Bunyisa Phanatnok

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VCU Globe student, Bunyisa Phanatnok, studies abroad in Taiwan this semester

Virginia Commonwealth University student Bunyisa Phanatnok has received several national scholarships to support her study abroad in Taiwan this semester. She was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, the Freeman-ASIA Award, and the ISEP Founders Fellowship Award.

While in Taiwan, Bunyisa studying is Mandarin at Providence University. “I want to become more fluent in it up to the point of coming to Taiwan and actually using it with the Taiwanese people,” she said. “I’ve been studying Mandarin since high school and I’ve always thought about what I can do to improve my language skills. And I decided to take Chinese at VCU, but it just wasn’t enough. It wasn't enough for me. I thought, I don’t really have the chance to speak Mandarin every day. And so I decided I wanted to go study abroad.”

In addition to learning the language, Bunyisa is getting to experience the culture first-hand.

“One thing that I learned is it’s not just the language,” she said. “It's more that you’re seeing the culture, you're seeing how people act, you're seeing why people act the way they do. I really like to analyze that. Especially, when I make comparisons, I just want to see why is it like that, why the country is so different from America. Even though I’ve been in Asia before, I lived in America for so long that I’m not used to the Asian life.”

Bunyisa is a student in VCU Globe and is majoring in international management in the School of Business.

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