Kingkarn’s connection to Korea first began in high school. She had some Korean friends who took weekend Korean classes in Thailand. She became acquainted with their Korean teacher, who suggested that Kingkarn go to Korea.
When Kingkarn arrived in Korea, she started to take lessons to learn Korean. It took her some time before she could sign up for classes lectured in Korean at Ewha. At first, she only took classes that were taught in English.
Kingkarn studied politics for a year at Ewha as a scholarship student, supported by the Office of International Affairs. Before she came to Ewha, however, she attended and graduated medical school in Thailand. Afterwards, she worked in the medicinal field for a year and a half before realizing that the work did not fit her.
“In Thailand there are fewer job opportunities for women than for men in the field of politics,” Kingkarn said, “My parents thought that majoring in politics couldn’t do much for a girl’s career. They persuaded me to study medicine, a subject that provides an almost absolute guarantee for a stable job. So I majored in medicine, but in the end I realized that it didn’t fit me. When I came to Korea, I decided that I would study politics after all.”
Kingkarn found politics very interesting and engrossed herself in her studies. However, when it came to applying for jobs she gave up due to high requirements, both in Thailand and Korea. Instead, she worked as an intern at Samsung Life and applied for a regular position. She could have returned to Thailand right after her graduation in February, but she decided to stay for a bit longer waiting for the result, which was due in March. The waiting turned out to be in vain, however, for her application was rejected.
“Initially I was severely disappointed, but now I think I am better off.” Kingkarn said. “Samsung Life deals with insurance, and the insurance market in Thailand is quite small.”
When Kingkarn failed to secure a regular position at Samsung Life she considered returning to Thailand, but something held her back.
“I wanted to have some experience working abroad,” she said. “My friend told me that SK Communications was recruiting a Thai member to work in the department that targets Thai market, so I applied and got the job.”
Kingkarn’s current work at SK Communications involves translating Thai information into Korean. She has been working there since April and have been very satisfied.
“Of course, being a student is a lot better,” Kingkarn said. “You have more freedom and less responsibility. My job is not bad. I work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and my company isn’t the sort to make people work overnight or doesn’t allow its employees to leave earlier than their superiors. ”
Kingkarn says that she has no plan to stay in Korea permanently, but she will certainly stay for at least several months, building up her work experience.
“The contract at SK Communications is renewed every six months, which means I have about five months until the end of my first contract,” she said.
Finally, Kingkarn encouraged foreign students in Ewha to enjoy their time as a student.
“Working is great, but I think being a student is better,” she said. “Enjoy the freedom while you can.”