11:20′ 12/11/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: HA 953259 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
Teacher Presley and students of the Hanoi University.

VietNamNet Bridge – The teacher stands with his face to the wall pretending to cry. Another teacher plays the part of an employer interviewing students. Teachers and students make pizza, research ancient poems, eat bun cha, drink sugarcane juice… together. Foreign lecturers are ‘conquering the hearts’ of Vietnamese students with their whole-heartedness and friendliness.


Everything in modern style


In the classroom of class 10A – 06, English Department, Hanoi University, in a corner, an American lecturer, Mr Presley McFadden, is facing the wall and crying while his Vietnamese students are laughing.


Nguyen Thi Hoa, a student, explained: “The teacher is giving an example of the form of punishment that parents often give to their children. His class is always interesting and joyful like this because he often performs hilarious dialogues or humourous actions like this to help us understand and remember the lesson”.


Most of the first-year students of the Korean Faculty of the Hanoi University worried because they would have to study with Korean teachers while they didn’t know one word of Korean. However, Ngoc Mai, a student from H2-06 class, said: “Ms Song, my Korean teacher, often sings a short song in Korean, and then she explains the meaning of all the words. Sometimes she gives us quizzes or crossword puzzles to teach us new words. After each class with Ms Song, our vocabulary has improved remarkably”.


Hanoi University currently has around 30 foreign lecturers from the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain, and China. The Hanoi Foreign Trade University also has five lecturers from Japan, Canada and the US. Some other universities like the Open University Institute and Thang Long People-founded University also cooperate with some foreign lecturers.


The classes of foreign teachers are often very joyful, interesting, but are also very serious. Students must study at the highest level to meet the requirements of foreign lecturers.


Pham Hoang Lan, a student of the Thang Long People-founded University in Hanoi, described a class on human deeds and social environment of an Australia teacher: “After teaching the theory on mobilising resources and building projects, Ms Pauline introduces sample circumstances and divides students into several groups to discuss and seek solutions. She plays the role of the authorities and we have to present our projects to convince the authorities to agree to invest in our project”.


After studying a subject on self control taught by a French teacher, Mr Feredric, Nguyen Huong Ly, K15, Thang Long People-founded University, said: “Mr Feredric has taught us the way to control our anger and to refresh ourselves to keep balance in a life full of pressure”.


At the Commercial English Language Faculty of the Hanoi Foreign Trade University, the teacher David, who is in charge of the import and export subject, asks his students to make market surveys and design import export projects.


Diem Anh, a student of K24 course, Hanoi Foreign Trade University, said: “Foreign lecturers not only impart professional knowledge to us but also skills necessary for our lives and jobs; for example, how to search for and process information on the Internet, skills to answer interviews and make presentations.”


For the unit on American culture, David asks his students to go around Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre of Hanoi to interview US tourists about their origins to learn about racial diversity in the US. Meanwhile, Ms Susan divides her students into groups to perform short plays in English to test their accents.


“Mr Peter often instructs us in how to write an impressive job application. He even plays the part of an employer to interview us; we play the roles of job applicants. Thanks to his instruction, we are now confident in our job application skills,” Diem Anh added.


At the end of each term, David also organises a contest in which students compete for an international business cup among classes. Each class appoints four students to attend each round of the contest. All questions are related to the knowledge that he taught during the term. The winning class receives a special prize – a cup full of chocolate. The contest is not only a chance for exchanges and studying among classes but also promotes healthy competition among students.


Foreign teachers + Vietnamese students = friends + families


Vietnamese students become friends and family to foreign teachers, who have come from far away to Vietnam, leaving their families and friends back home.


Many students are very surprised when foreign teachers remember the name of each student, even after several years.


“In the first class, the teacher Presley took a photo of each student and added them to an album, with their names and classes under the photo. In the following classes, he brought the album to class. After only several weeks, he knew the face and the name of all students,” said Thanh Hang, first-year student of the English Faculty, Hanoi University.


