Thuy Le from Viet Nam is pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I decided to study in the USA because I wanted to explore higher education from a foreign country. I believe the education in the U.S. is much more developed than in Viet Nam. Also, I wanted to know more about a different culture and I hope my experience can be useful for my future career in Viet Nam.
Why did you choose the University of Findlay?
The first reason that made me choose Findlay was because my brother also graduated from Findlay. He shared with me a lot of about school, campus, local people, and what he had learned from here. Findlay is a great place to study, live and work. The city is home to many big companies which creates more job opportunities. Also, I chose this university because it offers a hospitality management major. There are not many universities which offer this major in the Ohio area.
What do you like best?
I graduated from the University of Findlay with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. To me, this is an amazing program. There were not many students in this program, so I had the chance to learn one-on-one with my professors. One thing that I liked best in this major was that I was given an opportunity to work at local hotels and gained hands-on experience from there.
What do you miss most?
I miss my family, friends and Vietnamese food. However, Findlay has two Asian grocery stores where I buy ingredients and cook Vietnamese food by myself.
What was your biggest surprise?
I was not really surprised about U.S. life and education because as I mentioned above, my brother used to share with me a lot before I came to U.S. One thing that makes U.S. education different from my country is that we learn theory and practice at the same time. In my country, we spend most of the time studying theory and we don’t know how to apply into practice.
... your biggest disappointment?
I did not have any disappointment with U.S. life. Living on my own was a little stressful at the beginning, but once I went through it I feel like I am much more mature and independent.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I did have some difficulty in my first year in U.S. I was able to communicate in English but I was not confident enough at that time. Later on, I tried to make more friends and my English has been improving since then.
Up until now, my parents paid for all of my tuition and fees. Besides, the university offers various scholarships for international students which also helped me a lot.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
I was really nervous about how to adapt to a new educational system. Fortunately, it was not too difficult for me to be familiar with it. All instructions were given in detail and all professors were very helpful. They would answer all the questions that I had.
What are your activities?
I joined one international students club. We met every month to celebrate festivals of various countries. We also had many activities or games that helped build great relationships for international students.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
It is quite easy to make friends in the USA. Most of my friends are international students so I have learned a lot about their cultures.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I’m passionate about the hospitality industry and that was the main reason I chose the University of Findlay. My goal is to have a career in 5-star hotels. I think my U.S. education is the perfect match for my personal goal because in my country mastering English is a big advantage. Additionally, my internship experience with local hotels will be extremely beneficial for me.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
I will advise them to decide what they want to study first and then spend a lot of time searching for the university that will fit them. You should consider all of the factors that will affect you such as location, environment, people, and what is offered on campus. It is not too difficult to study in U.S. but you need to put in the effort to be successful.