Lao and Cambodian students at Van Lang University

(VLU, 09/5/2021)- “I choose to study at Van Lang and hope that I can do everything in the best way and turn Van Lang into another hometown of mine,” said ChitAnong Bouasavanh, a student of Course 26, Fashion Design.

Currently, Van Lang University has 19 international students from Laos and Cambodia. For each international student, deciding to choose and send their dream at Van Lang University is both an opportunity and a challenge.

Most Lao students know about Van Lang University through the introduction of the Lao Embassy and this division makes them feel very lucky. The students gathered in the Lao Students’ Dormitory and spent their time studying Vietnamese before studying the specialize subject at Van Lang University. Therefore, even though they study in a new environment, they always consider each other like family, keep close relationships as well as support each other in life.

5On April 13rd, 2021, students from Laos and Cambodia celebrated Bunpimay at Van Lang University.

ChitAnong Bouasavanh, a student of Fashion Design, is a friendly guy and is called by his friends with the nickname Pep. He told: "Van Lang is not the first place I think of, but I am passionate about Fashion Design and like creativity, so Van Lang has kept me".

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Before studying at VLU, Pep studied another major and also spent time working as a model. He used to propose community projects about designing for natural products in the rural areas of Laos with export opportunities. Pep hopes that Lao students at Van Lang University will be the first generation to learn and instruct junior students in Laos and Cambodia in the next courses.

Soukhavong Souliphone, a student of Course 25 of the Faculty of Finance and Banking, is a charming MC in the Bunpimay Traditional New Year festival which held at Van Lang University in 2021. She said, “Deciding to study in Vietnam is my goal for a long time and my parents were all supportive. Partly I want to learn Vietnamese and have better job opportunities in the future. Although I have been studying Vietnamese since I was in Laos, when I studied with Vietnamese students at Van Lang University, my communication skills were improved a lot."

3Soukhavong Souliphone is a MC to share Lao culture with Vietnamese students.

The early days in Vietnam or the lecture halls of Van Lang University were unfamiliar to Lao students, but this place has similar features to their homeland: “Vietnamese and Lao people have a lot similarities, so we are also more comfortable”. Students shared that Van Lang University liked a miniature Vietnam with "crowded with many people, motorbikes, food stalls and delicious milk tea", and "only studying for one semester, the number of friends also increased rapidly.”

One of the difficulties that Lao students face in the process of living and studying at VLU is communication and teamwork. Currently, they can communicate Vietnamese basically, but “it is not enough for specialized content in the subject".

Therefore, they often encounter challenging situations. When presenting essays or projects, they always make mistakes in expressions, misunderstanding topics, or they sometimes cannot absorb knowledge in the class so they can only wait for the end of the lesson to ask the teacher or friends to explain again. However, they are not discouraged, they believe this thing as a motivation to push themselves to quickly adapt and integrate.

ChitAnong Bouasavanh said, “When we proposed to open a Vietnamese language class for Lao students, Van Lang University was very interested and supported. In addition, the lecturers have many teaching methods that I really like. They don't put a lot of emphasis on attendance, but always they know how to make me go to theirclass.”

Besides the enthusiastic support from VLU and the lecturers, the students from Laos and Cambodia also support each other. ChitAnong Bouasavanh is a member of the self-managed group. With good ability in language, he always actively studies the specialized information of other students to help his friends explain.

2Students perform traditional Lao Sutmay and Vietnamese Ao Dai in the Bunpimay traditional New Year at Van Lang University

In early April, because of the complicated developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, many Lao and Cambodian students could not return to their hometown to celebrate Tet with their families. For this reason, Van Lang University organized a cultural exchange program to celebrate Bunpimay traditional New Year for students from Laos and Cambodia. This is the first time Van Lang University organizes a big holiday for foreign students.

lao “Living in Vietnam for nearly 3 years, this is the first time I have celebrated Tet with Vietnamese students”, Thoummavong Oulayvanh shared

Talking about future plans, Thoummavong Oulayvanh, a student of Course 26 in Oriental Studies, shared: “I have many plans for the future, but firstly I want to study well. In the next 1-2 years, I hope to have the opportunity to study in Korea according to the training program of Van Lang University". There are some other people who want to complete the training program well to continue to study in hinger education. And ChitAnong Bouasavanh said, "I hope that my knowledge can bring value as well as have a positive impact on the community."

Mai Thy
Student of Faculty of Public Relations


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