Kavalin was only five years old when she became aware of Japan. She read her favorite Doraemon comic book over and over again, driving her dreams for the future.
"The various tools that came out of Doraemon's pocket were not only useful, but also entertaining, making people happy and giving them a sense of a prosperous future. I also wanted to create something that would help people. One day when I went out with my mother and saw money coming out of a bank ATM, I went home and made my own toy ATM out of cardboard. It was at this point that manufacturing became my dream for the future. Growing up, I learned that comics aren't real, but what kept me passionate about making things was my admiration for Japan and Doraemon."
Kavalin studied at Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT), an independent higher education institution at Thammasat University in Thailand, where she excelled in social infrastructure engineering (civil engineering). During her third year of college, she participated in an internship sponsored by the Japan Business Federation. The top five students in each field from SIIT were selected to partake in a three-week internship at a Japanese company. Kavalin completed her internship with a leading architectural consulting firm.She says she still distinctly remembers the surprise she felt when she first arrived in Japan.
“I realized that Doraemon really is in Japan! If you take the bullet train, you can travel from Tokyo to Kyoto, or even to Aomori, wherever you want, in comfort. It's just as convenient as Doraemon’s Anywhere Door. I became interested in the well-maintained transportation network that supports Japan’s future development. At the time, highways were being built in Thailand, but there were many challenges in developing it on a national scale. During my three-week internship, I was able to inspect a number of sites where I frequently encountered the term, PPP (Public-Private Partnership). Public works projects at the time in Thailand were led by the government and highway construction was limited to connecting cities, making progress slow. I saw potential in PPP and thought it necessary for the further development of Thailand. Now, 20 years later, PPP is being adopted by public works in Thailand, and we are learning more from Japanese methods."
Back in Thailand, Kavalin explored the possibility of studying in Japan. I became more interested in Japan when I realized that Japanese society and culture had many similarities and differences with Thailand.
"If I had the opportunity to study in Japan, I could bring that knowledge back to my country and use it for the future development of Thailand. At that time, I envisaged myself as a school teacher in the future, but I was convinced that studying in Japan would put me on a different career path."