Written by Erica Issenberg (Clark University), Student Correspondent CET Vietnam, Spring 2017
One of the most unique and rewarding aspects of the CET Vietnam program is that as we spend our time here in Vietnam, we have the irreplaceable experience of living with a local, Vietnamese roommate. Each student on our program is paired with a Vietnamese student who attends the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, which is located right across the street from our program center. Each Vietnamese roommate goes through an intense vetting process, and if accepted, they have the opportunity to live along side us. Our roommates have been extremely accommodating in helping us become adjusted to life in Vietnam. They have introduced us to the ins and outs of the surrounding area, given us suggestions on where to eat and what to do, and most importantly, have helped us with the language and cultural barriers that we encounter when exploring the city.
With regards to my roommate, I was fortunate enough to be paired with someone that I formed an instant connection with. Living with my roommate, Love, has been an irreplaceable experience! Therefore, I have decided to interview Love so everyone has the chance to ‘meet’ her, and see how amazing of a person she is!
E: Hi Love! Are you ready for your interview?
L: Yes, I am!
E: What is your full name?
A: Nguyễn Xuân Tình
E: What made you choose your English name, “Love?”
L: That’s what my real name, Tình, directly translates to in English
E: Where are you from in Vietnam?
*This is another name for Ho Chi Minh City, the city we are residing in during our stay here
E: Why did you choose to be a roommate for the CET program?
L: I think that there are three main reasons for why I chose to be a roommate for this program. The first is that I love American culture, and I love learning about it. The second is that my major is English, and this gives me a chance to practice it everyday. The third reason is that I love making new friends!!
E: If you could go anywhere in America, where would you go and why?
L: New York City, because I’ve heard “it’s the city that never sleeps.” I also heard life and the people in the city is very different than here. I’ve heard that New York is very diverse, because many different people from all over the world live there.
E: What is your favorite thing about Vietnam?
L: Street food!!
E: What kind of street food?
L: My favorites are milk tea, a drink containing some form of tea and milk, bánh tráng, a type of rice paper crepe with an assortment of meat, vegetables and spices inside, tau hu nuoc duong, a desert made out of tofu and ginger syrup, and fried fish balls.
E: What is a fun fact/something you would like to share about yourself.
L: I’m an optimist, and when you get to know me, you’ll know that I’m always happy! My friends say I bring happiness to them. I like making people happy, and making them laugh. I am the happiest when other people are happy.
*I can attest to this. Love is always happy, and I have never seen her with anything but a smile on her face. When I’m around her, she automatically puts me in a good mood and makes my day a little brighter. Her happiness is certainly contagious!
E: How would you describe our relationship?
L: I feel very comfortable being your roommate. We are very compatible together. We are both laid-back people, and are not dramatic. We like being nice to other people, and have no problems living with one another
*I whole-heatedly agree. Love is the best roommate ever! I couldn’t imagine living with anyone else.
A few more quick facts about Love…..
Favorite color: Red, because it’s the symbol of victory and love.
Favorite song: The acoustic version of Flashlight by Jessie J
Favorite animal: Dog
Favorite youtuber: Niga Higa
Thanks so much for this interview, Love!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed learning about my roommate, and how living with a local roommate has really enhanced my experience here in Vietnam.