Feature: Vietnamese students' dreams within reach thanks to studying in China
HANOI, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The National Convention Center in Hanoi on Saturday was packed with thousands of local people exploring ways to make their dreams of education and career come true by studying in China.
Eager-looking university students and their parents from all over Vietnam gathered at a Chinese language study event named "The 2023 HSK Study in China Seminar and Expo", where they asked over 130 representatives of 52 Chinese universities questions about programs and relevant scholarships.
Some 60 Vietnamese youths were standing in two long lines before a booth specially designated for examinees of Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK), or the Chinese Proficiency Test.
Patiently queuing before the booth, a university graduate named Van Anh told Xinhua that he would register to take the coming HSK for himself and his younger sister named My Duyen, a student at Nguyen Van Troi High School in Hanoi.
"After completing registration for the HSK, I will come to booths of some Chinese universities, maybe the Communication University of China to get to know their curricula, because my younger sister is deeply interested in journalism and media," the young man said.
Next to the queues was a big group of students and their parents asking for information about undergraduate and graduate programs at the booth of Tsinghua University.
Gracefully donning Ao dai (Vietnam's traditional long dress), a middle-aged woman named Nguyen Khanh Van said she wanted to know about an undergraduate program on art or literature for her daughter who is as keen as mustard on studying Chinese culture.
"My daughter is now studying at the Saigon High School in Ho Chi Minh City, focusing on maths, literature and two foreign languages, English and Chinese, with a tuition fee of 2.5 million Vietnamese dong (106 U.S. dollars) per month. I can afford reasonable tuition fees if she studies at Tsinghua University," Van told Xinhua.
The woman said the annual tuition fee for an undergraduate program majoring in social sciences is 26,000 yuan (nearly 3,800 U.S. dollars) and the monthly on-campus accommodation is 1,200 yuan (174 U.S. dollars), much lower than fees in Singapore, let alone faraway destinations such as the United States and Australia.
"As far as I know, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Fudan University, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University are China's top universities and have high global rankings. Along with good teaching quality, their low tuition fees and accommodation rates are a very positive point when I consider letting my daughter study there," she said.
"I'm going to graduate from the Hanoi University of Technology in the field of automation in a couple of months, so I'm applying for a master's degree program at the Beijing Institute of Technology," Le Hai Nam told Xinhua, while standing at the institute's booth.
"China is famous for not only time-honored cultural values but also scientific and technological advancements nowadays. With the increasingly closer cooperative ties between Vietnam and China, the technology transfer between the two countries will strengthen. I can have a bigger opportunity to secure a well-respected and well-paid job if I get a master's degree in automation in China," Nam said.
To prepare for studying in China as well as for applying for a scholarship there, the young man with a charming smile has attended free training courses in Chinese and self-studied the language which is spoken by one-fifth of the world's population.
"Right from the first year at the Hanoi University of Technology, I bought textbooks, and then installed a Chinese study application on my smartphone to learn Chinese by myself," he said, noting that he is expecting a Chinese scholarship in July.
According to Nam, winning a full scholarship will not only help him study and live in comfort in Beijing, but also save 500-800 yuan (72.5-116 U.S. dollars) a month.
"If I won't receive a scholarship this time as expected, I think my family can afford tuition fees and living expenses in Beijing. And after graduation there, I will recoup my parents' investment in my higher education soon," he said, broadening into a warm smile.
Like Nam, many other local seniors are planning to pursue a master's degree in China and come back to Vietnam, especially their hometowns to bring into play their broadened and deepened knowledge as well as expertise.
Nguyen Ha My, a 21-year-old student at the Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, said she was born in the northern province of Quang Ninh bordering China, so since childhood, she has been familiar with cross-border cultural and economic exchanges.
"I want to enrich my knowledge about international trade, earn an MBA degree in China, and then return to my hometown to work. Quang Ninh will obviously benefit from the increasingly closer friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and China," the final-year student told Chinese and Vietnamese officials, students and their parents at the seminar.
At the seminar, Luo Jianbo, dean of the International Cultural Exchange School of Fudan University, said that setting foot in Vietnam, he immediately felt Vietnamese people's enthusiasm for learning Chinese and local authorities in supporting the activity, which demonstrates full vitality and wide application of Chinese study in the country.
Since receiving the first 214 Vietnamese students in 1965, Fudan University has welcomed more and more Vietnamese compatriots, especially youths who are the future of the fine ties between China and Vietnam, he stated.
Xi Hui, minister of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, said that in the next five years, China will give Vietnam no less than 1,000 Chinese Government Scholarships and no less than 1,000 International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarships.