An Le from Vietnam: Studying Hotel and Restaurant Management at Delaware County Community College
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I think the USA provides the best education where the students can express themselves, learn valuable knowledge, and improve their practical skills.
Why did you choose Delaware County Community College?
I chose Delaware County Community College because it will be a stepping stone to my future higher education. The college has valuable study programs, majors, and courses that I will be able to transfer to other partner institutes and expand my career. I think the most attractive reason I chose this school is that I always get help and support from the staff, faculty, and professors to overcome challenges and difficulty.
What do you like best?
My hospitality courses make me practice event planning, create an itinerary for travel trips, practice booking hotel and transportation, and learn time management. All of my professors in the Hotel & Restaurant Management Department always help me to develop my professional skills for the field, improve problem solving skills, and get ready for the actual job.
What do you miss most?
Family is what I miss most. Also, I miss my traditional food, holidays, and events.
What was your biggest surprise?
Education in the U.S. does not seem like many movies I have watched about high school and college. I have to work harder than I expected. I have learned how create projects, present presentations, apply technology to support my study, watch documentary movies, and research educational information. Those practical studies are the biggest surprise about U.S. education which I’ve never experienced before.
About U.S. life, I think my biggest surprise is the holiday atmosphere. It really surprises me with many colorful decoration, traditional dishes, friendly people, and cozy atmosphere.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I have worked really hard to overcome language barrier. I have made some good friends who are willing to teach and fix my accent. I love to watch documentary movies or American movies with English subtitles and listen to the news every day. I try to observe and mimic the native speakers, how they stress the words, and how they express their emotions while they are talking. Those activities help me to reduce my accent, improve my English speaking and listening, be able to express my emotions and ideas, and defeat the language barrier.
As an international student, there are a lot of expenses that my family is responsible for. In order to share the burden with my family, I have applied for “work study” which is a program provided by my college.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
It took me three months to adjust to a different educational system. There is a huge difference between the education in two countries.
What are your activities?
I am a member of Hotel & Restaurant Management Associations, Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and American Red Cross.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
I think it is not difficult to make friends in USA. If you open your heart and start by listening, you will make a lot of good friends who always give you a hand and help you without any reason. Don’t be shy with your language and be confident.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I want to have a bachelor degree in hospitality major then become a General Manager in a luxury hotel chain or beach resort. My U.S. education really provided me wonderful knowledge, amazing experiences, and professional skills to reach my goals. I remember one of my professors told me to dream bigger than what I had already dreamt.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
I know that there are a lot of hardships to come to the U.S. and pursue better education. The important thing is that you have to “dream big” and trust yourself. If you fail at first try, then continue to give it a few more tries. Because at the end, it will be an amazing result that rewards all of your sacrifice. I hope you will be confident to reach for help and open your mind to feedback. Always remember, the success is in your hand.
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Delaware County Community College
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