Learn In Every Step We Take

Learn In Every Step We Take

Han Le, CIS Alumni, University of California, Berkeley USA

The best thing about studying abroad is the continuous learning. What I mean is it’s not only about things we learn from books or in class. Studying abroad is the first chapter of one’s own novel called “Life”. 

Han Le, CIS Alumni, University of California, Berkeley USA

A few years ago, when breakfasts were always prepared every morning and my uniforms were ironed for me, I only needed to do two things: eat well and study hard. However, as I stepped outside my home, heading to college in a faraway land, the road was not easy at all. A challenging journey had begun… Studying abroad is the first step for me in training myself to be an independent and competentperson . Everyday I tell myself that this is such a golden opportunity to learn about new cultures and the Western lifestyle. As I’m quite small, I have many unforgettable memories of being a little mushroom dwarf among my tall friends. But being small is not disadvantageous. There was one time when it was raining very hard but my friend and I had only one umbrella, so we figured that my tall friend could piggy-back me so that I could hold the umbrella for both. That was a great solution as we made it to the destination without being wet! I learned that being shy or feeling inferior would not be beneficial, but instead I just tried to be confident and open to making friends. By doing that, I got the chance to be friends with incredible people who come from different parts of the world and to learn about each of them.

Studying abroad provides opportunities to learn how to integrate and live within the community. While studying Political Science, which is the foundation for Law, I participated in the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Fraternity outside class hours in order to network. That helped me to make connections with great individuals in the field of Law in Northern California as well as to contribute to community events. For instance, the fraternity organizes a free legal clinic workshop every semester for medium-andlow- income citizens. We invite lawyers from the region to come, consult with individuals and answer questions from the participants. For me, in addition to school work, getting involved in social activities is the best way to gain experience and practical knowledge, not to mention that it is fun and meaningful to be a part of these activities!

Studying abroad is exploring the world. Despite how busy it can get, I always make time, at least half a day every weekend to wander around, discovering new things and new places. Since I have already travelled half way around the earth to a new land, I have to take advantage of that and utilize every moment to make the most of it! Usually I take the train down to San Francisco. With my favourite camera in hand, I want to capture the beautiful scenes and people, like a weekend market, or simply a busy street of the bustling city. Other times, I go camping or hiking, to let myself be with the nature. And of course, watching the sunrise and enjoying the sunset are the best! I am often asked how do I organize my time so that I can do so many things when school work is usually overwhelming. I would say, it was because I studied abroad. Because when studying abroad, I can not rely on my parents or anyone else, I have to try and do everything by myself. Independently, I ought to give my best efforts to make the most out of my energy and youth, so that I will not regret missing out on anything. Time does not wait for anyone; that is why studying abroad helps me learn to organize my time effectively, training myself into proper discipline. This is also good preparation for later in life.

Many people would say studying abroad must be so difficult. It is challenging but also rewarding. It’s not only about studying. More importantly, it is also about seeing the world and exploring new horizons with new perspectives. Given the opportunity to be in such advanced environment like the US, I think that international students like me, are responsible to open the door and engage with the global community. We can prove that the future generations of Vietnamese will soon make it a glorious country on the world stage. We study hard but also live our youth to the fullest!