The New Londoners

Panchita Sarathamwinit in grey with her best friend, Felicia Ng.

“After graduating I want to live and work here in London,” says current student Panchita Sarathamwinit from Thailand. “I’d be happy anywhere in the UK—the financial sector is in London though so it would be nice to get a job here. My parents are okay with it. They know I can always return to Thailand.”

Panchita lives with flatmate Felicia Ng from Singapore. They are both in their second year of their degree in Investment and Financial Risk Management. “We’d been classmates for a year before we decided to be flatmates,” explains Panchita.

“I chose to come here and enrol on this course myself,” she continues. “My parents always let me decide everything myself. I did all the research as well and I was just like, ‘So… are you okay with this?’”

“For the foundation, I actually did all my research too,” laughs Felicia, “my parents just paid for it. I was like ‘I’m going, so are you supporting me or not?’”

Felicia thinks she will return to Singapore after university. “My family is very traditional and my dad wants me to go back,” she explains. “I might do so after I finish my studies and find a job over there.”

“I always tell my friends I feel at home here in London,” says Panchita. “I like this city. I like the lifestyle and everything. And there’s so much to explore so you’ll never get bored of it.”

“I am starting to get bored of it,” says Felicia. “I do miss home from time to time—I miss the food, the culture—just about everything. I’m very family orientated and my family often send me texts saying things like ‘I miss you’ and ‘why do you have to be so far away?’ For the moment I want to go home. But something might change in a year or two.”

Both Felicia and Panchita have had their families visit them in the UK. “This June my whole family came over and then we spent 20 days touring around the UK,” continues Felicia. “We went to Isle of Skye and then back down to London. All my family were complaining about the amount of walking we were doing. But it was a very memorable trip.”

Also from Singapore are the Khalaf & Namy Family. From Thailand are the Gentil Family