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Thai student stresses benefits of learning Welsh

4 August 2015

Superchai at the Eisteddfod
Supachai Chuenjitwongsa at the National Eisteddfod

The launch of the University's scheme to support students learning Welsh alongside their studies featured an inspirational student from Thailand who is now fluent in the language

Supachai Chuenjitwongsa, who has just completed a PhD in dental education, learned Welsh at the University's Welsh for Adults Centre.

He addressed the launch of Welsh for All in fluent Welsh as the scheme was launched by First Minister Carwyn Jones at the University's pavilion at the Eisteddfod.

Supachai said he started learning Welsh in 2011 because he wanted to be able to say the Welsh words on street signs but soon realised there were so many other benefits.

"It's about understanding local culture, local language. It also helped me a lot to integrate into the local community," said Supachai.

"I made friends through the course. I know more people and I understand what happens in Wales in terms of the history and why people think or do something in a particular way.

"It helped me understand that Wales is a separate country."

His Welsh is now so good that he was invited to speak at the launch of Welsh for All in front of the First Minister.

It was the first time he had addressed a public audience in Welsh but he said he enjoyed the experience.

"I was very nervous but I was very proud not only for myself and the language but I think the most successful thing I've done is given lots of messages about why learning Welsh is important," he said.

Supachai has a very clear message to people thinking of learning Welsh, whether they are students at the University or anybody else.

"I believe that anybody can learn Welsh and enjoy doing it. Just go for it!" he said.