Summer Around the Globe

Niemann taking a selfie, featuring a classic Thai dish, with one of his teachers.

Jordan Tarzian, Crown Writer and Photographer

The summer had finally arrived. Students were eager to rush out the doors as school came to a close. The season of no homework, no classes, and no tests was in session. Summer vacations were now starting and the excitement to get out of school was overwhelming. Not everyone’s exotic vacations were away from school.

For one student, Tawan Niemann (10), school in Thailand was just about to begin again in a month. A distance of 8,367 miles away from home seems like too far for most people, but for Niemann, Thailand is his second home. This isn’t the first time Niemann has flown to different parts of the world over the summer. The school year schedule in Thailand is different from the U.S. It begins in July instead of August or September. The Thailand school system operates differently compared to the various school systems in the U.S which includes that Thailand schooling is free of charge until ninth grade. This isn’t Niemann’s first time going to school across the world. Niemann has been visiting his friends and cousin, Nattapus, at Trattakarnkhun school in Trat, Thailand for a while. They all speak Thai and no English at all. Niemann had a hard time reading Thai but his ability to speak is remarkable.

Niemann left for this distinguished school about two weeks after summer began. Niemann attended Trattakamkhun for six weeks. His family went over to Thailand to visit relatives, including his cousin Nattapus, often called “Nook.” Many people in Thailand go by nicknames as opposed to their actual names. Niemann was able to talk about his wonderful trip with me. “Being able to spend time with my friends and experiencing the different and unique school life culture of Thailand was my favorite part of the whole trip,” says Niemann, without a doubt. He went on to explain how different the transition is. “I think the schooling in Thailand is different in America because of the distinct environment, the relationship between teachers and students, and the physical structure of the building. Each class would be separate buildings.” This statement is like schools in Florida where they are more based off the outdoors. 

   Thailand has shaped Niemann into who he is today. He had a special opportunity that most people will not be able to experience in their life. The culture and tradition Niemann continues to influence his life here. Even though school is not ideal in the summer, his friends and family make it all worth it.