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Travel to Vietnam
  • 권순하 기자
  • 승인 2017.11.04 10:13
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Nguyen Minh Ha Thu (25, Business Administration) is very interested in Korean culture and recently came to Korea as an exchange student. Her home country is Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country known for the dish “pho”, Buddhist pagodas, and bustling cities. The Ajou Globe interviewed Nguyen and asked her some questions about school life, Vietnamese foods and the cultural difference she experienced in Korea.

Q. Why did you choose Korea, in particular Ajou University?

Nauyen(N): I thought Korea was an interesting country. Korea had a significant influence on the younger generation in Vietnam through K-pop and K-drama. Lots of Vietnamese trends and fashion styles are influenced by Korean. So I always wanted to visit Korea, at least once in my life. My university gave me an opportunity to become an exchange student, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn about and experience Korean culture. Through research, I read lots of posistive comments about Ajou so I chose to come here.

Q. What was your first impression of Korea when you arrived?

N: Before I came to Korea, I watched lot of K-drama and also did some basic research, so it wasn’t different from what I was expecting. One of the most impressive things was that there were so many beautiful girls in Korea. I believe that Korea make-up is kind of different -from what my Vietnamese friends and I use. For example, most Korean girls perfectly match their skin tone with their foundation and CC cream so that it naturally blends into their skin.

Q. What was the most difficult thing about adjusting to live in Ajou University?

N: Firstly, Ajou University is so big compared to university that I went to in Vietnam. In a small university, I was frequently able to communicate with friends and professors. However, Ajou University is so big that I think it may be difficult to get to know other people very well. Secondly, I believe professors are kind of strict on attendance. In my university in Vietnam, the professors only checked attendance for presentations, mid-terms and final exams. Since the students are adults, the university allows them to decide for themselves whether or not to attend class. In each course, the professor makes a point of telling students that it is very important to focus on the exam. If students miss lessons, it’s totally their fault. However, in Korea they check every student’s attendance very meticulously.

Q. What was the most surprising or interesting moment that you experienced in Korea?

N: First of all, pressing the traffic light button was interesting for me. In Vietnam, we also have buttons but they are for pedestrians who want to cross the street. In Korea, I learned that the buttons are for people who are visually impaired. I believe that Korean society is very considerate to help disabled people in this ways. Secondly, I was surprised that Korea has such a strict hierarchy, especially when it comes to age. Most Korean students highly respect their elders and seniors. The Vietnamese aren’t too strict when it comes to the age. We just say what we want to say regardless of age and we also do not respect older people that much.

Q. Is there anything that you want to say to Korean students or the school?

N: Since I have not started studying at Ajou University yet, it is difficult for me to say. However, I have made some Korean friends and they are so kind. Even though they do not know English well, they tried their best to give me the directions. Also, during the orientation, I met some Korean AGA members, who were very proactive and friendly, welcoming many international friends. Watching them, I felt relieved and realized that it might not be so difficult for me to adjust to this society. I am excited and happy to be studying in here at Ajou University. Thank you!!

권순하 기자  soonha0421@ajou.ac.kr

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