Vietnamese student compares U.S. to home

March 21, 2016 Features, It's a small world Print Print
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+++smallworld(HT) VY HO: International student now majors in biotechnology at OCCC. Hung Tran/Pioneer

High educational aspirations and reuniting with her family are the two largest contributing factors that led Vy Ho to America.

“Right now, all of my family members are living together in Oklahoma, my parents and two of my older sisters,” said the biotechnology major.

As many other international  students do, she also faced a lot of problems when she first came to America. There are a lot of things that are completely different between the two countries, she said.

Ho said one of the biggest problems is communication. “Nobody understood what I say,” she commented.

In Vietnam, students do not have many chances to interact and speak with America people. Therefore, most students only focus on learning English vocabulary, reading, and grammar.

“I had to spend a lot of time talking with [American] people and practicing in pronunciation,” Ho said.

Dissimilarity in culture between her country and America also made her feel really uncomfortable.

“The way people here and Vietnamese celebrate holiday is totally different,” she said. “For example, people here celebrate New Year based on western calendar, but in Vietnam, they use both calendar systems.

“However, Lunar New Year is much more important in my country, and it usually lasts around a week.”

In addition, the way students are being taught at schools in America is also unusual compared to what she was taught in Vietnam.

“In my country, students mainly study more about concepts and definitions in schools, but in American, students are required to perform a lot of practices in lab and have many chances to go on field trips in order to learn firsthand experiences.”

One thing she likes the most in Oklahoma is the people.

“Oklahoma folks are so friendly and nice. I could see that through the way they help each others,” she said.

Ho said “The weather here always drives me crazy because it  frequently changes and so unpredictable.”

Talking about choosing to study in OCCC, she said the college is a good choice for any beginners. The tuition here is cheap and OCCC offers many small classes compared to other universities.

“It helps me have more attention from the professor in class, so I can get more support and discussion with them,” Ho said. “OCCC professors are so friendly, helpful, and care about their students.”

She said she is studying biotechnology at OCCC.

“I started studying this subject in high school and getting interested in it,” Ho said. “In my major I have to do many work in lad and experiments with cells almost every single day.

“One of my current classes right now is studying about cell culture and I am raising some Chinese hamster cells. This class is not a hard class, but students need to be careful in reading and following exactly instructions when doing experiment because one wrong step might destroy the whole process.”

Whenever she thinks of Vietnam, food and friends are two things that immediately come to her mind first, she said.

“Although there are many Vietnamese foods in Oklahoma, they taste very different because they were all Americanized.”

Ho said she still keeps in touch with many Vietnamese friends and she is really planning to go back and meet them next year.

“One thing which makes me feel sad is that I did not have a chance to say goodbye to all of them because at this time I left, I was late for the enrollment time in college, so I had to come here in hurry.”

She said she was really shocked when first setting foot in Oklahoma.

“I used to view America though movies. I always imagined America is a country with many skyscrapers, crowded places, and streets which are always filled by many people.”

However, she said Oklahoma is really good for her because it provides students an appropriate environment to help her focus on learning.

Vietnam Flag Vietnam_____

Capital: Hanoi
Population:
89.71 million (2013)
GDP: 1,910.51 USD (2013)
Size: 127,881 mi²
Official Language: Vietnamese
Currency: Vietnamese dong
Government: Communist
Religion: Buddhism
Details: Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities.
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