Meet an INTO Marshall Student: Davit Pornpongapisith

Jared Casto, Reporter

Davit Pornpongapisith is an INTO student from Thailand who has been at Marshall for a year and a half. He is currently in the fourth semester of a graduate program. Before he came to America, Pornpongapisith went to Rangsit University in Thailand to study for his degree in Information Systems. So far, he has found that the most difficult thing to adapt to is the cold weather compared to the typical warm weather in Thailand. After graduating, Pornpongapisith plans on moving to a bigger state in order to pursue a career in database specialties.


Q: How long have you lived in America?

A: I think almost one and a half years already.

Q: How do you think you have adapted to America so far?

A: It depends. The weather here is quite different from my hometown. Winter in Thailand is like 70 degrees and summer is like 110… The food could take a little time to adjust yourself to. American food is made mostly of cheese or something. [Americans] also eat a lot of potatoes. They don’t eat rice as much as Asians do.
Q: How do you think Marshall compares to the university you attended in Thailand?

A: Basically, the textbooks are the same, just in Thai or in English. The professors style could be really different because in Asian countries, professors are quite authoritarian… But here, they’re not that bad.

Q: What do you think is the biggest difference in general from your home?

A: Here, you guys have states and each state has their own capital. But in my country, for the whole country, we have only one capital city. It’s called Bangkok. And our advanced technology and everything is there. But here’s it’s different because, for example, there is almost no transportation in West Virginia. In my country, it’s exactly like New York. Like sky trains, subways and airport links. You don’t really have to ask your friend to pick you up all the time.

Q: How and why did you choose to come to Marshall?

A: I was looking for a university located in a tranquil place. Quiet, you know. And I didn’t want such cold weather or so many Asians, like in Utah. I wanted to make friends with Americans.

Q: What are your plans after you graduate?

A: To move to a bigger state to find a job in database specialties, database management or whatever.

Q: How do you keep in touch with your family in Thailand?

A: Among Asians we have this really popular chatting program called LINE. You can do video calls or just call or whatever. It’s really convenient.

Q: What have you liked best about America so far?

A: You have a really popular game called football. In my country, there’s like Thai Boxing, but it’s not really popular today. I mean, not among Thai people… But football games, you do it really uniquely. Even in my country, it’s popular to Native Thai people.

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A: Swimming, reading, watching animation, going to bars sometimes, chatting with people, and traveling. I’ve traveled to Washington, DC, Cincinnati, North Carolina. It depends on where my friends are going. This Friday, for Thanksgiving, I’m going to Washington, DC, and I will stay with my American friend for a few days and come back.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like people at Marshall University to know about you?
A: Sometimes, when I talk to an American who has never had an Asian friend before, and I say “What reminds you of Asians?” and they say maybe “I don’t know. Kung Fu?” I don’t know anything about Kung Fu. I’m not trying to generalize, but when you talk about Asians, it could mean ten different countries. There are many Asians, and we have different cultures and different things.