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14/07/2017 - 09:07

American students experience Vietnamese culture

Coming to Hue to learn Vietnamese language and culture in summer, students from Pitzer College (USA) engaged with interesting and memorable experiences.

With a clever and quick-witted face, Nat Bentley, a Vietnamese-American student, spoke Vietnamese quite fluently, “Since participating in this program, I have been able to learn Vietnamese and got a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture. I enjoy visiting Thien Mu Pagoda, the Imperial Citadel and other beautiful sights in Hue, and I prefer staying with a Vietnamese family and going out with them to know more about Vietnam.” Although this was his first visit to Hue, he said, “I feel like I belong to this place.” That was the reason for his decision to spend 6 more weeks in Hue to learn more about the culture and gain enchanting experiences in Vietnam.

Dr. Michael Ballagh,Associate Vice President for international programs at Pitzer College, who led the Pitzer College student delegationto Hue, openly shared, “Whenever coming to Vietnam, I feel comfortable and pleasant like back at home. I love Hanoi, but I especially love Hue because it has changed very little over time, and I like that”.

Pitzer College students visiting Hue University Hall of Fame

Throughout this program, Pitzer students could explore a dynamic Vietnam, improve their Vietnamese speaking skill and gain insights into life and culture ofVietnam.

Within the program schedule, Pitzer students had a field trip to Hanoi Capital and Ha Long Bay to have a deeper understanding about the Northern part of Vietnam. "Hue is the best place to discover Vietnamese culture. More than 30 years ago, I met Assoc.Prof.Dr. Huynh Dinh Chien (Hue University Learning Resource Center). At that time, we talked about the intention to cooperate to exchange students and lecturers between Pitzer Collegeand Hue University. Two years ago, Pitzer College and Hue University signed a cooperation agreement, and recently (early June, 2017), President of Pitzer College - Prof. Melvin L.Oliver has paid a working visit to Hue University. He is delighted that the cooperation agreement on the Language and Culture Summer Program started in 2017 has been successfully implemented at Hue University," stated Dr. Michael Ballagh.

Pitzer College has cooperated with six countries in the world: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Nepal, South Africa and Botswana, and Vietnam is the seventh partner. "We chose Vietnam and chose to cooperate with Hue University because Hue has beautiful landscapes, fresh environment;universities arelocatedinside the city so that ittakes only 10 minutes to ride to auniversity, and more importantly,our students havethe best opportunity to stay with Hue families, learn Vietnamese and discover Vietnamese culture,"said Dr. Michael Ballagh.

Dr. Michael Ballagh said, “In the United States, there are many Vietnamese families who could speak but could not writein Vietnamese, and want to learn the Vietnamese language. Having worked in Vietnam for many years, I found that Vietnam has changed a lot. This is a peaceful and safe country for American students to study and explorethe culture. Hue University staffarevery great and have worked hard for the success of this cooperation program. "

Pitzer College would continue the cooperation with Hue University in exchanging lecturers and staff to develop staff capacity; organizing joint research programs in the fields of environment, climate change and other academic exchanges. Pitzer College will also provide scholarships for Hue University students to study at Pitzer College in the near future.

By Ngoc Ha