Interview with Phuc

Hello everyone! I am Nguyen Tran Tien Phuc, a 21-year-old ordinary student at VNUK Institute of Research & Executives. My major is International Business. I have been living in Da Nang City for the whole of my life. I am so excited to share with you the experiences I had during the course with Kulturstudier.

In what context did you choose to study with Kulturstudier 

At first, the opportunity to join the program was not so clear. Even though I got information about it via email by my university, it was hidden within all the emails I received each day and I therefore missed it. Luckily, the university decided to announce it again and this time it caught my attention.

Speaking English has always been my hobby, and I find it fascinating to talk with foreigners and learn more about their culture and stories. However, I wanted it to go beyond a simple conversation, and wished to be able to share a daily routine with individuals from outside Vietnam. Studying abroad could have been an option to be able to experience this but was not possible for me due to the high cost of living when studying abroad. Therefore, when the opportunity to join this course came out of nowhere, it gave me the feeling that this was the opportunity that I had been waiting for. So I signed up for it.


How did you experience the study program, both the social life (studying with mostly Scandinavian students) and the academic content of the program?

Academically, even though my major at university is in business, learning about development has allowed me to know and learn more about the current development trend and all the relevant issues. I now understand more about the dynamics of global development, and how things work. If you are a student studying this major of development, this course is all that you need to know. The lecturers are skilled and thoughtful, they offer students to participate in discussions, engage people in the study, and teach the information with a high level of detail. The staff also provides additional academic support throughout the semester as well as materials for learning. 

In terms of social life, I was shocked to see how friendly the other students in the course were. I thought the Norwegian students would not be so friendly, but I turned out to be very wrong. They live and talk just like Vietnamese people, the difference in culture is there, but not much, as everyone has an open mind. After a while, people quickly got used to living in the vietnamese culture, they were very adaptive. During the course, there were a few misunderstandings, but I managed to talk things straight and clear it out. There were also other Vietnamese students in the course and they would provide a lot of help for the Scandinavian students to interact with the local population and get to know the culture more easily.

The biggest culture shock I experienced, from the perspective of a Vietnamese, was to see how much the other students were drinking. Even at birthday parties, people consider drinking to be common sense, and most students I got to know were very good at drinking beer.


Any advice for fellow students considering applying to the program?

1. Read a lot, but don’t read a lot

What I mean is you need to read lots of materials, including books and slides, in order to prepare for each lesson. But don’t worry, the seminar leaders are there to help you, and they even have a workshop where they teach you how to read the research paper and all that sort of stuff more effectively and not time-consumingly. To be honest, I did not read much during the course but was thankfully still able to make it.

2. Manage your budget

This applies to everyone. You will see how cheap and affordable stuff is here, and some will overspend in their first couple of weeks. Keep in mind that you are going to stay here for 2 months, so unless you have constant support of finance, keeping a tight budget is a must-have. 

3. Join extracurricular activities whenever you can

The fact that this course is not only about studying, it’s also an opportunity to learn about culture and to learn new things through various activities. This is what I admire about this course, as in Vietnam not many schools consider extracurricular activities to be important, and the fact that the activities are varied, from sports to fun activities, volunteering, etc… will make 2 months of being here more meaningful. Apart from sports, which I was too lazy to join, I participated in most of the activities, and I gotta say it gave me a feeling of accomplishment.

4. Protect your stomach

The food is mostly awesome and good, take your time and try the cuisine here. However, keep in mind that some vendors are especially hygienic, so be careful, or else you will end up having stomach problems. Some foods that Vietnamese people can have every day may cause stomach issues for foreigners. But this doesn’t mean that you should end up being so cautious. You will miss out on the experience!

5. Open everything 

You will be experiencing a new culture, so keep an open mind. Culture shock will come and knock on the door when you least expect it.

Do you have any questions?

Fill in your contact details and we will be in touch shortly.

Thank you. You will hear from us within one working day.