Cuong The Luong from Vietnam is a senior studying Accounting in Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University in Washington State.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I chose to study in the USA because besides having one of the best education systems in the world, the U.S. has a very diverse population. The society is multicultural and I can have the opportunity to meet and learn from many people with different identities and cultural backgrounds.
Why did you choose Seattle University?
I decided to attend Seattle University since its accounting and finance programs are very good. U.S. News and World Report ranks them among the best 20 programs in the nation. Furthermore, Seattle University is located in the heart of Seattle, home of the top companies in the world such as Amazon.com, Starbucks, and Nordstrom. This exciting location inspires everyone to innovate and thrive for success.
What do you like best?
What I like best about Seattle University is the care students receive from staff and faculty. With a small class size of about 20 students per class, it is easy for the faculty to get to know and build close relationships with their students. My professors are eager to be a resource for me, as well as my classmates, and they are always there for our success.
What do you miss most?
I miss most the bonding atmosphere my big extended family has on special occasions like Lunar New Year. I also miss my cute little nieces and nephews.
What was your biggest surprise?
I was surprised about the privacy students have in the U.S. For example, individual grades are not disclosed to the whole class. The professor and student only know them.
How have you handled:
My good academic performance helped me to get a scholarship from Seattle University, which partially covers the tuition fee. I also work part-time on campus to contribute a little part and my parents to pay the remainder.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
During the first few weeks, I felt a little bit overwhelmed when preparing for my first quarter in the U.S. Choosing appropriate classes, arranging my class schedule or finding out where to buy cheap textbooks … this was totally a new experience for me. However, thanks to the help from friends and maintaining a calm attitude, I overcame the difficulties and adjusted.
What are your activities?
I stayed with a Filipino American family for two years and got to taste different kinds of Filipino food. At school, I participate in a few clubs including investment club, which manages an account of $50,000 sponsored by D.A Davidson & Co., the largest investment firm based in the Northwest. We are allowed to invest this amount of money freely in the stock market. At the end of the school year, the club can receive half of any portfolio earnings in excess of $55,000, less transaction costs; D.A. Davidson absorbs all losses.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
Students in the U.S. are very polite and respectful therefore, it is not difficult to become friends with them at a basic level. However, whether you can have close friendship with U.S. students depends on certain factors such as common interest, personality, or amount of time spending together. This is the same for everywhere.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My career goal is working in the auditing industry, which has been growing substantially in my country recently. There are many big public accounting firms in the U.S for which I want to work. The career services office in my university provides very good support for students who want to apply to these companies. So, I hope that I can get an offer from one of them after graduation.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Studying abroad in the U.S. requires careful preparation of English and finance. In addition, I would suggest that my fellow students learn how to cook a few featured foods of their home countries and get to know more about their culture. This would help them create a good impression and become well liked by their friends in the U.S.