Pun with host family's dog by St Paul's Collegiate School

Pandemic puts wedge between family

For international student Poramin (Pun) Paramaputi, making the most of his overseas schooling life has been his key to happiness over the last 18 months.

Pun is from Thailand and arrived in New Zealand just before the country went into Covid lockdown. He knew it might be a while before he could return home so was determined to immerse himself into the Kiwi culture. Pun’s host family run a day care facility for dogs, so when he’s not helping out at doggy day care, he is out bike riding in the neighbourhood.

During the school term, Pun lives in the Clark Boarding House and has enjoyed his newfound brothers within the community.

Reflecting on his time at Tihoi, Pun says, “I really loved the Tihoi programme, it taught me a lot about getting on with other people. I have a lot of Kiwi friends now and living onsite means I know more about the school and the people in the school environment.”

Pun hasn’t seen his family since January 2020.

“The situation in Thailand is always a concern. Fortunately, none of my family have been ill but I still worry about them,” says Pun.

When Pun is feeling home sick, he contacts his local support person who is also from Thailand. He enjoys sharing the familiarity of their culture together.

Pun has taken advantage of some activities New Zealand has to offer. These have included skiing, sky diving and canyon swings. He will remain at St Paul’s until the end of 2022 and will return to Thailand to study science at one of his local universities.