Boonpa Ing-Anuraksakul, from Thailand, is studying Logistics Management at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. Already having her MBA, she chose to study in the USA to expand her career opportunities.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
My plan was to come here, but my parents couldn’t help pay. I worked to save money. I was going to go to Australia, but comparing currency rates and benefits, I decided the U.S was better.
Why did you choose this college?
I saw the logistics management program as a link to expand future job opportunities. Also, tuition and fees are cheaper than four-year universities.
The location of TMCC makes it special. It has a beautiful view. I can see the mountains everywhere.
What do you like best?
TMCC has a great advising team. They have a nice reception and guide and help you reach your goals. This is a good thing!
The classes are not too big. This lets us talk to the teacher after class and they help you.
In logistics management class, we had case studies to discuss: Ford company, HP, Ralph Lauren, and so on. We assumed that we were managers and analyzed the problems and solutions. We applied strategies that we learned from the textbook to solve problems. This is a very good part.
What do you miss most?
I miss my food. I miss family, but family you can call—you can’t have the food here.
What was your biggest surprise?
In my country you pretty much memorize the textbook, but don’t learn how to apply knowledge and cannot talk in class. Here, you learn to apply and talk about the experiences. I know how to sort and solve problems.
I’m impressed about the quality of life and the handicapped access and assistance. The bus completely stops for disabled people and the drivers help them get on the bus.
They have equal opportunity for everyone. In the U.S., you can change jobs and start and stop school whenever you want, even when you get older.
How have you handled: ... language differences?
The first ESL class was tough. I didn’t understand what the teacher was saying. I spent a whole day studying. Reading and listening helps. I spend a lot of time speaking English and don’t speak a lot of Thai.
I can feel my English getting better. Because I study different classes, I learn new vocabulary. For example, I didn’t understand the news about politics. Now I understand because I studied politics.
I worked for 12 years to collect money. Before I came, I calculated how much money I had and how much to spend.
When I first moved, I lived with my brother. I don’t travel too much, drink or go shopping I lead a simple life: go to school, go home, cook and eat.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
I just adapt myself. If the teacher asks a specific question, I’m going to answer. Sometimes I share my experiences in class. Before I felt shy, now I feel better with public speaking. Talking in the class counts as participation. You can’t make a good grade if you stay quiet.
What are your activities?
Business Entrepreneurship has speakers and I enjoy listening to experienced people. They inspire you. Also, the Logistics department holds seminars with APICS (The Association for Operations Management).
How easy or difficult is making friends?
When I first got here, I couldn’t understand anything and it was hard to make friends. But when I learned English, it wasn’t hard. I have made good friends.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I worked as an engineer. I chose logistics management because it teaches transportation and production—everything I need.
The most important thing U.S education taught me is English skills. Before I came here my English was really bad and it was hard to find a job. Most international companies require English skills. Now, I can work in different countries and my job opportunities have expanded.
What is your advice to other students?
The education system in the U.S. is very high quality. The U.S. is a great country. You can learn a lot. I feel like my world is wider. Before, I didn’t know anything, now I know what people are talking about.
The U.S is one of the top three countries. When you compare it with price, opportunity, and the experience, it is worth it.