On Christmas day in 2003, two Santa Clauses appeared at the English Faculty of the Hanoi University. They held very big bags of presents, came to each class to present each student a red head and a candy box. They were a couple of teachers, Mr Bob and Mrs Ginny Morstay.


“We were first-year students at that time and as newcomers, we had never felt such warm sentiments between teachers and students like that. Mr Bob and Mrs Ginny Morstay also organised games for us. Our teacher Bob played guitar while Mrs Ginner sang. That was the most special Christmas for me,” said student Thuy Linh from 2A-02 class.


During their three years in Vietnam, Bob and Ginny paid attention to each of their students and understood their strengths and weaknesses as well.


Nguyen Thanh Thuy, a student in the talented bachelor class of English Faculty, Hanoi University, recalled: “Has leadership capacity, is good at communication and is brisk. These are the words that Bob said about me at the farewell ceremony. On that day, Mr Bob gave each student a poem and three groups of words describing exactly their personality. His advice will surely be valuable luggage for each student”.


Tuan Anh, a student in the German Faculty, Hanoi University, was very happy when teacher Berndt Dilp wrote a recommendation letter to help him attend a two-month course in Germany last summer.


Foreign teachers often invite students to their houses to cook for them or meet them. Students of the Hanoi Foreign Trade University sometimes visit their teacher Sherman’s house to participate in a poetry club, during which teachers and students read and analyse English and even Vietnamese poems together. After that they cook Vietnamese and western cuisine.


“I was very surprised and happy when students organised a birthday party for me at a small café near our university. Sometimes we go on a picnic together or visit the hometown of a student, where I can enjoy the rural life in Vietnam,” Presley said.


Ms Susan Lucasse, a teacher at the Hanoi Foreign Trade Univeristy, was also very happy when Vietnamese students made bun cha to celebrate her birthday.


“Many Vietnamese students come to me to talk about their love stories, their jobs, their lives and ask my advice. As the lifestyle and the way of thinking between Vietnamese and Americans is sometimes different I don’t always have really useful advice, but I always encourage my students to do what they think is right,” Ms Susan said.


I love Vietnam


Soạn: HA 953261 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
Teachers Bob and Ginny sing for students of the Hanoi University during the Christmas.

The love for Vietnam is a common thing that foreign teachers have. Each of them comes to Vietnam for a different reason but they all have something in common: they love their Vietnamese students and this country.


Teacher Miyahara Akira of the Japanese Faculty, Hanoi Foreign Trade University, recalled: “On April 30, 1975, the day your country re-gained independence and unification, I was teaching at the Foreign University. Returning to Japan, I and many young Japanese people at that time admired the will and the spirit of Vietnamese people. So after 30 years, I’ve returned to this country to pursue my half-done job”.


As a Japanese lecturer for international students at big universities in Japan such as Nagasaki and Tokyo, Mr Miyahara has taught many foreign students. But he loves Vietnamese students for their simple style, obedience and assiduity.


Presley shared: “I came to HCM City on a tour in 2001. Attracted by the life and the people there I planned to return to Vietnam. Immediately when REI recruited volunteers to Vietnam to teach English, I registered, and so far, I’ve taught English in Vietnam for two years”.


He revealed that he has many times been surprised by the intelligent questions of Vietnamese students. They voiced issues that he had never thought of and to answer them, he had to read books and refer to documents, which in term helped him learn something more.


“But the most popular question is, do you have girlfriend? I’m asked this question every day. People in the US don’t ask such a question, but in Vietnam, it shows attention and love,” Mr Presley said.


To avoid such ‘culture shock’, apart from six months of training in pedagogical skills, foreign teachers coming to Vietnam have to study some Vietnamese words and something about Vietnamese culture and habits, said Truong Van Khoi, Head of the International Cooperation Department of Hanoi University.


