Thoi Gian Troi Nhu Vo Cau Qua Cua
Thoi Gian Troi Nhu Vo Cau Qua Cua
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  • 승인 2010.12.08 20:07
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When the Boeing started to move out on the runway of Noibai Airport, I had mixed and uncertain feelings. I was leaving my fatherland to go to another country that I only knew through TV, the Internet, book and some emails. Vacantly looking at the murky night, I wondered what was waiting for me at a place named POSTECH, where I would spend the brightest years and months of my youth to pursue a PhD degree in Chemistry.

I got the answer after 6 hours on the plane, 2 hours on the bus and 15 minutes in a taxi. “What a huge university,” I muttered. “How stunning it is!” My university in Vietnam, Hanoi University of Science, is also very beautiful but many smaller times than POSTECH. The environment of POSTECH is extremely fresh with various trees and grass fields. What makes me admire it most is how its architecture harmonizes so well with nature. It brings us closer to nature and relieves the human mind after a long hard working day. In Vietnam, very few universities possess a campus appropriate to nature like POSTECH.

Thoi gian troi nhu vo cau qua cua (a Vietnamese idiom meaning “time goes fast like a racing horse”). It has been four months since I set my first step on POSTECH. My life in POSTECH, in general, is good. My lab mates are very nice and it has been very easy for me to become a part of my lab. Especially, my professor is a perfect advisor. He’s not only a famous scholar but also a caring and pleasant professor. He gave me some warm clothes for the coming winter and cheers me up when I feel bad or have some problem. I feel very lucky and honored to be his student. The Vietnamese community here also is very close-knit and always aggressive to help each other. These are over 20 Vietnamese in POSTECH, including researchers and graduate students, but there will be a huge increase of Vietnamese students next semester.  We usually hang out in the Log House when someone comes or someone leaves. Besides, I have many friends from other cultures such as China, India, Pakistan, Iran, the USA, and Korea. Although we have many differences about culture and language, we also can live in friendly way because of our respect for each other. Some of them have become very close friends of mine.

However, it would be a lie if I told you my life in POSTECH is perfect. The campus of POSTECH is pretty far away from downtown, so I have a feeling that I’m living on an isolated island. The time table in POSTECH is also very tough and usually we have to spend more than 12 hours in the lab. There are limited holidays in Korea, so it may be difficult if I want to travel and discover Korea. The strict hierarchy of Korea also makes me uncomfortable. The distance between younger and older students (juniors and seniors) as well as professors and students is very far and almost Korean students are afraid of their professors. It’s very different with my university in Vietnam, where students feel free to talk with their professors and there is no difference between junior and senior students. I think if POSTECH want to increase its international property, there should be more cultural activities to let us understand each other

Except for small drawbacks, I believe POSTECH is an excellent environment to harvest knowledge and to do research.  I remember a quote of Walt Disney: “All of our dreams can become true if we have the courage to pursue them.” I want to send my best wishes to POSTECH: in the near future, our university will develop into a world top 20 research-oriented university and become an attractive destination of various talented  international students, just like MIT, Caltech and Cambridge

Thieu Mai Lam / Graduate, CHEM