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Name: Oskar Hardin
Age: 27
Nationality: Swedish
Courses: Intensive - Beginner Level 1 to Intermediate Level 2

>> Why do you want to learn Thai?
It all started when I visited Thailand in 2011 and realized that if I'm going to return to Thailand I would like to stay there for a long time. I pondered on my options and ended up with studying Thai as my best bet for getting a good start in the country.

>> If you look back on the first weeks of your course and the person you were back then and compare it with the person you are now – in what ways have you changed?
It's like comparing day and night. The person I was when I started is so different from the person I am now, at graduation. I have especially changed in the way I react to things, now I'm much calmer. I try to solve problems as they arise and not worry about things that might never happen. I have also lost 15 kilos which is quite a feat! 

>> What has been your best experience during your time on Lanta?
To learn Thai, to participate in three professional Muay Thai (Thai boxing) fights, and to discover parts of myself that I barely believed existed.

>> And your worst?
A few people that I haven't liked (but that would happen anywhere in the world), and a lot of the things that I did in the beginning of the year. I would really like to erase those events from history.

>> What do you think about LILS?
As LILS has been able to convert an analytical university student into a creative person in the classroom, I'm very positive to the school itself. The only negative thing has been some cultural misunderstandings with my teachers but I suppose I have to accept that.

>> Why did you get a tattoo of your graduation date on your arm?
I chose to get a tattoo of my graduation date together with Hanuman, the Hindu ape-like deity, because the year that I have spent at LILS has redirected my life 180 degrees compared to the “security” I had in Sweden. Even though I really miss my parents and my few close friends this year has taught me how to live and deal with obstacles and failures in a good way. This is so important to me that I chose to get a tattoo that symbolises this accomplishment in order to always remember it. 

>> What do you think about Koh Lanta and what would you recommend visitors to do here?
It's very laid back. I haven't been to such a calm and harmonious place in a long time. If you come here you have to try the Thai boxing training at William's Gym (Lanta Gym). And go for a long walk! You will discover so many things that you'll never see if you travel by car or tuk tuk.

>> What would you say to someone who is thinking of applying to LILS?
Are you insane?! No, I'm only joking. I would pat their back and praise their courage. Apply, and don't forget that you have taken a big step in the right direction. I would also add that living in Thailand is not the same thing as being on holiday here. When you study at LILS for a long period you will encounter another side of Thailand that you might not have seen on your charter trip to Phuket. And dive into it! Of course you can stick to your foreigner friends but seriously, how much will you gain from that? You are in Thailand in order to learn the language and culture, aren't you?

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