Vietnamese student in Laos wishes to serve as a bridge between the two countries

Nguyen Duc Long, an international student majoring in Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences (National University of Laos), shared with TG&VN his wish to use his abilities and knowledge to enhance the Vietnam-Laos relationship.
Lưu học sinh Việt Nam tại Lào: Nhịp cầu nối vun đắp mối quan hệ hữu nghị giữa hai nước
International students participating in the Vietnam Youth Football Tournament in Laos. (Photo: Courtesy of the interviewee)

Many people dream of studying abroad in Western countries, why did you choose to study in Laos?

My feelings attached for Laos came very naturally. My uncle used to be a Vietnamese volunteer construction worker who came to work on a project funded by Vietnam in Oudomxay province (Laos). That is why I have always heard a lot of his stories about the country and the people of Laos since I was young.

Through his stories, I always imagined Laos to be a peaceful and beautiful country with overlapping mountains, idyllic and rustic villages, unique and interesting festivals and customs. Lao people are sincere, honest, hospitable and especially love Vietnam.

During his mission in Laos, he was cared for and wholeheartedly helped by the Lao people. Through his stories, I had good impressions of the country and wanted to learn more about the culture, country and the people here.

When I was in secondary school, in history classes, I learned a lot about the friendship and solidarity between the two countries, especially when we fought side by side for independence.

In the present stage of development, Vietnam and Laos continue to stand side by side, support each other in socio-economic development, industrialization, modernization, and improve living standards. The two countries have built a comprehensive cooperative relationship in all fields, including politics, security and defense, diplomacy, economy, trade, investment, health care, education, etc.

With a basic understanding of the relationship between the two countries, I personally also have special feelings for the country and people of Laos and hoped for an opportunity to study or work in Laos.

In 2020, after knowing about the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam’s programme to enroll students to study in Laos under an Agreement scholarship, I actively applied and was fortunate to be admitted. It can be said that studying abroad in Laos is a blessing and has fulfilled my wish.

Besides studying, what are some interesting activities of Vietnamese students in Laos?

The Vietnamese Student Association at the National University of Laos, the Vietnamese community in Vientiane, as well as the Vietnamese representative offices in Laos such as the Embassy of Vietnam in Laos, the Vietnam Cultural Center in Laos… often organize social and annual or unregular community activities such as the Vietnamese Student Football Tournament at the National University of Laos, Vietnam Youth Football Tournament in Laos, the Year of the Tiger Spring Fair 2022, Annual Vietnam-Laos Trade Fair, welcome events for leaders of the Party and State of Vietnam to visit and work officially in Laos…

I personally always actively participate in these meaningful activities. Through the activities organized by the Students Association as well as community activities, I have had many useful and interesting experiences.

Lưu học sinh Việt Nam tại Lào: Nhịp cầu nối vun đắp mối quan hệ hữu nghị giữa hai nước

Nguyen Duc Long (right) and other male international students giving presents to the female students on International Women’s Day. (Photo: Courtesy of the interviewee)

First of all, I have accumulated a lot of knowledge, especially information about the customs and culture of Laos. I have an surrongding environment where I can improve my own communication, expand my relationships within the Vietnamese community in Laos and the Vietnamese Student Association, as well as my abilities to moving around and taking community activities.

Further more, I personally felt the solidarity, attachment, mutual affection of the Vietnamese people in foreign lands, as well as the patriotism towards the Fatherland.

How do you perceive the responsibilities of Vietnamese students in Laos?

In my opinion, Vietnamese students in Laos have two main missions.

The first is to study. Vietnamese students in Laos must determine that their main mission is to study hard, improve language skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating Lao, and accumulate specialized knowledge for future employment.

Moreover, Vietnamese students also need to learn about the social culture, customs and the situation in Laos in order to supplement and improve their understanding and knowledge.

Secondly, each Vietnamese student must consider themselves as a bridge connecting and enhancing the Vietnam-Laos relationship, as well as the relationship of the Laos people to the Vietnamese.

In order to carry out this mission, Vietnamese students must actively participate in extracurricular activities along with Lao students, build a close relationship with Lao people and students, show solidarity, love and willingness to help enthusiastically and impartially.

At the same time, through activities with Lao friends, Vietnamese students also need to promote and emphasize the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos

Lưu học sinh Việt Nam tại Lào: Nhịp cầu nối vun đắp mối quan hệ hữu nghị giữa hai nước

Vietnamese students in Laos attending the talk about Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year. (Photo: Courtesy of the interviewee)

What about your future plans?

Currently, I am still studying for a master's degree in Political Science at the National University of Laos. In the short term, I will focus on completing my studies on time and achieving the best possible results.

In the future, with my ability to speak Lao as well as specialized knowledge, I plan to do work related to Laos in order to use my abilities and knowledge to help enhance this Vietnam-Laos special relationship.

Thank you!

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(Translated by Tue Anh)