From Thailand to Simmons: A Chat with Paris Akrapa '19

March 22, 2017

Akrapa Seetalaratsamee

Paris filled us in on life as an international student!

What are you studying at Simmons?

My major is nursing.

What made you choose Simmons?

Simmons answered all my wishes. I wanted to go to a college that would give me full attention in class. Simmons has a small student-faculty ratio where the professors can actually get to know me. I chose a women-centered college after realizing the impact of gender biases on students’ learning behaviors. I want to be able to grow confidently, and I believe that Simmons will help me do that. There are also world famous hospitals within walking distance, so it's the perfect opportunity for nursing students like me.  

What was the biggest surprise you've encountered in the U.S.?

I knew that the U.S. was a very diverse country, but I was surprised by the different types of diversity. There are so many races, religions and languages. I've met awesome people from almost every continent.

What has it been like adjusting to life in the U.S.? 

Dealing with homesickness for the first time is difficult. It's hard to not be able to call for advice from my parents when I want — and I feel a little bit of insecurity in my life. Language barriers are not my biggest issue, but it's a struggle trying to hold conversations sometimes.

What organizations are you involved in at Simmons?

I'm the co-president of Circle K International (CKI), which promotes service, leadership and fellowship. 

What's your advice for other students who are considering coming to the U.S. for school?

Coming to the U.S. is not only about studying or strengthening language skills — it's also a chance to discover new interests and challenge your beliefs. If you're interested in studying abroad, don’t be hesitant. College is a big deal, do a lot of research before making a decision. I would recommend you visit your intended college to see if it's the best fit for you.

How is Simmons helping prepare you for your future?

Simmons requires students to take classes from many disciplines. I'm not only experiencing a strong academic focus in my science classes, but also in language classes. With challenging classes, the Simmons faculty and staff make sure that I stay engaged and understand what's going on. The wide ranges of knowledge prepares me for the rising data driven generations and gives me confidence to face difficulties in my nursing career.

What's your Simmons moment?

Family is an important part of my life. The Simmons community has fulfilled my need for family, which many international students lack being so far from home. I count a lot of my friends as parts of my family because they care about me. Since they know I'm an international student, students and their families have welcomed me into their homes during winter break to celebrate the holidays.