Monday, April 4, 2016

My Feelings and Impressions: From Vietnam to Syracuse

I had never been out of Vietnam before, and it is a tropical country. Well, I was not used to the cold weather. I wore 2 jackets and 3 socks but I was still cold. During the night, I couldn’t sleep because I was so cold. I walked and walked and walked to keep warm. Although there were some challenges during my journey, I tried to overcome them and I also knew how to deal with my difficulties. Having difficulties, I recognized I grew up and stronger. I think that this is a valuable lesson in my life. When I told my problem to my friend in Vietnam, she told me that she also learned a valuable experience from me. 
There were some impressions when I arrived in Syracuse:
The first impression when I came here is that I saw many trees without leaves. They are different from the trees in Vietnam.  

The trees without leaves

The second impression is that I saw the traffic lights that are also different from the traffic lights in Vietnam.

The traffic lights in Utica
The next impression happened the second day I was here. When I went out, I just wore a jacket, a pair of socks, and no hat, no gloves. I thought I was Ok with my clothes when I went out, but I couldn’t walk because of the cold weather. At that time, I think I would die because I was going to be frozen in such cold weather. I think that it is a valuable lesson to me. I think I can’t forget it in my life and I will share my experience with everyone when I come back to Vietnam. After that, when I went out, I often wore 6 layers, a hat, 3 socks, and gloves. Now I think I have a nickname “Nhe 6 layers.” Ok, everyone can call me by this nickname. Although the weather was cold, I felt warm because everyone was nice to me.
Another impression was that when I visited a Spanish class, I saw that the students didn’t wear uniforms, and they also didn’t greet the teacher when the teacher came into or left the class. They also didn’t take off their hats when they came to the class. Besides that, when they answered the teacher’s questions, they didn’t stand up, but they just sat at the seat and answered the questions. This doesn’t happen in Vietnam.
Spanish class

I will always remember this day because I had a chance to participate in an American’s birthday party. I felt interested and happy and the party was fun. Everyone was very friendly. I liked them a lot. I learned something new when I participated in this party. The first one is that the gifts are opened in front of the givers and everyone in the birthday party had to serve themselves. However, in Vietnam, people will not open gifts in front of the givers. If you do that, you are considered to be rude. In addition, the hosts have to serve the food for the guests. 
American birthday party

Last Sunday I went to Aiko’s house on Easter Sunday with her family. I tried many dishes that I had never tried in Vietnam. I also made friends with her three her daughters. They are so cute, so nice, and easy-going. I thanked her family because everyone made me feel warm and happy. There, I learned how to celebrate an Easter holiday in the USA. Frankly, I have never had a chance to participate in it, so I felt excited and the experience was meaningful.
Thus far, these are my new experiences that will be very useful for me in my teaching culture to my students.


Another thing I saw that Americans always say “thank you.” People say “thank you” to the stranger who holds the door open, to the cashier at the snack bar, or in the supermarket or in the coffee shop. Husband says “thank you” to his wife and his sons or his daughters several times a day for various things: closing the door, asking him if he wants to eat something or do something with them and vice versa. In brief, Americans say “thank you” for everything. In the U.S., people have offered thanks for coming to their homes or parties. In contrast, in Vietnam, people rarely thank their friends or classmates. People have never thanked their parents, their husband or wife for anything. Vietnamese people just say “thank you” to the strangers who help them to do something or sometimes younger people say “thank you” to elder people when they take something from the elder people. I also shared this issue with Alison’s students in her class.


  1. I say "thank you" to everyone, at home, at the coffee shops or restaurants to the waiters or waitresses when they serve drinks or food, at the market even... thanks to the experience of my visit at MVCC

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