Not only do they accumulate a great deal of knowledge to apply back home, but they also make good friends with locals and have a memorable time in Vietnam, which they call a second home.
While still a student at Vientiane high school, Khamhoung Chanthavong, 21, was determined to study in Vietnam.
He developed this dream after hearing stories from his father, a student at the Hanoi University of Fine Art from 1985-1991, and Laotian students who had returned from Vietnam.
In 2008 Khamhoung was accepted to the University of Laos and also received a scholarship from a cooperation program between Ho Chi Minh City and Vientiane.
He did not hesitate to make a choice and soon moved to study in the neighboring country.
It is still a year until he becomes a graduate of political science, in the faculty of international relations in the HCMC University of Social Science and Humanities, but Khamhoung said he has already started to miss his friends here.
Khamhoung recalled his first days in the city when he had a local friend accompany him 24/7, during both lectures and time out of class.
“When I was studying for exams at midnight and could not understand some points, I called up my friend and he explained them thoroughly,” he said.
“Friendly, close and enthusiastic,” are words Laotian students use to describe the Vietnamese friends they met.
Some have made friends for life during their stay in Vietnam.
This is the case of Dalavady Phothisane, 21, who is from the poor province of Attapeu, who traded the Laos university entrance exam to concentrate on getting a scholarship to study in Vietnam.
After his mother and sister studied at the University of Quy Nhon in the central province of Binh Dinh before, Dalavady decided to follow their footsteps.
During her stay in Hanoi to study Vietnamese, Dalavady would walk around the Old Quarter or parks to meet and talk to locals, one of whom became her best friend.
“Once I had horseshoe kidney disease and had to stay in the hospital for two weeks.
My friend and her family took care of me and everything,” the current student of the faculty of tourism in the city’s Hung Vuong University said with a deep feeling of gratitude.
After studying and making good friends in Vietnam, some Laotian students find it hard to leave the country and their beloved pals.
These days Sonxay Luangoudom, 30, is preparing to defend his master dissertation for the faculty of information management systems in the HCMC University of Technology.
“I have mixed feelings as I am nervous about my dissertation and sad about leaving Vietnam,” he said.
Back in 2001 Sonxay started as an IT student at the Hanoi Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology.
After that, he went back to Laos and became a lecturer at Champasak University before pursuing post-graduate study in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009.
After living in Vietnam for a long time, Sonxay found the neighboring country to be his second home.
“I am often mistaken as a Vietnamese as my appearance is not so different from the locals,” he said.
Besides time spent at the university, Sonxay loves to travel to places and learn more about Vietnamese culture and traditions.
Sonxay said the Vietnamese spirit of solidarity and hard work has motivated him to go on in life.
He will bring back good memories here and share them with his students back home.
“I will tell them about places that I’ve been, people that I’ve met –a precious part of my life,” he said.
Source: Tuoitre Online