Meet LMP’s International Thai Student: June Saeheng

June Saeheng will be attending Rollins College and majoring in finance.

June Saeheng will be attending Rollins College and majoring in finance.

Rachel Dearing, Staff Writer

June Saeheng is an international student from Bangkok, Thailand. A senior at Lake Mary Prep, she plans to major in finance next year. She originally lived with a host family in Qdoba, Alabama, but when her aunt moved to Florida she decided to move as well. June usually plays basketball and softball, but decided this year to focus solely on school. June is proud to announce that she has committed to Rollins College. 

What Is the Biggest Difference Between Your School Back Home and American Schools?

“Freedom,” said Saeheng, is her favorite thing about America. “You can choose your classes here, but in Thailand you cannot choose your classes. You basically have a certain number of classes and you are at school seven days a week. On weekdays, I go to school from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon. On the weekend, I go to school from eight in the morning until three in the afternoon. [American schools] are completely different from my school,” said Saeheng. “We do get breaks for about a month during the semesters or during the term. We also get summer break as well,” stated Saeheng. Her school back in Thailand is more like college here. They have an extended break like colleges do between the semesters. “My school [back in Thailand] is very serious about education and college,” said Saeheng. 

What Is the Biggest Difference Between America and Thailand Overall? 

“School is probably the biggest difference, but also friends, lifestyle, and food,” said Saeheng. “Back in Thailand it’s all study, study, and more study. If you play a sport you have class for that sport. Here you have general sport class and you can play anything you want. In Thailand it’s like studying a sport. For example, if you play volleyball, you have a specific class just for volleyball. You study the rules, how to play, and usually it’s when you are on the team. You aren’t going to competitions. Here if you play a sport you have competitions,” said Saeheng. “You do hang out with friends sometime after school, but not a lot. Here you can hang out with your friends more. I love it. It’s more freedom,” said Saeheng.  

What Are Some Key Cultural Differences You Experienced When You Moved Abroad?

“In Thailand it’s a real family, like the definition of family. They all stay together, even friends. Here you can sit with whoever you want whenever you want. However, In Thailand you might have a group of people and stay with them no matter what. Usually you don’t change schools either so if I was in ninth grade, my friend group is going to be the same until twelfth grade,” said Sehang. “New Year is extremely important in our culture. Most of the time we hang out for every holiday, but on big holidays like New Year’s, we go out and celebrate. We don’t go out every New Year,” said Saeheng. 

What Activities Have You Experienced in America So Far? 

“I came to America in 2019 and then decided to study here throughout high school. I did drawing competitions in Qdoba, Alabama. I also played on a softball and basketball team. I wasn’t the main player, but I played to get to know my teammates,” said Saeheng. “Having to adapt to American society and culture has been a lot. I was really homesick and there was a major culture shock,” stated Saeheng. Since Saeheng lived in Alabama before moving to Florida, she was also able to experience farming. “I was able to take care of the cows, donkeys, horses, before I moved [to Florida]. I was used to the Alabamian farm lands but then I had to adjust to Orlando,” said Saeheng.   

June Saeheng is sad to be leaving Lake Mary Prep but has enjoyed her stay throughout high school. She is looking forward to the college experience and is excited to graduate.