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Global Raiders: A look at MTSU, America through a ...

Global Raiders: A look at MTSU, America through a Vietnamese student’s eyes

Ly Bui left her home in Vietnam to attend MTSU.

It took a long flight from Vietnam to America. I still remember it was a day beginning in March 2019. Can you guess what my first impression was? Some people may say I thought, “Oh My God! Look at this! I can smell the rich and modern in the air!” It’s not true because my first thought is, “Oh My God! It’s cold!” And, America welcomed me with a winter landscape.  

The first day after ELS class, I must wait until 7 p.m. for Tung, my nephew-in-law, to pick me up. It was too late, so I decided to wait outside. A long time later, his wife told me Tung said he immediately thought, “Poor girl!” when he saw me at that moment. It was the first time, I realized how loneliness felt.  

The first time I took the MTSU tour, I truly experienced the different construction styles of Vietnam and America. There are huge parking lots, significant buildings, and no concrete fences at all. From the outside, university here and in Vietnam are distinct, how is the inside? I think it may be right for me to study here.  

The first semester at MTSU, I was so nervous because I came back to school after two gap years. I sent e-mails to every single professor of each class that I took to ask them about what book I should/must read and asked for some advice. I’m glad they replied and gave me helpful information.  

The first time I was using a vending machine of mine was when I was at Wiser-Patten Science Hall just finishing my Chemistry class. It was a whole new experience, but it wasn’t too bad.   

The first time I saw people skateboarding on campus, I thought, “Wow, it looks so cool! Should I try to learn it?” (Believe me, Vietnamese are good at riding bikes, but not skateboarding.) So far, I haven’t learned it yet, but I think I will do it one day.  

The first time I enjoyed walking on the campus when I slowly walked out of Kirksey Old Main Building, it was about 3:30 p.m. after I finished my Communication class. The weather was so lovely at the end of the day. I looked around, and I noticed a lot of fun stuff. I saw a healthy green lawn and a couple of squirrels near a stump. I heard a conversation from some students walking behind me; they talked about last week’s assignment. At that moment, I recognized, “Everything around is so lively. I should enjoy it.” 

As you can see, I had a lot of “the first time…” with MTSU.  I believe I will have a lot more in my future. I will be so willing and happy to receive them.  

Contributing writer Ly Bui is a senior majoring in Engineering Technology. She is part of the International Student Ambassador program that was launched in the Fall of 2020 by the Office of International Affairs. Ambassadors mentor incoming international students to help them adjust to the United States and give advice about getting involved on campus and how to be successful at MTSU.


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