Two Sri Lankan Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronics) students on RMIT Vietnam scholarships have been bowled over by how easily they’ve adapted to living and studying in Vietnam.
Chandula Mevan Nayanesh Jirasinha and Veerandi Maleesha Kalasekara are into their second semester at Saigon South and loving it.
Nayanesh says his dad, who works in logistics, always wanted him to have a tertiary education, and Nayanesh wants to set an example to his younger sister who’s getting good exam results.
“I originally wanted to study in Australia but I got the scholarship to study here and when I arrived I was blown away by how developed Vietnam is,” he said.
“The lecturers here are good and if the learning materials are difficult you can get help after class.”
Veerandi had also thought of studying in Australia but Vietnam is closer to home, making it easier for her family to visit her.
“My family came with me when I first started here,” she said.
“Vietnam’s climate is comfortable – it’s almost the same as Sri Lanka’s – and it’s safer here.
“The class sizes here are small and that’s good because it’s so easy to access the lecturers.”
Both Sri Lankan students live on campus, giving sociable Nayanesh the opportunity to party with his French, Danish and Australian friends.
Both students are involved in club life: Nayanesh in flag football, chess and engineering, Veerandi in engineering and drama. Both joined a recent charity trip to raise funds for a pagoda in the Mekong which educates disadvantaged children.
Party-loving Nayanesh has also found another advantage of living on campus: “Once I overslept and was still on time for class. It’s very convenient!”
Veerandi’s family owns a manufacturing business making clothing for young children; one of her two older brothers works there and the other one is studying physical sciences at Sri Lanka University.
While she may use her engineering skills in the family factory, Veerandi also has broader goals.
“My country is still developing and I’d like to contribute to that,” she said.
And the challenges?
Nayanesh says language differences in class are difficult because there are only a few students who don’t speak Vietnamese: “Sometimes you feel left out”.
Veerandi lost her phone and she and her family had a stressful time until it was replaced.
Even though they are just beginning university life both students are thinking about their futures, with Veerandi finding her initial Career Passport course helpful in considering career options.
Nayanesh knows he wants to travel more, having lived in Bangladesh for five years he has the bug and is aiming to do an exchange to Australia – if he can convince his dad.
“I’ve made a lot of international and Vietnamese friends here and that’s what it’s about: the people you meet. The more the merrier!” he said.
– By Sharon Webb
To obtain more information on RMIIT University Vietnam, contact local representative International Scholar Educational Services (Pvt) Ltd on 011 2553466/ 2593571 or email [email protected]
Website – www.international-scholar.com