Classroom Culture in Vietnam: What Foreign Students Should Expect
It's exciting to attend school outside of the country we grew up in. Take Vietnam, for instance. The southeast country with a culture and history different from what we're used to. The thought of studying in Vietnam is as scary and daunting as it is exciting.
When you enter the classroom, you may already experience some astounding cultural differences. But this also is where the fun of discovery comes into play. But if you already know what to expect, fitting in will be much easier for you.
The Vietnamese culture
When it comes to learning and teaching, Vietnam faces a cross-cultural issue. This is because the culture of this country is primarily a "village culture." They consider the relationships in a village as family relations.
There is also an emphasis on social hierarchical order when dealing with one another. The traditional method of teaching in this country is book-centered and teacher-centered, with an emphasis on rote memorization. When you attend a Vietnamese school for the first time, you will easily see the cultural differences. Therefore, it's important to learn more about the culture. This knowledge will help you overcome cultural barriers in the learning process overall.
Academics are very important
Any Vietnamese student will tell you how restricted their lives are. But this is the norm in the country. They have a very competitive job market, which means that you have to remain at the top of your classes if you wish to succeed. From the country's war-torn history, Vietnam has evolved. Today, it has a dynamic economy that offers amazing opportunities to its youth - but only for students who work hard.
This means long school days, with the possibility of additional classes at night. Many Vietnamese students also take the time to study English since it's now a requirement for students who graduate from higher education.
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The culture influences ESL Education
The Vietnamese culture is very vibrant, inviting, and warm. It is no different from other countries in the sense that it's also filled with nuances that take time to comprehend. But unlike modern western societies, Vietnamese life centers on family, even into adulthood. To the Vietnamese, family reputation and well-being are very important. This means that each family has a sense of pride in encouraging their children to achieve success in their education and their careers.
The Vietnamese now consider English a language that provides them with a pathway to personal success and international opportunity. This is why the current generation of young learners aim to acquire ESL proficiency. This needs the involvement of parents in the learning process, as they push their children to study hard and do their best to attain high degrees. As a student, you may notice this when you study in a Vietnamese school.
You should learn the classroom culture too
Promptness is a trait valued by the Vietnamese. You should come to class on time every day. But there are times when teachers may tolerate some tardiness (between 10 to 30 minutes), especially during the rainy season. There is also a dress code in Vietnamese schools. Although this could be covered extensively, the main thing is that they dress conservatively. Business casual is best or a bit more casual and relaxed, depending on which school you go to.
In Western schools, students volunteer to give an answer to a question. But in Vietnam, students wait for the teacher to call them. Teachers penalize students who answer when not called. Because the culture of this country places emphasis on respecting superiors or elders, making friends with teachers is not a possibility, unlike how we deal with them back home.
Moreover, a teacher sitting on their desk, drinking or eating in class, playing games, and doing other laid-back things can put off students. In Vietnam, they're used to perceiving teachers in an authoritative way. You may have to adjust to such a culture, especially if you're used to making friends with your teachers back home.
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Finding free essay samples online is very easy. You simply input the right keywords on a search engine and click on the results. Even better, you can refer to cultural diversity essay samples on WritingBros. Reading is a very beneficial hobby that you should take up, especially if you want to study abroad. Apart from essays, you can also read books, articles, and other resources to keep you well-informed. Then you will have a better idea of what to expect when you enter Vietnam.
Choose optimism instead of criticism
The paddles, mountains, seas, and rivers in Vietnam are profoundly ingrained in their culture. Because of this, they consider it very rude to not eat or finish your food, especially if you're a guest in someone's home and they prepared a meal for you.
They consider such an act as an insult to the land and the people who prepared the meal. If someone invites you to their home, try not to take too much on your plate. Also, don't forget to give a lot of compliments. The Vietnamese also talk about the problems of their society often. The topic could be anything - traffic, pollution, academic cheating, corruption, and more. Just remember that they become less patient when foreigners start criticizing.
They consider this as arrogant. It's as if you mean that your country is better. When you see it in that context, it is very upsetting. Making a joke about traffic conditions is okay but you don't have to say it repeatedly without recognizing that there is a lot more about the amazing country than the traffic.
The traditions and culture of Vietnam have existed for thousands of years. The people have respect for their sea, people, and land. If you can comprehend the nuances of the beautiful culture of the Vietnamese as a student, you will do well as a foreign student in this country.
Michael Turner is a multitalented professional who is currently working for a digital marketing agency as a senior social media specialist and a content writer. He freelances on the side and loves helping out school students in writing essays and doing their homework. His free time is for swimming, watching news channels and reviewing movies online.