Hoa Sen University – HSU

HSU student tells stories of celebrating the new year for the first time in the “Western Sky” during an exchange semester in France

Truong Anh Tu – HSU International Business student is currently in an exchange semester in France. Tu is participating in exchange studies at IDRAC Business School – a private business school in the TOP 9 leading business schools in France.

Celebrating the New Year for the first time in a distant country

After 4 months of studying in France, HSU student has countless memorable memories. This was also the first time Tu celebrates New Year and the upcoming Lunar New Year in a distant country.

“This is the first year celebrating New Year in the city of Lyon, France, the emotions on New Year’s Eve are difficult to put into words. I realize the big difference between French culture and Vietnamese culture. France’s major supermarket chains all close before 12 noon. Everyone went home to enjoy New Year’s Eve with their families. There is no countdown, no fireworks and no bustling atmosphere like in Vietnam. I’m really homesick and want to have a meal with my family.”

Truong Anh Tu on Christmas Eve on a deserted street in Lyon.

Sharing about his experiences studying and exchanging, Tu said, the class had many representatives from countries such as China, Taiwan, India, Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Spain,… The lecturers at the school were also extremely enthusiastic when guiding and teaching students. The fact that the multinational class had helped Tu learn more about the cultures and languages of other countries.

One of Tu’s classes had many students from many different countries.

“Our learning environment was very good, the teachers always supported us a lot and were willing to come down to explain to us so we can better understand the lesson. Each subject we had a different group to work with, but the teachers wanted us to create groups with many different countries, so everyone were very excited because they were about to exchange studies with many ways of learning and learn more about the cultures of other countries,” Tu shared.

Becoming more mature thanks to the study exchange in France

However, studying in a distant country is not easy. To study and work well, Tu had to get used to the living environment, culture and people here. Language and cultural differences also caused many barriers, especially when he was alone in France. Tu also had to arrange his study and work schedule to earn some more income and enjoyable experiences.

Anh Tu participated in the Asian cultural fair (salon d’asie). Tu was the representative of the Vietnamese Student Association in France to welcome Mr. Dinh Toan Thang – Vietnamese Ambassador to France.

Talking about the challenges during his 4 months in France, Tu shared: “There were days when we had class from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. with only a 1-hour lunch break. I was quite surprised because in France people hardly use English to communicate with us. It’s really hard to find someone who can speak English in France but French people are very nice. At train stations, when I didn’t know some information and asked someone a question, they were always ready to answer and even take me where I needed to go. Instead of finding someone who could speak English, I chose to learn French. There’s nothing easier than learning a language by living in that country.”

Anh Tu at the event to welcome students for the new school year at IDRAC

Also from the challenges of studying and living in another country, Truong Anh Tu has grown more mature day by day. 4 months have passed, Tu has learned a lot of new things about the culture, how to work and has made many new friends in France. He earned his own money by selling ice cream at fairs and working as a driver to pick up friends to the airport. Not only studying, Tu also actively participates in school activities and the Vietnamese Student Association in France such as: Supporting Vietnamese students who have just come to France, participating in artistic activities at the French learning center.

Truong Anh Tu during a part-time job in Belgium.

“Everything I experienced in France gave me knowledge and experience. I believe that the experiences I have will help me a lot in my future work. Currently, I have learned the mindset when dealing with the assignments of many friends in many different countries. Those are precious things that I will never forget!”

The exchange semester is probably one of the unforgettable memories for students, allowing them to study and experience themselves in an international environment in another country, explore the culture, people, and progressive working environment outside.That is the “privilege” that HSU students receive when participating in the International Student Exchange Program and once again affirms the “International Standard” learning environment at HSU. The school always creates conditions for students to have rich experiences, beyond their limits.

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