Always Try to Adapt and Make New Friends

Always Try to Adapt and Make New Friends

In March of 2013, Nham Nguyen Quoc Dung, a Grade 12 student at CIS Vietnam, received enrollment letters from four different universities in the United States. To Dung’s nice surprise, Denison University offered him an award of up to US$37,000 per year. Dung has been in Denison for more than 7 months and has these words to share with CIS Journey.

 Nham Nguyen Quoc  Dung, CIS Alumni Class of 2013, student at Denison University

My major  is  economics  and  hopefully computer science.  I think Denison  is a great place  to be. The professors are really nice and approachable. As  long as you  try  to  reach out,  they will help you  as much as they can. 

There are several great hindrances that i  have  encountered  during  my  first  year at Denison:  the  first one  is  culture  shock, the  second  one  is  the weather,  the  third one  is  the  language  barrier  and  the  last one  is  time  management.  It  was  tough for  the  first  few  weeks,  especially  for  a Vietnamese  student who  is  usually  taken care of by his parents a lot, but eventually I got used to it. 

Time  management  for  students  is everyone's  problem,  no  matter  who  you are, American or International. For the first semester,  I did not manage my time really well,  so  my  grades  dropped.  It  happens. You might  get  straight A's  in  high  school, but  when  it  comes  to  college,  you  can get C on your first test, and  IT  IS OKAY as long as you realize the problem and adjust to  it  (but  a  second  C  is  NOT  OKAY!).  The weather is a big problem. For me, i live in a place where it is normal to drop below -20 degree  or  even  -30  degree  in  the winter. So make sure you're prepared for that. 

In  college,  we  don't  go  to  class  every day  (4 periods a day). A  typical day  for me would be 2-3 classes, and  I usually get out at 2:30,  then hit  the gym and  take care of the homework  later at night. For all the CIS students  who  are  going  to  college  in  the future, one thing that you need to remember is: college is a lot different than high school. You might think we take fewer classes, and thus our workload is light, but that is not the case. You will  find yourselves  reading a  lot in college, staying up until 2 or 3 o'clock  in the morning or pulling all-nighters. These are standard for finals (unless you manage your schedule really well).

There are about 13 Vietnamese students in Denison  right now. Since we  are  a  small community, we became close pretty quickly. It  is a good  thing; however, you should not only  stick  with  your  Vietnamese  friends and avoid other people. If you do that, your English  will  never  improve,  or  only  just by  little.  The  best  way  to  learn  to  speak English  like  a  native  is  through  everyday conversations.  So  go  out,  join  clubs,  and make  new  friends,  Indian  friends,  white friends, Hispanic  friends,  black  friends,  etc. Most of the time, people will be really nice to you. That  is what most of my friends were like when I first met them here!