Studying abroad can be compared to climbing a mountain, as it involves a challenging journey that demands courage and perseverance to overcome obstacles and reach our ultimate goals. And like many other young Vietnamese who have dreamt of seeing the bigger world, 26-year-old Thái “Logan” Nguyễn is striving to achieve his ambitions in California, USA.
Growing up in the bustling city of Saigon, Thái had always wanted to travel around the world with the curiosity to explore new things. The active and energetic boy has grown up with his childhood dream and is now an overseas student in the US, pursuing his future goals day by day.
At first, studying abroad seemed impossible for him because the English language is not his strong suit, and he’s not yet confident in his ability. But with Thái’s efforts and the courage he gained from other overseas students on the internet, he made through. He also enrolled himself in formal language classes and successfully finished a year of an English program and another two years of a college program at Georgia State University. After that, he moved to California and is completing his last two years of college in Business Management.
In this week’s Study Abroad episode, let’s dive into Thái’s experiences on his long US journey and his preparation for the most important climb of his life.
On his preparation before leaving Vietnam:
Before leaving Vietnam to study in the US, I did prepare a lot since I knew I wasn’t good at the language. I spent a month practicing speaking with foreigners and joined the communication club with foreigners at the school. I also took some speaking classes with native speakers to improve my listening skill.
In addition to that, I also prepared some necessary furniture and equipment for myself. Besides, I was mentally prepared to change to the new environment by watching many videos about studying abroad on Youtube to conclude the difficulties I would face when moving to a new country.
On his daily routine:
My typical day starts at 9 am and goes to school. I finish class at 5 pm and then go to the gym before heading back home. On the weekends, I usually hang out with my close friends. And as a person who loves to discover and try new things, I always make time to experience different activities with friends, such as camping or climbing mountains.
On what keeps him going:
The decision to go abroad is my own, so no matter what difficulties happen, I will try to find a way to overcome them. Because this is the right decision for my life, it helps me discover abilities I have never encountered before; it helps me be independent and grow.
On staying connected to his family and friends in Vietnam:
I often call my family to share my life in America. Since I don't have family in the US, I often call my mother to reassure them. I usually share with them my daily stories or special events I have experienced. It comforts my homesickness and lets me know that my family is doing good in my home country.
On building relationships abroad:
I have built many connections while studying in the US. As a humorous and friendly person, I have a lot of friends, both Asian and foreign. I consider every person I meet abroad important, especially those who are close to me, as they have helped me navigate life abroad.
On having an English name:
When I first arrived in America, I remembered that a professor in the Speaking class gave me an English name – Logan. I liked that name a lot and have kept it until now.
On dealing with challenges:
Studying abroad has helped me to become a better version of myself. It not only helps me open up to the world but also helps me grow strongly when I am alone in America. During the journey of studying abroad, we inevitably face loneliness, and if we can overcome it, we will become braver and more independent in life. Living away from home is not easy, but it has trained me and pushed me to grow.
There have been times when I thought I had given up. Then, I deeply think about the reason that I started. I always want to conquer myself so I will never give up. When stressed, I often hang out with friends more to talk and share my difficulties with them. It’s a good way to help me overcome sadness or depression. I believe the more relationships we have, the less stressed we will feel.
On his hopes for the future:
I chose Business Management to study for a reason. It’s because I have a big passion for business. My further dream is to design and open a small coffee and tea shop I can call my own – from the design to the menu. Maybe it will have Japanese style because I have a big love for Japan.