Studying abroad a ‘life-changing experience’ for UNK senior Cream Masatit

Rinrada “Cream” Masatit

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Grade: Senior
Major: Elementary education (ESL emphasis)
Professional goal: My goal is to get a job teaching at an elementary school. Later in life, I want to become a missionary somewhere – it might end up being somewhere in Thailand.
Fun fact: Cream is my nickname. Every Thai has a nickname their parents give them at birth, along with their legal name. I’ve been called Cream my whole life. I also have two sisters, and their nicknames are Cake and Cookie!

Why did you decide to study in the U.S.?
I love learning languages. Back in 2015, a lot of my friends decided to come to the U.S. as exchange students. My family and I thought I could just come here for a year. I ended up graduating from high school here in Nebraska and I’m about to graduate with my bachelor’s degree.

Why did you choose UNK?
I was interested in becoming an ESL teacher, teaching English to children who do not speak English at home or as their primary language. I heard from many teachers and close friends that UNK had an amazing teacher education program with cheaper tuition, compared to the other University of Nebraska campuses. It was definitely a life-changing decision that I will never regret.

What’s your favorite thing about UNK?
I love how the students, faculty and staff are willing to learn my culture and accept who I am as a person. I am involved in many departments and organizations on campus, allowing me to meet many friends who make my life at UNK fun, exciting and memorable.

What was the most surprising thing when you arrived in Nebraska?
I came from a big city with almost 10 million people. I was very shocked when I first came to Nebraska, seeing the endless cornfields and cows. I am still shocked that there are only 2 million people here, considering the size of the state.

What’s the biggest difference between Kearney and your hometown?
There are no traffic jams here. Also, the weather in Nebraska is unpredictable and very cold in the winter. Thailand is hot 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That was definitely a big change for me.

What should people know about your home country?
Thailand is known as the “Land of Smiles.” People are very friendly and willing to help. I would say we are pretty similar to people from the Midwest. Thailand also has delicious food, beautiful beaches and many cool places to visit.

Why should students consider studying abroad?
You not only get to learn another culture, but you get to really experience what it is like to be out of your comfort zone. Having friends from other countries helps broaden your perspective of the world around you. Studying abroad also helps you acquire personal and professional skills. It will be a life-changing experience!