Teerada Puengpoom's desire to own an import/export business was the driving force behind her decision to travel from Thailand to study English at CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) in Christchurch.
"I chose to study English so I can communicate with people in business," she explains. "My friend's brother graduated from CPIT and he said there were a lot of international students here. It's also a place where you can have new experiences."
Correct English pronunciation is important for Teerada, who learnt some English at school, although not from a teacher whose first language was English. "I didn't learn much about pronunciation in my hometown, but here I have studied to speak with clear pronunciation. I've learned to understand a lot of different English accents and that's helped me to listen and speak better."
Teerada praises the support provided to students at Ara. "The teachers take care of every student and there's lots of learning equipment available."
As well as learning English, Teerada has enjoyed the social aspects of student life including clubs and making new friends. "We go to movies and eat out and I try things here that I've never done before. It makes me enjoy speaking English."