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A Night to Remember : Fulbrighters United

By Watcharapong Areekich, Fulbrighter 2005.

In a hot and humid evening of Wednesday June 15, 2005, I found myself standing in front of a white 2-storey house so very familiar to me. Then, I realized that where I was standing was the place I like to glance at from my desk in my office every time I was ‘brain-dead’ or wanted a quick retreat from my work.

Right on the opposite side of my office, I was actually at the Ambassador’s Residence to attend a reception dinner kindly hosted by H.E. Ralph L. Boyce, the Ambassador of the United States of America, in honor of the 2005Thai Grantees of Fulbright Scholarship. Luckily I am one of them.

I was totally absorbed in the surroundings while my brain was trying to digest information uploaded from the orientation session during the day. Then, one of my friends called me to join her because the event was about to start.

Dinner event began with the introduction of the Ambassador by Khun Ken Foster, Vice Chairman of TUSEF and Cultural Affairs Officer of the Embassy. Afterwards, H.E. Boyce addressed the audience in both English and impressively fluent Thai about the Foundation and the importance of educational exchange as the bedrock beneath Thailand-U.S. relationship.

We were also delighted to be warmly greeted by Director-General Sihasak Puangketkeow, Chairman of the TUSEF Board. His remarks made us feel so very proud to be part of the Fulbright family.

Khun Porntip Kanjananiyot, the current Executive Director of Thailand-United States Educational Foundation (TUSEF), then touched on the TUSEF’s backgrounds and objectives and requested H.E. Ambassador to present to 25 new Fulbright scholars letters of congratulations. All had great photo opportunities with him, the TUSEF Board and the Fulbright Alumni.

Following the presentation, Asst. Prof. Dr. Sunee Kertbundit and Non Arkaraprasertkul represented all the Fulbright scholars to express our deepest gratitude to the Foundation and reaffirm our commitment to promote mutual understandings between two countries. Another highlight came when Dr. Savaraj Sachchmarga, Chairman of Thai Fulbright Association delivered his speech which really added the liveliness to the dinner event.

After the ceremony was the time that afforded us the opportunity to acquire useful information about studying and living in the U.S. from the alumni and other distinguished guests. As I looked around myself while having animated conversations with guests, I estimated that there were more than 100 people converging upon the Residence to attend the event and everyone was talking to each other.

We, the new Fulbright grantees were incessantly approached by the guests, one after another, with their intentions to congratulate us and share their experiences. With this warm and friendly atmosphere, I deeply felt myself in an enjoyable family reunion where I guess many enduring relationships have been formed and developed.

Almost three hours flew by so swiftly! The event ended and everyone was heading off. I was back to my office again!.

However, when I sat at my desk and looked out from the window to the same white wooden house across the street, my feelings could never be the same anymore. That house is not just a beautiful dwelling but it is the place where a great memory was engraved in my heart which has made the word “Fulbright” grow so much more meaningful to me. 

ข้อเขียนทั้งภาษาไทยและภาษาอังกฤษทุกเรื่องที่นำเสนอโดยมูลนิธิการศึกษาไทย-อเมริกัน (ฟุลไบรท์) ผู้สนใจสามารถจะนำไปใช้ประโยชน์ต่อการเรียนการสอนและกิจกรรมทางการศึกษาที่เกี่ยวข้องได้โดยขอความกรุณาอ้างอิงถึงแหล่งที่มาให้ชัดเจนด้วย

 

All the Thai and English articles written and posted by the Thailand -U.S. Educational Foundation (Fulbright) could be used to benefit the academic community. Please give appropriate credit to the author(s) and the Foundation

                                       


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Thailand - United States Educational Foundation (TUSEF/Fulbright Thailand) Thai Wah Tower 1, 3rd floor, 21/5 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Tel : (66) 0-2285-0581-2 Fax : (66) 0-2285-0583  Email : tusef@fulbrightthai.org