Everything is going great here in Monterey, California!
The weather is nice, even though it gets a little bit cool sometimes. However, all is well, and the sun does shine every day. All the Pre-academic activities here are all well-arranged. We've become good friends with all the Fulbrighters from all over the world.
I think that is the best part of it.
I understand now what 'mutual understanding' is all about!
I've come across people from Argentina, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Poland, Rwanda, South Korea, Turkey, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. They are all amazing people. I have connections Iíve never could have imagined.
Getting to know each other has definitely helped me a lot to adjust here.
Best friends are not that hard to find if you are open-minded, ready to mingle with others, and willing the embrace the differences.
I wish that we could live in a country with no boundaries one day. They have become like a family for me this past week.
I'm grateful for this opportunity.
I also find that classes given at the Monterey Institute of International Studies are very useful and appeal to varied academic fields. We have writing, speaking, library and digital media classes. There are some other useful workshops and simulations that help us with the adjustment in the US life and universities.
One thing I've learned so far is that it's okay to be imperfect, and it's healthy to give yourself permissions to be your own self. That way you'll learn how to improve, and be accustomed with the surroundings easily.
So many fun activities to do here in Monterey
Apart from classes, we went to the farmer's market, an aquarium, dance clubs; took a San Francisco trip, saw Monterey Bay & Beaches, Fisherman's Wharf, as well as had some dinners in the communities and movie nights together.
Above all, I've found so many talented singers in our group who are from different corners of the world. There are two guys from Madagascar who are so into opera and church singing, an amazing Turkish girl who can sing beautifully in her national tongue, an amazing guitarist from south Africa, and also we've got a dancer from Panama who can do a tango and flamingo dance professionally. We're planning to do some surprise performance together before this three-week adventure would end.
People here are really nice, and it is such a fresh start and preparation for the incoming life we're about to experience in the US.
Thanks to all the Fulbright Thailand crew. This is a priceless adventure for me.
Ms. Kamkaeo Maneerot
Current grantee under 2011 Open Competition Scholarship Program
English and American Literature/Washington State University
Ms. Kevalin Hutachinda
Boston College, Intern