globeChang(e), November 28, 2018

Episode 08 – Nichanun (Nat) Puapattanakajorn, University of Pennsylvania – I Am the Tiger Mom to Myself


Were there only twelve students in your high school graduating class? What about representing your own country twice at the highest level of high school debate? These are only a few bits of what makes Nichanun (Nat) Puapattanakajorn‘s experience so captivating.

It goes without saying that she is highly accomplished, having won awards for both her academics and debate skills. Nat says the pressure to perform is mostly from herself. “I’m my own tiger mom,” she says. Yet this spirit is what drives her to perform better, to create a reputation that Thailand’s future debaters can look up to, and put her country on the global stage.

At the Anglo Singapore International School,  she has had the unique experience of learning economics one-on-one with her teacher. There, she decided that this small-school learning style suited her best. She also knew that she didn’t want to devote all her time to a single subject, but instead to explore knowledge across many domains. Both these factors guided her university search towards the US’s liberal arts colleges.

Now, at the University of Pennsylvania, Nat has been able to explore myriad opportunities and extracurriculars, more than she had ever seen. She has signed up for Penn’s elective class “Desire and Demand”, where students eat food and write essays about it. She’s started to try weird things she never thought were possible, and saw many others do the same. Her college journey is just beginning…

Guest: Nichanun (Nat) Puapattanakajorn (

Host: Michael Waitze (

Produced by UniGlo ( in collaboration with Next Step Connections (

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