As a child, Linh had no love for English and found the subject boring. However, everything changed once she entered high school and realized the critical role that English played in securing a better future. Linh yearned for more challenges and adventures, so studying abroad became the perfect opportunity for her to boost her inner resilience and strength. She didn't like the feeling of stability and security that she had in Vietnam, so she eagerly embraced the unknown.
The journey was not easy, but it was transformative, and Linh came to value the importance of adaptability, independence, and perseverance. She was tested many times during her studies but emerged from these trials feeling more confident, self-reliant, and able to cope with any situation.
She was determined to master the language and initially planned to study in the United States, where she felt she would fit better. However, her mother didn't share her enthusiasm and was hesitant about America’s potential dangers. In the end, Linh decided on Poland, where her father is based.
She is presently enrolled in high school and is preparing for university. Although her parents hoped she would study pharmaceuticals, Linh has always been interested in pursuing a career in business. She is determined to pursue this passion, as she believes that it's the path that will bring her the most joy and fulfillment in life.
Although the future may be uncertain, she is confident that her experiences abroad have prepared her well for any challenge that may come her way.
On her preparation before leaving Vietnam:
On the emotional side, I braced myself for the possibility of losing touch with my relationships here in Vietnam. I imagined that the distance would make it difficult to maintain those connections.
However, to my surprise, things turned out much better than I expected. I've found that distance has only strengthened my relationships, making the time we spend together more meaningful and valuable. Even though I'm far away, the bonds I share with my loved ones remain as strong as ever.
Physically, I didn't pack any Vietnamese snacks, thinking I wouldn't miss them, but one week in Poland and I was craving Phở. Thankfully, I found Vietnamese restaurants in the area, providing a taste of home when I feel homesick.
On her daily routine:
My day typically begins at 8 in the morning, and while I'm still finishing my high school program, I don't have to attend classes every day. Instead, it's more like a university schedule where I only go to school on lecture days. Most of my free time is spent working on homework or sometimes hanging out with friends.
On what keeps her going:
There's one person who motivates me to keep going on this journey more than anyone else - my mom. She has made many sacrifices and worked incredibly hard to give me the chance to study abroad. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I think back to all the effort she put into making this possible.
With my mom as my inspiration, I am determined to achieve all the goals and purposes that I've set for myself. I will never give up on this journey until the very end. And even when I face difficult times, I remind myself why I started in the first place. The sacrifices that my mom made for me and the opportunities that studying abroad provides are just too important to let go. With that in mind, I keep striving to be the best I can be.
On staying connected to her family and friends in Vietnam:
Luckily, I'm able to maintain strong connections with my mom and friends back in Vietnam. My mom checks in on me often, and we talk daily. Even though my friends and I live far apart, they make an effort to stay connected by messaging me regularly.
I feel grateful that they always remember me and take the time to chat. Even with the time difference, there are some mornings when I wake up to a ton of notifications from my friends' messages. It's nice to know that distance doesn't have to weaken our friendships.
On building relationships abroad:
I mostly have foreign friends here in Poland. While I get along well with Vietnamese students, none are in my classes. Most of my friends are Vietnamese by ethnicity, but they were born and grew up in Poland or other foreign countries. We connect over our shared love for Asian cultures and understanding Vietnamese life. I have a close friend who is Polish and has a shared interest with me in Vietnamese culture and food. Interestingly, she used to date a Vietnamese guy in the past.
On having an English name:
I've gone by different English names like Evelyn and Karolina, but lately, I've come to realize that my Vietnamese name, Linh, is the most comfortable to me. Initially, I chose Karolina because it sounded Polish, and thought it would help me adapt to my new environment. But in the end, using my Vietnamese name is the best way to clarify my identity. It's easy to pronounce, even for foreigners, and helps me stay connected to my roots.
On the importance of nurturing creativity:
I've loved business and finance since secondary school, and I'm also interested in media and psychology. Building relationships outside of school is essential for me as a solo student. I visit the local market every once or twice a month to talk with my father's friends who work there, gaining valuable insights into life in Poland.
On what she learned from studying abroad:
Studying abroad has helped me develop my inner strength and become more independent. In Vietnam, my mother took care of everything, but being on my own has taught me the importance of self-reliance.
While external factors can inspire us, true determination comes from within. Studying abroad has also taught me how to overcome challenges on my own. However, only some have the same level of inner resilience; for some, the obstacles they face may seem impossible.
On how her outlook on life has evolved:
This journey has given me two significant outlooks. Firstly, I now have a deeper understanding and empathy towards my mother. Secondly, I have gained valuable financial management skills and made better financial decisions.
On dealing with challenges:
I easily get upset and dissatisfied with myself when I don't meet my goals. It can be incredibly challenging when I don't achieve the grades I hoped for at school. Although my scores may still be higher than average, I can't help feeling disappointed.
When this happens, I tend to keep my feelings to myself and work on facing my mistakes alone. I reflect on what went wrong and work to improve so I don't get too negative or lose self-confidence. Over time, I've learned to accept my shortcomings and keep pushing forward.
On her hopes for the future:
I'm still determining the future for me and what I'll do. I may return to Vietnam or work in other Asian countries. Regardless, I plan to pursue my passion for business and finance and work towards achieving my goals. I'm putting in a lot of effort lately, and I'm optimistic that good things are on the horizon
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