Last summer, from August 19th to September 24th, I went to CEPC as an exchange student with three of my friends and we stayed there for a month. Before I went to Vietnam, I was shy and couldn’t talk what I wanted to say in English so I decided to go to CEPC to improve my English skill.
From now, I’d like to talk about my exchange student life in CEPC on behalf of us and I hope you’ll have an interest in CEPC.
In the beginning, I’ll give a simple explanation of CEPC. CEPC is an industrial school and has five departments (Electric, Basic Technology, Basic Science, Electronic, and Economic). The number of students are about 2000. Although male-to-female ratio is 39:1, they get along with each other very well. CEPC is placed in the town which has a world heritage, Hoi An ancient town. So there is filled with lively and good atmosphere.
For a first few days, I was filled with anxiety because there was nothing special but all of these that Vietnam had were new and unknown to me. Also I was bewildered by gaps between Japanese lifestyles and Vietnamese ones. But my worries disappeared soon.
From the time when we met each other at the airport, teachers and students in CEPC told unhesitatingly to us even we were foreigners and we couldn’t communicate with them well. I remember that we couldn’t talk well at first, but thanks to their enthusiasm, we gradually came to talk in English with them.
At the beach near the school (On August 22nd)
We attended two or three classes every day and we studied with students. The classes we had were PLC, Sensor System, Power Grid, Visual Studio, Relay Protective, Hydro Power Plant, Power Supply, Equipment Testing, Vietnamese Language, and English. In every class, I found that teachers and students worked and studied hard. It seemed usual for them, but it inspired me to study harder. Classes I had in CEPC were almost similar to my school’s subjects, for example, Sequence Control. I had learned basis of it in Japan, but it was a first time to see and practice sequence control with PLC. In Mr.Thuy’s class, we learned how to use PLC and made a traffic system with PLC. It was very difficult but it was really rewarding. Furthermore, there were many laboratory classes so I could develop my knowledge.
Actually, the most interesting class of all for me was Vietnamese class. Vietnamese pronunciations was very difficult for me because it was profoundly different from Japanese one. But because students helped me, I was glad and I tried to speak Vietnamese imitating their way of speaking
PLC class with Mr.Thuy
There were many establishments and equipment so that students could study and live comfortably.
In the school cafeteria, all of staff served healthy and delicious foods for us with cheap price every day. Moreover we often went there to drink delicious Vietnam coffee. Of course, we liked foods and drinks, but also we loved kind staff there. I think there was a place where people could be relaxed.
And there were some playgrounds for basketball, volleyball, and soccer. After-school, we played sports with them and build intimacy. Before I went to CEPC, I didn’t think I could make friends with language barrier but actually I could gain many friends through playing sports without common language. Their life styles, which is to play sports actively, to eat a lot, to study hard, and to go to bed and get up early, made me healthier not only with my body but also my with mind.
In laboratory, there were many equipment to be used in classes. For instance, in Mr.Linh’s class, we learned the way how hydropower generation works and how to control the hydroelectric system with big simulator made by teachers. As just described, CEPC makes it possible to give students practical expertise with these rich equipment.
As extracurricular activities, Youth Union which is a volunteer group in CEPC was planning many events. They took us to the beach near the school and festivals, held meetings to communicate with us, and hosted a welcome party.
In the welcome party, we competed in Kado (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) and played some games together. I enjoyed this party listening their singing songs and eating Vietnamese foods. They always tried to make us happy and we could had a lot of great time thanks to the
Communication activity with Youth Union (On August 21nd)
We had many favorite teachers in CEPC. Teachers were so friendly and funny, and they often invited us to the meal, to play sports, and their houses. They treated us with many kinds of Vietnamese foods in their houses, and from time to time, we cooked some Vietnamese foods with their help. All of Vietnamese foods were good, but we especially like Spring Rolls. We really liked them and always talk that ‘I want to eat them every day!’
In Japan, we usually don’t eat meal and play sports with teachers and teachers and students aren’t close like teachers and students in CEPC, so I was surprised at first but I also think it’s very good. Because of such wonderful relationship between teachers and students, the atmosphere were calm and we could get used to our lives there quickly.
Our first lives abroad were fulfilling thanks to them. Touching new culture, meeting many Vietnamese and getting to know them, we got to like Vietnam very much. Maybe they didn’t realize, but we were always supported by their positive attitudes and smiles. Even now I often remember the ocean view, Hoi An ancient town, world heritages, playing sports, cooking Vietnamese foods and eating these with them. Every event was a treasure and it fills me with warm feeling whenever I look back on them.
I can’t say that my English skill has improved a lot, but I’m not shy anymore, and I eager to talk with foreigners.
I’m truly grateful to people who related to CEPC. I hope to meet you guys again in CEPC
After the final presentation, with our precious friends (On September 23nd)