Community Connection The Focus In New Book By Vietnamese Students

The importance of Vietnam’s connection to community is to be highlighted in a new book written by Vietnamese students from around the world, including an international student currently studying at Murdoch University.

Featuring articles from 30 young Vietnamese writers from across the globe about their study abroad experiences, ‘Almost Home’ (Gần như là Nhà) has been co-authored by Murdoch University PhD student Cao Hien Chi, who has been studying in Perth for over two years after having completed earlier studies in Sydney.

“I chose Perth as I wanted to experience different city, and to my knowledge at that time, Perth had perfect weather and a balanced lifestyle,” Ms Cao said.

“The city is active and vivid enough for a youngster who wants to live a ‘wild’ life, but is relaxed and calm enough for some slower moments to relax - not to mention the spectacular natural scenery and the fact that Perth is much cheaper for students, particularly in terms of public transport and accommodation.”

Ms Cao said all students that had contributed to the book had experience living abroad and had succeeded in making great impacts in their chosen fields of study.

“Students often find themselves standing in a pool of choices and decisions between cultures and destinations,” she said.

“They ponder about their family, countries and their ever-changing life circumstances; often, they can struggle in finding their identity and answering the question of ‘who they are’ in this moving world.

“In the book, the contributing students share their thoughts and perspectives about their time studying abroad, and hopes that such a book could help other young international along their study journey.”

Ms Cao said Perth had the best international source market of any other Australian city, making it the perfect place for international students to live, learn and launch their careers.

“The Vietnamese community in Perth is surprisingly big and, not surprisingly, very strong – we always support each other,” she said.

“My husband and I work with an education agent in Vietnam in providing support and advice for high school students about WA universities. We want to introduce Perth via summer camp trips where prospective students can explore Perth’s academic and casual life in a fun and informative ways.

“I have also joined - and encourage other to join - Vietnam student associations at their education institution, as Perth has a very active Vietnamese community.

“Together, we organise cultural events for students such as Tet holiday and the Mid-Autumn Festival, support newly-arrived students by picking them up from the airport and helping them finding accommodation, plus student parents help each other with school drop-off and pickup for their kids.

“On a personal level, we always save a spare room ready for newcomers stay for one or two weeks while they are looking for a proper place to settle down. It is our way of saying ‘Welcome to Perth’.”

Almost Home’ will be available for purchase from Tre Publishing house bookstores in Vietnam from this Sunday 21 April, or can be purchased online through the following websites:

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