Hi, my name is Millie. I turned 15 in May. I have been living Thailand for a year now, but I’ve been visiting the country since I was 3 weeks old.My hobbies consist of: playing guitar, singing, making YouTube videos, making people laugh and listening to music. I am half Thai and can speak a little Thai although my reading and writing is better than my speaking.
I was born in England, then a few months later we had to move to Paris, due to my dad’s job. He’s a stock broker, but now he works at home.Before I had properly moved to Thailand I was at a boarding school in the north of Scotland, whilst my parents lived in the South of France. The reason we made a decision to move back to Thailand was because, there was an awkward stage where my dad lived in France, my mum here in Thailand and I was in Scotland. Now we feel much happier living together!
Whilst being here in Thailand I have already attended 2 schools, one in Chiang Mai, that I left in November because I didn’t enjoy my time there. So then I moved to St. Andrews Green Valley.At first my parents went in for a meeting with the Head of Secondary, at the end of that meeting the school suggested that I should take a trial week at the school, to see how I’d fit in.I was really apprehensive that the students wouldn’t be nice, or the teachers wouldn’t teach well.
The turnout at the end of that week was the complete opposite to my thoughts. The students were really nice and helpful, and so were the teachers. However I had missed a lot of work, due to the curriculum change, but I tired very hard to catch up. In January of this year I had started at St. Andrews, choosing my IGCSE subjects which are: English, Science, Maths, Music, History, Thai and Drama.
I was lucky that the class I had been put into was the same one I was in when I was doing the trial week. Making friends is one of my strong points, I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. In my class there was a girl who I automatically clicked with, and then she introduced me to another girl I clicked with. It’s only been 6 months I’ve known them, but it feels like we’re sisters. I think that is an important element to have in a friendship, or else you don’t feel like you can trust the others.
At our school we do have a school uniform, it’s very simple, just a white shirt and a navy culottes with black shoes. I don’t like wearing the culottes, I find them really uncomfortable to sit in. I don’t know, but I reckon a lot of the girls would rather have skirts. Our school uniform is really different to my old school’s one. In Scotland the School was in the located in a small village in the middle of nowhere, so the uniform again, was very simple. A black skirt, light blue jumper, black tights and shoes, finally a white polo shirt. Obviously the two uniforms are different, one has to keep you cool in the hot weather, whilst the other needs to keep you warm in the cold weather.
The timetable at my old school was very different to the one here. In the UK, my school had changed the timetabled to a 2 week rota and 1 hour lessons. Here in St. Andrews there a short 45 minute lessons or 1 hour 20 minute lessons. The times school times at both my current school and old one are the same, 8:20 start and finish at 15:20.
I do get a lot of homework, but mostly just essays, reading or set questions from a text book.In school I do struggle in maths and science, but my parents are helping me to find extra support, which I am super thankful for.
At home there is just me and my parents, and 4 dogs. When I was younger I always wanted to have an older brother or sister, but then I realised that could never happen, so I made do with my friends and dogs. I do have a very strong bond, as I do live with them.
In Thailand, a lot of things are quite far from my house so it’s very inconvenient to go anywhere because you can’t walk to the supermarket, you have to drive – there’s also a lot of traffic! Out of my two best friends, I live the furthest away from them. That means in the mornings it takes around 30 minutes to get to school.
When I was at boarding school, our rooms were right next to each others, so we just had to knock on the door and enter. But here at a day school, you have to plan a day you can go out, who is going to drop you off and pick you up, or who’s house are you going to stay at, or the most important one, are you parents going to let you?
I didn’t have a huge reaction to this though, because I was used to having rules in the house. My parents are usually okay with me going to a friends house, or someone coming over to my house. One thing I absolutely love about living here is the diversity of the population. The fact in one town you can have people from 10 different countries and you hear other people speak lots of different languages, really fascinates me.
I think going to an international school is great! You make friends who are from a different place from you and when you visit their home you get to see what kind of culture they have known.
I would say there is quite a few differences between the UK and Thailand.For a start the weather in the UK is cold and wet, but in Thailand it is really hot, even when it rains! Food is also a huge difference, here the food explores spice, but in the UK food is very different. There is a lot of fried things, meat is cooked differently, in Thai food the desserts is usually jelly, coconut, fruit or sweet sticky rice. Also sports is very different in schools, volleyball, football (soccer,) and swimming are usually the 3 main sports in international schools, but in the UK more common sports are field hockey, rugby, netball, cricket, lacrosse or cross country.
Living in Thailand it’s much harder to be independent because of how far you are from everything, so I really depend on my parents to drive me somewhere. In western countries you have more public transport to use and usually you live quite close to your friends. It’s a really big hassle for my parents, however I’m probably going to learn how to drive next year – which will be a huge help for my mum and dad.
I feel like the biggest difference is really the heat. Heat in Thailand is extreme, one minute it can be cool with a breeze, but the next minute the sun is blazing on you! This really does effect me at school though, I get ill from the heat and I can’t really work as well. If I were to give advice to anyone moving from Thailand to anywhere in the UK I would say: Don’t expect it to be the warmest place, so be prepared and bring lots of warm clothes.
And also make sure you research about where you going, and also make sure you know the language well enough that you can get around places. Just make sure you are going to love the place you decide to go!