Studying abroad is one of my goals while enrolled in the Advanced Education Program at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. After a couple of months, a news came out that I have been named as one of the two students who will come to the Philippines for a short-term study program. I did not hesitate to take this opportunity since I know that the Philippines is a perfect environment to practice English. All I can say is that it was too unbelievable. And that feeling was still survived until I arrived at the capital of the Philippines-Manila.
Student’s blog: Come and Discover the Inner Beauty of the Philippines
7th of June at 9:00pm on the car to Noi Bai-the international airport, the feeling was very normal. I was thinking like "It’s ok, I will come back after a few minutes", Until we reached in the boarding gate where we had felt the environment that there was “no Vietnamese”, all of the people hanging around us were mainly Filipinos and Japanese. However, it was luck for us to see Ma'am Heidi, Director of the International Affairs of LSPU waiting for us at the airport lobby. Before we went to Laguna Province, we had a great lunch at Jollibee-a popular fast food outlet in the Philippines. After a couple of hours, she then brought us to the hostel. She also gave me my first peso (Philippine Currency), a small gift for her to be remembered. Ma’am Heidi had left me a very nice impression about the people here.
Studying abroad is an experience of a lifetime - both in terms of education and the kind of exposure that you get there. But in the excitement (or anxiety) of going abroad, some students end up taking a lot of things for granted. And getting carried away in a wave of novelty in a new country is definitely not the safest way to go about things. It took about 3 hours, until we reached the school where we will stay for six months-Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU), located in the town center of Siniloan in the Province of Laguna. It was a great place where is always crowded with vehicles and people. The most impressive to me about this school is the environment. I really love the trees along the way.
We stayed at Camille’s house on our first day (Filipino classmate in the Advanced Program). She enthusiastically invited us to her home for lunch, which was the first Filipino dish I have ever tried. The food here is almost like Vietnamese food, however, they eat with a spoon and fork instead of chopsticks. The next day, we started the enrollment procedure with the help of Angelica, admission here was a little bit more complicated than in Vietnam, it took us a week to finish the procedure.
There were lots of presentations including dances, traditional songs and other activities with regards to the Independence Day Celebration. I was really impressed by the folk dance here, a little light, but also very strong.
I also had the chance to witness the Commemoration of the Independence Day of the Philippines (June 12, 2012). All of the people went to the town plaza to celebrate this public holiday instead of going to work or school. We took part in this celebration with Shekinah and her younger brother.
With this, I would like thank to our program for giving us this opportunity to experience new things, to meet my best friends and their family and for their enthusiastic help in our early days in this country. This will be one of the most precious memories in my life.
Nguyen Thi Lan Phuong