Lao students performing at the school closing ceremony. Photo: Thuy Hang
Before taking the entrance exam to the universities in Hue, Lao students spent a year studying Vietnamese at Hue College of Education.
“Being like a fish out of water in a foreign country, I sometimes feel sad. However, there are more than 400 Lao students studying in Hue and we live in the dormitory for Lao students, surrounded by fellow-countrymen, so I still feel warm as I am at home,” Thavone, a Lao student said.
During his 5 years in Vietnam, Thavone pursued his dream of becoming a doctor. However, because of his limited Vietnamese language ability, Thavone decided to study Environmental Science at Hue University of Sciences. For Thavone, this school was the second choice that brought him the best and happiest things when he lived and studied in Vietnam.
With his limited Vietnamese ability, Thavone initially had difficulty in learning and living. However, with the warm welcome of his classmates, Thavone and other Lao students in the same faculty always felt happy.
"Studying with Vietnamese friends, I always receive their sympathy and thorough guidance, and they help me improve my Vietnamese language," Thavone shared.
Not only in studying but in daily activities as well, his Vietnamese friends also helped Thavone and other Lao friends a lot. There have been many times when the group of Vietnam-Laos close friends went out together to save beautiful memories, and Thavone invited Vietnamese friends to the dormitory in South Vy Da to celebrate Laos’ New Year and other traditional ceremonies.
Beside friends, teachers were always a solid support. The dedication in teaching and care of the teachers made Lao students get rid of their initial strange feelings, and gradually show their abilities. Along with teaching specialized knowledge, teachers also shared and imparted experiences with international students about the required skills of a student such as public speaking, conveying information, adapting to work, etc. Those things helped Lao students feel confident and be well-equipped when graduating.
In addition, in the extracurricular activities of the faculty and school, there is also an indispensable image of the Laos students. From the movement activities such as "Green Sunday", team building to celebrate the new school year, football tournaments for students, etc., to the seminars and conferences related to the field, Lao students are all encourage to join. This helps them gain more experience and develop their own passion.
In addition to the advantages with the help of friends and teachers, the life of Lao students studying in Hue is still difficult. According to Ms. Laty Kamphoutthasack, Deputy Head of the Representative Board of Lao Students in Hue, in 2020, due to the influence of the COVID - 19 pandemic, many Lao students returning to Laos on the occasion of the Vietnamese traditional New Year cannot return to study after the pandemic broke out. Their online learning encountered problems due to the unstable internet connection.
Moreover, most of the students were not fluent in Vietnamese, especially in their majors, so they had difficulty in living with local residents as well as studying.
Overcoming the difficulties, the Laos students still try and make great efforts in studying and practicing, with the desire to return to their homeland to build the country. In this year 2020, many Lao students would graduate from universities in Hue.
On the day of receiving his degree certificate, Thavone happily said: “Each generation of Laos students has and will come to Hue, always living in the good affection that the Vietnamese people have for us. The diploma is a testament to the good relationship between Laos and Vietnam.
By Dang Trinh