Huynh Vinh Hoa, School of Engineering

Study Abroad in Japan ; Through the Eyes of a Vietnamese Student
Huynh Vinh Hoa, Material Science Departmen

Vinh Hoa 1 Since I was a high school student I have enjoyed studying chemistry and I have long admired Japan for the numerous contributions in the fields of economics and science. It was for these reasons that I decided I wanted to study chemistry in Japan. In April of 2009, I came to Japan to begin my life as a student at a foreign language school in Kyoto. The first few days after arriving in Japan were very challenging. At that time, my Japanese was not very good, so it was very difficult for me to communicate. However, everyone around me realized that I was a foreigner and they began communicating with me in simple Japanese. They used easy words and talked slowly to convey their messages to me. As a result, my Japanese began to improve everyday. I realized that Japanese people were very kind and friendly to foreigners. My first year was filled with many memories that I will never forget.
Vinh Hoa 2 After graduating from the Japanese language course, I took the entrance exam for the University of Shiga Prefecture and I passed! For me, this was one of the most wonderful accomplishments of my life. Now, I am a first-year student enrolled in the Material Science Department at the University of Shiga Prefecture.
I soon discovered that there were many educational differences between Japan and Vietnam. For example in Vietnam students study from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but in Japan students study from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. However, the biggest difference is that students in Japan are able to apply what they learn in the classroom by performing many experiments. Unfortunately, because Vietnam is a developing country, students there don't have many chances to apply the knowledge that they gained in the classroom.
Vinh Hoa 3 Overall, I have had a good impression of Japan and especially the University of Shiga Prefecture. From the moment I arrived on campus, I have had a positive image of the school. The campus is large, clean, and is surrounded by beautiful nature. The Pencil Tower, which is the symbol of the school, soars above the campus and is a welcome sight on my walk to and from school. With the modern equipment, I think that the University of Shiga Prefecture is a great place to study science. More importantly the Japanese students are really friendly, helpful and kind. They always help their friends and especially the exchange students.
I know that I will face many challenges in the years to come so I will study very hard and try my best. After graduating, I would like to continue studying in the Master's course at USP. In the future, I want to become a chemist. Upon graduating, I want to contribute to the development of my country Vietnam and also of course, Japan.

(June, 2010)