My teachers are so awe-inspiring
Reading this blog you will have seen a few entries from Dzung Nguyen, the Vietnamese student who won the Enterprise Ireland scholarship to come to study English at the UCC Language Centre. Here she talks a little more about her experience in Cork.
Hi Dzung, Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me. I really appreciate it.
Brendan: First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? What are you studying?
Dzung: Hi everyone, I am Dzung Nguyen from Vietnam, a beautiful S-shaped country. I am currently a student in faculty of Finance and Banking at Foreign Trade University of Hanoi, Vietnam.
Brendan: Tell me a little about how you won your scholarship to come to study English at UCC.
Dzung: Enterprise Ireland, Embassy of Ireland and Vietnam Education Online Magazine co-operated to organize a contest call for writing from Vietnamese students. I participated by creating a love story between two Vietnamese guys. After all, my story tells the readers about the Irish education, Irish people, Irish culture, and the love for Ireland from the international students like two characters in my writing. Luckily, I was chosen to be awarded the special prize (two week English course at UCC Language Center, Cork). It came to me as a enormous surprise that I have never imagined.
Brendan: Before coming to Ireland, what did you know about our country?
Dzung: Frankly, not too much. All I know is that shamrock – the symbol of Ireland, that Ireland is the country of the famous band, Westlife, that Ireland is a small country near United Kingdom…
Brendan: When you arrived what was the biggest surprise for you?
Dzung:The weather. Even though I was warned about the cold and rainy weather here,I got a bit shocked with the wind, the snow, the rain here. However, I got quickly familiar with it. It was so cool. Because the time in Cork was the first time I saw real snow.
Brendan: Did you stay with an Irish family or in student accommodation?
Dzung: I stayed with an Irish family in Bishopstown, quite near UCC.
Brendan: Is Cork a safe place for Vietnamese students?
Dzung: Definitely, yes!
Brendan: Are Cork people friendly?
Dzung: Of course. They are always willing to talk to me, help me.
Brendan: What were your classes and teachers like?
Dzung: I was put in an IELTs preparation class. It was a bit different from what I got in my country. Nevertheless, it was very nice. My teachers are so awe-inspiring. They made us focus on the lectures, on the activities. They gave us chances to express ourselves in the way we should, not in the way they wanted us to follow. And, about my classmates, they are amical and lovely.
Brendan:What was the daily routine for you?
Dzung: I got up quite early, then had breakfast with my host. I walked to the bus stop, took the bus number 205 to go to school. From 9am to 13pm, I was in class. After that I walked into the city center, mooched off a bit and tried to find something new. I went home not too late to have dinner with my host. We watched TV together, after that, I was in my bedroom and did my homework.
Brendan: Where did your classmates come from?
Dzung: They come from different countries, such as China, Japan, Arab, Libia, Saudia,…
Brendan: Did you make friends with your classmates?
Dzung: Of course, we have kept in contact with each other.
Brendan:Do you feel more confident in using English now?
Dzung: Sometimes I get up and say “Good morning”(in English) to my family like what I did in Cork when I was there. I owe Cork a big big thank because two weeks in Cork give me confidence to think and express myself in English.
Brendan: You were here for Saint Patrick’s day (Ireland’s national day). Can you tell us a little about that?
Dzung: It was my luck to participate St Patrick’s day in Dublin. People from different parts around the world came there to see the parade, to celebrate the St Patrick’s day. The streets were crowded and full of laugh, smiles,… It was so amazing.
Brendan: What was the best place in Ireland for you?
Dzung: I suppose that it would be Cork. It is enough modern, enough active, enough quiet, enough peaceful. Such an ideal place to live and learn.
Brendan: If one of your Vietnamese friends was coming to UCC Language Centre, what advice would you give them?
Dzung: No need to give any more advice. Because coming to UCC Language Centre is a great decision they have. Just enjoy yourself and immerse yourself in a good English speaking environment like UCC Language Centre.
Brendan: What did you miss about Vietnam when you were in Cork?
Dzung: Vietnamese. I had hardly any chance to speak Vietnamese there in Cork.
Brendan: What do you miss about Cork, now that you are back in Vietnam?
Dzung: Food, especially Irish breakfast; snow; travelling in the left hand side; the two-floor bus,…
Brendan:I hope you will come back to Cork. Will you?
Dzung: Surely I will. Hope to see you soon.