tai, and I am 18 years old. Yesterday I had my birthday, and Gemma [teacher] bought me a cake.
Do you usually have cakes in Thailand for your birthday?
Yes we also do cakes, and just hanging out together and eating together.
What food did you cook? I heard that you cooked some Thai food for everyone?
Ah yes. In Thailand we call it 'phat kaphrao', where you cook pork with basil and fry it, and it's quite simple. Another one you put eggs and minced pork and you make it like a soup and you put lettuce and green onions and celery, pepper and onion, and it looks perfect. It was my first time doing it, and it stressed me out a little bit because I needed to cook for everybody.
So, you came here on a scholarship didn't you? Can you tell me about the competition you won?
The competition was about telling why I wanted to come to the United Kingdom, and to take a video of me speaking about why I am interested to come here. I said that I wanted to come here because of the weather and that in my opinion England has a good education system so it's good for me to come and experience something here. I want to experience new things, new food, new culture and meet new people. It's going very well.
How did you feel when you found out that you won the scholarship?
I felt so great! At first I did not think that I was going to get the scholarship because I thought that there would be a lot of people that had applied, but when I got it I was like 'Yes! I have a chance to come here!'.
Where in Thailand are you from?
I'm from a small city North of Bangkok. It's very close to Bangkok, just a 1 hour drive. It's called Suphan Buri. The food in Thailand is very good, the street food is very cheap.
What course are you taking at Kings London?
My course is the Intensive English language course. At first I got into Level 6 class with Beata and I found it pretty interesting and challenging to study and learn new knowledge. Then I moved into the FCE class with Sam and this class is hard! Sam is very good at teaching. I like both of the classes.
In the afternoon I have speaking and listening class which I really like because we have the chance to talk to new people and make new friends at the same time. I have talked to many of my friends. In the class we watch the video and then at the end we write down the conclusions and what is the purpose and then we discuss with people, and we talk a lot. I think I have improved my speaking a lot and I have more confidence to talk to other people, and I became more talkative.
Why did you want to improve your English?
Because I think that English is very important, and I like to learn it. I also wanted to learn another language which is not my own language. I have the basic knowledge, but it's better for me to improve it. In Thailand I would like to work in an international company so I need it for my job.
Why did you choose Kings London?
I had the option to choose from all the Kings UK schools, but I chose here because I like London. When people think of the UK they think of London – me too! I personally wanted to come to here and to travel in London. London is the middle part of everywhere in England so you can get to other places.
Where have you been stayed?
For the first 2 weeks I have stayed with my first host family which was near the school, just 8 minutes’ walk. The second host family live in West Wickham, near the bus stop so I travel to school by the bus. They are really nice, they are lovely.
What do you think about the school facilities?
I think it's very nice. In the classroom they the interactive whiteboards, and they also have speakers in all the classrooms so students can practise their listening. The classes are not too big so students can focus on the lessons. They are a good size.
Did you do any activities or excursions?
In the first week I went to London and did a walk with the group around London. For the other times I travelled on my own or with my friends to other places like Bromley and Brighton which was a very good experience. We went on the day that it was really hot and the sun was very bright. We went on the rollercoaster, my friend persuaded me!
I also went to Knightsbridge in Chelsea, and the Natural History Museum and around there.
Tomorrow me and my friends are going to Oxford, and Sunday we are just going to relax at home. I am going home next Wednesday, so just 5 more days in the UK. I will go everywhere that I can go!
Did you discover any good places to shop or eat or explore around London?
For shopping, Westfield is the biggest shopping centre I've ever seen! It's so big. For eating, for me I can't eat everywhere so I prefer to eat at home with my host family. London has a lot of tourist attractions so you can find a lot of things to do.
Was this your first trip to the UK?
Yes this was my first trip.
Was it what you expected?
Yes, the style of houses and the style of people. They are unique, they are not the same, and that is what I expected.
Would you recommend London to other students?
Yes I would recommend that they come to London because you can find everything here! Most of the things that you want are here, and you can travel to other places easily. The weather is nice, sometimes it has rain, but most of the time it's good.
What has been your favourite thing about Kings?
The lessons, I have learnt a lot of things. Also my friends, I have made a lot of friends and I talk to them in English because I don't have any Thai friends in my class. The teachers are really nice. Everything has been good!