For recent British International School, Phuket graduates Natacha Kitchakorn and Charlotte Trudghill, it is one that will be done with trepidation, but also a good deal of confidence.
Asking how she felt to be back at school for our interview, having finished all of her exams and last class months ago, Natacha Kitchakorn says she had in fact been coming back regularly to help out.
“It very much feels like home,” Natacha says. As it should – she’s been attending classes at BISP for 13 years. “It’s going to be hard to say goodbye,” she admits.
Similarly when Charlotte turns up a little while later, she’s wearing the school skirt, “I didn’t know what to wear really. I suppose the school is still very much like our safety net,” she says.
The highly decorated and talented young women share other similarities – they are both of dual heritage, have received extra curricular International Baccalaureate awards (Creative Action Service CAS and Theory of Knowledge award, respectively) and are planning on flying half way around the world to continue their education.
“I’m waiting on my results to find out where I will be going, but I’m hoping to go to study Architecture at Newcastle University in the UK,” says Natacha.
“I went to the UK when I was little, but was way to young to really remember. One of the reasons that I want to go to the UK is because all of my uncles studied in there.”
Natacha adds that it was also for family reasons that she chose her degree subject.
“When I was a girl I always saw my dad with plans and blueprints around the office, and became interested and excited back then I suppose. After school I became interested in environmental design.”
Her fellow classmate Charlotte is also planning on going to the UK to study. As she has sporadically lived in the country, for her it will ‘almost’ be like returning home and she’s looking forward to it.
“We both grew up here in Thailand. But for me personally I think it will be nice to go back to a country where I am half from – maybe I’ll learn to appreciate Thailand more.”
If all goes according to plan, Charlotte will be studying Development Studies and South-East Asian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
“My plan is to return to Asia though and work on building the small economies. My ultimate aim is to work with the United Nations.”
Meanwhile Natacha’s ultimate plan is to utilise her training and degree for environmental design in order to make more ‘sustainable living’. “Perhaps we can work together,” jokes Charlotte.
Despite the obvious changes of weather and food, the young women are not necessarily apprehensive about the potential culture shock they face living in a ‘new’ country.
“Being students at BIS has prepared us,” says Charlotte.
“We’ve grown up in an international environment, so we are used to different cultures and people. This has certainly made us more confident.”