Vietnamese Youths Share Unforgettable Memories in US
Duong Tan Khang - Junior, majoring in Finance and Business Data Analysis, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Learn to value differences
Because there are not many overseas people in Wisconsin, it is tough to find Asian food where I study. Here, only some people are familiar with Vietnam and winter is bitterly cold, with temperatures is about -30 degrees Celsius on certain days. For all of these reasons, I had a difficult time making new friends at first. Thanks to my active participation in extracurricular activities, I gradually made friends and adapted to the new life.
After moving to the US, I realized that each state is like a nation, with different laws, cultures, and modes of communication. I have already visited six states and intend to visit all 50 states in the US in the upcoming time.
I also learned to appreciate the differences among others around me. Everyone in the US has their opinions on everything. Just about music, each of my friends likes different genres; some prefer jazz, some prefer rock, while others prefer country music. I think it is the diversity that makes the US unique, thereby helping international students learn new things, gain new perspectives, and understand more about themselves.
Nguyen Mai Trang - student of the International Youth Media Summit 2023 program, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Spread the image of Vietnam among overseas students.
I have the opportunity to participate in a two-week study program in the US in the summer of 2023. On the program's performance night, I danced with the background music of the song "Que to” (My Hometown) while wearing a conical hat and ao dai. Everyone commented on how lovely the ao dai was and how wonderfully it complemented the colonial hat. According to my Canadian friend, ao dai and conical hats are "the perfect duo".
All of my overseas friends remembered the conical hat after that performance, and they stated that they wished to visit Vietnam as soon as possible. At the end of the program, I gave my friends coffee and conical hats. Everyone praised Vietnamese coffee for its aromatic and rich flavor.
Than Tran Bao Ngoc - student of the GlobalUGRAD international exchange program at the University of Maine
Appreciate the enthusiastic assistance from lecturers
As most university lecturers in the US are from various nations and speak English with varying intonation and pronunciation, I could not comprehend what some of the lectures and students here were saying when I initially arrived in the US.
The Art of Storytelling’s lecturer is Nigerian. I could not understand a single word of his lecture in the first class. At that time, I was concerned that I would receive 0.4 points after the semester. After that, I explained my problem to him, saying that it was because I was a new student and English is not my mother tongue, so I hoped that he would speak slower in the subsequent lessons. The lecturer enthusiastically agreed and he began to teach more slowly after that. He also told other students in the class to speak more slowly so that international students like me could hear. He frequently asked me privately at the end of each session if there was anything I didn't understand and provided me with class materials. Due to his support, I constantly give speeches in class and attempt to complete all exercises. As a result, I received a 4.0, which is the maximum score in the subject's final sum.
Another memory comes from the final exam. According to the program schedule, I must present in class and write essays to receive final grades. At the same time, the United Nations invited me to the ECOSOC Youth Forum 2023 in New York. I was disappointed since I thought I would not be attend the conference owing to my final exam schedule. However, my lecturers complimented me and agreed to let me finish my final exam online so that I could attend the event after hearing my expectations.
I'm delighted when studying in the US because the lecturers here always encourage international students, strive to build appropriate lessons for each student, and enthusiastically answer all questions from students.
Loc Thi Toan - student of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) program at Arizona State University
Cultivate the willingness to support and improve communities
The volunteering session at The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Center was the highlight of the program. Here, I had the opportunity to become a server, bringing complimentary meals to diners in need. Throughout the day, I received numerous thank-you notes from customers, which helped me understand the importance of free meals to those in difficult situations. There's a good chance that boosts my desire to undertake community service activities.
After five weeks in the US, I learned a crucial lesson, which is community assistance is more than just offering resources to those in need. It is also about assisting them in being a driving force for progress in their community.
Thanks to participating in the program, I can connect with friends who share my goals. Since then, I have learned about more opportunities to study abroad, thereby participating in many other meaningful activities and programs.
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