His name is Naruth Kongurai, but everyone calls him Sam.

Kongurai, who hails from Bangkok, Thailand is staying in Minnesota for the next several months as part of the foreign exchange student program.


Adjusting to small-town life has not been that much of a challenge for Kongurai, who said even though he lived in a city with millions of people he said he much prefers the quiet of Redwood Falls.

 

His name is Naruth Kongurai, but everyone calls him Sam. Kongurai, who hails from Bangkok, Thailand is staying in Minnesota for the next several months as part of the foreign exchange student program, and he is a student at RVHS. The son of Ammara-porn and Sran Kongurai is currently residing with the Al and Laura Olson family and at age 15 is a high school sophomore. Kongurai said he had heard a lot of interesting things about the foreign exchange program, adding much of what he heard was positive. So, after further investigating the idea, he opted to get involved. It was two weeks ago Tuesday when he arrived in Minnesota, and he said things have been going very well so far. Adapting to a different culture has been somewhat challenging for Kon-gurai, but having had a strong English education back home he was able to transition easier. “I?started learning English in third grade,”?he said, agreeing, however, even the best education does not fully prepare you for speaking it. “People speak fast, and it is hard to keep up.” Adjusting to small-town life has not been that much of a challenge for Kongurai, who said even though he lived in a city with millions of people he said he much prefers the quiet of Redwood Falls. Like most, Kongurai’s only information about Minnesota was hearing it was very cold. Coming from a city that is very hot, Kongurai said he is adjusting to the cooler weather and realizes it is going to get colder. “I want to see snow,”?he said. Kongurai said he is hoping to experience as much of the American way of life and culture as he possibly can while he is here, adding he is hoping to do some traveling and getting involved in some community activities. Kongurai is taking chemistry, algebra, health, American history and Cardinal Web this semester and said the education system is not that much different in Thailand compared to what he is experiencing here. Yes, he said, it is harder, but mostly because of the language difference he has experienced. Kongurai said he is enjoying his experience so far and is looking forward to learning more and meeting more people in the community.