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Student Experiences

Ly Nguyen

Ly Nguyen

Academic Major: Communication & International Studies

Academic Minor: Business Administration

Academic STATUS: Undergraduate

Graduation Year: 2010

Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam

Why did you choose to study at The College at Brockport?

Brockport was one of my options since it lies in the Northeastern part of the country, where the climate is different from that of Vietnam, for the most part. So, I was looking forward to experiencing this change. Besides, the Communication department offers some classes in Public Relations, the field that I intended to concentrate on in college.

What has been your most memorable experience while at The College at Brockport?

Throughout my years at Brockport, I have made friends with people from more countries than I would have ever imagined, from Asia to Europe, Africa and America. These intimate interactions have given me the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of countries where my friends come from. Becoming more fond of the dynamics of other cultures is one of the prominent reasons I decided to take on International Studies as my second major.

What are your classes like? Which one is your favorite?

I enjoy most of my classes, especially those involving a lot of class discussions. My majors are international studies and journalism, in which I have taken all three public relations classes, so I have been encouraged to speak out in class for the most part and grew a lot more comfortable with it. I also like teachers who provoke you to think out of the box.

How does school here differ from that in your home country?

Definitely more class discussion and raising opinion here compared to classes in Vietnam. However, I find that more students in Vietnam actually pay attention to their professor in class and take notes.

Are you involved in any clubs, organizations or sports teams? What are those experiences like?

I am the president of the International Student Organization and a member of the Communication Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta, here at Brockport. Being a president has taught me a lot about organization and the rewarding challenge of getting people to support and be involved in programming.

Do you live on campus or off campus? What has living here in Brockport been like?

I live on campus. I really like that I have gotten to live in such a diverse community with students from a variety of countries and cultural backgrounds.

Prior to coming to school, what did you do to prepare for life in the United States?

Mostly preparing for the TOEFL and SAT. I also came to Sacramento, CA, for one year in my senior year as an exchange student, which was a great experience to get acquainted with the American way of life, especially due to the fact that I was living with native host parents.

What has been the biggest challenge or struggle that you have experienced so far at The College at Brockport?

For me, the greatest challenge is more of an internal struggle to get used to the differences in values. Since I come from a country in the Far East, I am not so used to the individualism that I have seen in a lot of my American fellows. However, a lot of people are helpful and kind beyond imagination, more than what I have experienced throughout most of my life.

What do you miss most about home?

The physical and mental denseness of the city of Hanoi, where I come from. Just five minutes from my house I can see all kinds of shops, night market, street food, including grilled sweet potato, corn, dry fish and squid, etc. But more so, I simply miss the much more relaxing life where you are always under the scrutiny of neighbors (in a caring sense) and people move in a slower pace, spending at least an hour of dinner together, and sometimes going for a short walk afterwards.

What advice would you give to international students who are thinking about attending The College at Brockport?

Make friends the first chance you get and extend your circle of friends, since they will be your spiritual support while you are away from home, and will be the ones who make your experience at Brockport much more intimately memorable.

What do you plan to do after graduation?

I am planning on either working for a non-profit organization in helping children, youth and those in need; or going for a MPA (Master of Public Administration degree), with the same ultimate purpose.

Last Updated 6/7/11