Vietnamese students sharing experiences in UK
  • | | March 12, 2010 12:03 PM

The United Kingdom (UK) has become a sought-after destination for Vietnamese students to study. DTiNews held an interview to gain insights about the experience with some students who previously studied there and are currently studying there now.

* Dao Thu Huong, studying for a Masters of Science (M.Sc.) in Investment at the University of Birmingham and will graduate this year:

Huong delivering a presentation at University of Birmingham.
Thao (middle) with friends at University of Bristol.

The course modules are as useful, practical and interesting as I expected. Each member in my class has different working experience from economics, finance, accounting to engineering that contributes to the diversification of the class. This course provides me chance to work in group with classmates who come from different countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, India or Nigeria. This is quite challenging but also exciting when I can learn various accents and working habits. I am still managing with my course in the second semester that contains advanced subjects in terms of investments.

There are a lot of new and strange things when you study abroad, especially to those who experience this for the first time. I am luckier as this is not my first time but enthusiastic feelings are still the same. Study abroad means that I have to live overseas independently. Time and spending management is important as I have made up my own budget for my time in UK and my course is rather hard with at least 5 lectures and classes per week. I do realise how fast the life pace is. What is more joyful, even though I am busy with my study, I still can find myself travel to other cities in UK like Oxford, Glasgow or Edingburgh at weekends or vacation time. Convenient means of transportation, hospitality of residents and beautiful sightseeing persuade me to spend more time on travel and capture the beauty of UK.

* Ha Thi Phuong Thao, graduated with excellent marks. She holds a M.Sc. in Finance & Investment at the University of Bristol in the school year of 2008 – 2009:

The UK is one of leading countries in economics and education in the world. It’s a proven reason that more and more students are choosing the UK to live and study. I felt over-whelmed and felt the effects of culture-shock when I arrived. After a few days of living as a “fish out of water”, I started feeling how difficult my life was going to be without family and friends when living abroad. I came up with an idea to have a new life by making friends with students living in my building. Beyond my expectations, they were very kind “neighbours”. They helped me a lot and gradually I gained my confidence back. I had resolved the issue of accommodation, but challenges still lied ahead. One of them was studying. I think the language barrier is the biggest problem for foreign students like me. I used a recorder to tape lectures then listened to them over and over at home to capture what my teachers were saying in classes. If I couldn't understand something, I went to the library to find more information in the afternoon or asked my teachers in the next lesson. After a semester, I got used to the way of studying. After one year, I obtained a M.Sc. degree in Finance & Investment in addition to a lot of useful lessons for life.

* Dang Anh Hao,
studied at St. Andrew University and graduated in 2009 with excellent marks. He holds a M.Sc. in Banking Finance:

St. Andrew's University is a perfect learning environment for anyone who is really interested in studying and researching. First of all, you have a chance to study in a reputable university which has a history of hundreds of years. Secondly, the school’s requirements are very high. You need to achieve 6.5 or 7.0 scores on IELTS depending on what major you choose. You have to gain 13.5 out of 20 scores if you want to pass examinations of semi-terms or final terms. St Andrews has extremely high standards. You need to make every effort in order not to waste your money and time. Thanks to the strict requirements, the quality of education is excellent. You can learn many things here including studying skills, independent thought ability, capacity of working in group and more. You will be impressed with the reference information sources at the school. There's no need to worry about the facilities of the school. It has 3 libraries in total located near to each other in order to meet all your studying demands. Here, in this school, you can borrow some books for 1 year and there are some books which can be renewed 20 times. In addition, students here can have library cards from neighbouring schools like Dundee, Abertay, etc.

One disadvantage of studying at St. Andrew's is that it’s not convenient for you to travel because St. Andrew's is located far away from other cities. There is only one small bus station here serving some routes to cities like Dundee (it takes about 45 minutes), Edinburgh (it takes about 2 1/2 hours), and Glasgow (it takes about 3 hours). Thus, if you want to visit other cities, you have to go to one of these 3 cities first, then from there you can go to other places. Moreover, it’s not so easy to go shopping, especially for food, because there are only 3 supermarkets in the town. If you want to cook Vietnamese food, you have to wait until the weekend when you have enough time to go to a Chinese market in Dundee to buy things like fish sauce or Knorr seasoning. One more thing is accommodation. The home stay rental price here is quite expensive. In my opinion, you should register a room in the school’s campus to make your life and studies easier.

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