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ELC - English Language Center Boston
Student Spotlight – Methika Sinthavalai July 5th, 2018

Methika (Maggie) is from Thailand and studied at ELC Boston for eight weeks in our IELTS Preparation Course. Maggie is loved at ELC for her friendly personality and dedication to learning English. Back home, Maggie teaches yoga and meditation and is never afraid to join an activity like potluck or soccer with her classmates!

Where were you born and raised? Give us a mental picture of the place.
I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. This is my first time moving to and living in a new country. Bangkok has a lot of things to do, it’s a very vibrant city! It has very nice cultural attractions, we have beautiful cultural buildings, like temples. Our nightlife also attracts many foreigners because it’s very fun. The streets have so many lights, restaurants, it’s on the river. There is so much cheap good food!

What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
My hobbies, I usually do yoga and meditation. Now I have my own business. My hobby is opening and organizing meetups. I’m trying to grow my hobby into the U.S. so when I go back to my country I can bring my new knowledge and share with people from my own country. I have been doing yoga and meditation for about 10 years.

What is your special talent?
I would say my talent is yoga and meditation and teaching people these things. My talent is being a teacher. When I organize meetups in Boston I like to share my experience and help people to find their life purpose. I am a life coach and now I coach people in my own country.

What is your profession? What do you like about it?
Actually, my background I worked in the oil and gas industry. I work for the national oil company in Thailand, I was a project manager for some time. Previously, I was in marketing and I got to do some project management. Then I quit and moved here to start my own business. I can take many of the skills from my previous work experience which helps me in my new business.

Tell us about your family, do you have kids? Siblings? Pets? Do they live close to you?
I live with my parents and I have two older brothers. I am the youngest daughter. My brothers are married and they have families now. One of my brothers lives in Indonesia and my oldest brother’s wife lives with my parents. We are very close.

Why did you choose to study English in Boston? Did you consider other countries?
I love that Boston is an academic city. At first I chose Boston because I knew I wanted to be on the East Coast because I wanted to visit New York, but not live there. Close enough to visit! Many people say Boston is a very safe city and there are so many universities located here. People here really care about education so I like it here. People here are also very friendly, compared to many other cities.

What are all the ways that Boston is different than your city/town?
I like Boston because it’s very resourceful. I mean, when I came here I joined many meetings and meet-ups. There are many places where I can go and they will teach me how to fix my resume, I can get counseling on my resume and cover letters. There are many events and workshops that can help me to build my business, and so many are free! Yes, there are many resources here for me.

What were you most surprised to learn about the US or Boston? Did you experience any culture shock?
Not really anything shocking, maybe just not having my family my first few months here. Also, maybe the greetings here are very different. In Thailand we bow when we see our friends, but here we don’t do that so it was weird getting used to that. Really though, I think I am okay and adjusting very well.

What do you miss most about your country?
The food! I miss my food. I find the food here isn’t as healthy as my food. Sometimes I think, “oh my god!” after I eat a meal and have to tell myself to slow down for the next meal and just have a salad. All the food is really good, but the portions in the U.S. are very big!

What are your top three favorite places in Boston?
I really liked the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum! It was very cool. Also the Boston Common is very cool, they have many free things like free yoga and meditation this week. My third place, I love the schools, like Harvard and MIT. You can walk around the campus and experience the very famous schools like you are a student. I like to walk around like I am a student!

Where have you found the best food from your country in Boston?
I have tried Thai food in Boston, but not much of it is authentic like back home. There is one place I like, the owner is Cambodian, but he cooks a lot of Thai food and it’s really good. There’s one called Rod-Dee, I think that’s what it’s called, and it’s delicious. That’s my recommendation!

Favorite moment in class at ELC:
I really like the IELTS class because I learn things that I can really apply to my real life. Janet’s class is really great because I always think, “wow, this is information I can really use, it’s very practical!” Janet is also a very good teacher, she always has a lot of energy so I really like going to her class!

Favorite activity at ELC:
I love potluck (everyone does! haha). I also love all the teachers, the staff, everyone is very friendly and professional. It’s always nice to come to school because everyone makes it a good experience.

What are some tips you have for people who want to learn English?
I think with all languages, it’s a process to learn. When I first started studying, I really rushed it and I wanted to be fluent right away! Sometimes I felt discouraged, but it’s important to be patient and remember that it takes time so enjoy it. Understand that it’s learning and there will always be something new to learn. Learning is never ending. I have found new every day to learn here! Don’t get discouraged and enjoy!

What are your plans after ELC?
I am planning to go back to my country and would like to get into an international company and build my own business at the same time. I would like to work abroad, I would love to live abroad again. I think Singapore would be a great place to live and work and it’s close to my country so I can visit my family. Boston is amazing, but it’s at least a full day of flying to go home!

Boston snow

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