"Choosing to study abroad after higher secondary school was a hard step to make. I was 18. Was I ready? Could I live on my own in a different country? All relevant questions going around my head, but I know studying abroad gives me the opportunity to really learn about myself, to be independent and meet many people from around the world. And, here I am today as a Pakistani student at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Vietnam." - Qummar Hayat, a 3rd-year student of Automotive Engineering at HCMUT.
How I decided to study abroad: inspiration, expectations, and fears
The most important decision I have made in my life is to study abroad. Studying abroad means I have to leave my home country and my family. It is an important choice for me because by studying abroad, I challenge myself by going to a completely new place. I watched some videos of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology which attracted me. Then I looked for more information on Vietnam. I got more and more interested in applying here.
Another reason that triggers me to study in Vietnam is personal development. Studying in Vietnam is the first time for me to leave my home. When I arrived in Vietnam, I was fascinated by the foods, traditions, and social atmospheres. It is a good opportunity for me to understand a new culture. Sometimes I feel stressed and homesick while living in a completely new place without any family members and friends around me, but this experience can help me develop my personality. I believe that studying abroad can bring out my independent nature. I learn how to make decisions without family support. I have lived in Vietnam for 2 years now and I can see my personal development.
In my view, cultural shock and academic pressure are unavoidable when it comes to studying abroad. However, it has become less serious, considering Vietnam has grown so much. Embarking on a new journey may seem to be tough, but, trust me, just be well prepared!
How I choose the program: support and preparation
Studying abroad is one of the best experiences for a better future. The classes being taught in HCMUT are 100% in English, there are a bunch of interesting activities to do in school. This university offers some confidence-building activities like Presentation contest, BK Innovation, OISP camp and OISP International festival, which is very helpful for a confident and bright future.
HCMUT has prepared me with many different types of assignments and challenges so that I would get a glimpse of what it is like in the working world. They also keep me up to date with every assignment and are very passionate about teaching about the subjects that I am taking. I love how the course is preparing me for real-life situations in my future jobs. This university gives me many on-hand experience and knowledge on how to handle things. I have never felt unsafe in Vietnam wherever I go. I could walk around Ho Chi Minh in the middle of the night and be fine, and I never got harassed.
Vietnam is a wonderful learning opportunity. It is a small country but even in 2 years, I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of it. It is one of the only countries I have been to where I could see myself returning and living there. The people are unbelievably kind and welcoming, the food is amazing, there is always something to do, and the landscapes are diverse and breath-taking.
What advice do you have for international students?
My advice to future students is, in our generation, life is very complicated. Enroll in your preferred course. Don’t wait for them to stimulate your interest; find out what’s interesting about them. Start to work hard to achieve personal growth and understand your achievements. Nothing is more rewarding than being able to return home with necessary life skills and a modern mindset, at least in my experience.
Each country has its own unique style of teaching. Studying abroad really helps me expand my academic horizon and develop the capacity to adapt to various educational settings. It also helps in building relationships with people from all over the world. Study abroad broadens my international connections while having the opportunity to meet people that could turn into life-long friends. Some connections can even lead to career opportunities, including internships, job offers, and business partners. Go explore! You should look for small things that make a difference 🙂