Ms Susan immediately became addicted to ‘sugarcane juice, boiled snails and bun cha” when she came to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Mr Bob loves dog meat and Mr Miyahara likes fried rice.


Presley read a 600-page book on President Ho Chi Minh. “When visiting Uncle Ho’s mausoleum with us, we were very surprised because Mr Presley told us stories about President Ho that we had never heard before,” said Khanh Linh, a student in the talented bachelor class, English Faculty, Hanoi University.


Lan Huong



VIA (www.viaprograms. org ) is a non-profit, non-governmental international
education organization committed to growing minds through purposeful,
hands-on cross-cultural exchange.  Our Asia Program recruits, trains, and
places English teachers and English resource assistants in Indonesia, Laos,
Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.  Our Stanford Program brings groups of Asian
college students to the U.S. and other parts of Asia on provocative study
seminars.  VIA has 10 full-time staff, 3 in-country staff, 50+ volunteers in
the field, and 250 participants from Asia.

* *

The Vietnam In-Country Representative (“Representative”) is a unique
full-time field position in Hanoi, Vietnam.  The Representative has
responsibilities in three main areas: volunteer support, in-country program
management, and communication with the Home Office in the U.S.  Travel time
and work during evening and weekends is expected during orientation, tour of
posts, and annual meeting.  Duties include but are not limited to:

I) Volunteer Support/Coordinatio n

– Organize a summer orientation to ease volunteers’ cultural
– Provide support to the volunteers; assisting in the settling-in
process and acting as a troubleshooter in case problems arise that would
require an official VIA representative; maintain regular correspondence with
– Conduct a fall and spring tour of posts to evaluate the partnership
between VIA volunteers and host institutions.
– Organize and coordinate annual meeting for all volunteers and Home
Office staff.

II) Program Management

– Represent VIA in official business with the Ministry of Education
and Training, PACCOM, host institutions, Ford Foundation, NGOs, banks, and
other institutions.
– Maintain financial accounting of the field budget (manage field
budget, pay volunteer stipends, pay bills related to program expenses,
report to home office).
– Handle all necessary administrative paperwork and procedures, such
as contracts, Memos of Understanding (MOUs), permits, registrations, visas,
and reports.**
– Oversee summer undergraduate programs and summer program
– Respond to information requests about VIA.

III) Home Office Communication

– Communicate with Home Office on a frequent basis regarding field
– Work with the Program Director in the U.S. on program expansion by
researching new directions and examining potential new posts.
– Work with Home Office in responding to emergency situations and
conflict management.

*Qualifications: *

Demonstrated commitment to cross-cultural collaboration and international
education; international immersion experience, preferably in Vietnam and
through VIA; participatory leadership style; leadership and management
skills; computer skills; strong written/oral communication skills in
English; and strong interpersonal skills.  There is a preference for
candidates who can commit to at least two years.

*Terms of Employment:*

–          The Vietnam In-Country Representative is hired as a full-time (40
hr/week) position.

–          Wage is set at the monthly stipend of U.S. $1100 and housing
stipend of U.S. $350.

–          Basic medical and emergency evacuation insurance coverage

–          International flight to home country is provided including
economy airfare, airport taxes and transportation to and from Vietnamese

–          15 annual leave, 5 days Tet holiday, and all official Vietnamese

*Location: *Hanoi, Vietnam.  VIA does not have a formal Vietnam office.  The
Representative works from his/her home.**

* *

*Apply by:* October 20, 2006; Rolling deadline – applications will be
reviewed as received.

*Timeline*: October 1-31: Interviews at Home Office in San Francisco, CA,
USA or Hanoi, Vietnam.  Preferred start date is November 20, 2006.


Christine Tran

Vietnam Program Director

VIA (formerly Volunteers in Asia)

965 Mission Street, Suite 701

San Francisco, CA 94103

vietnam@viaprograms .org

Justin Hart

In-Country Representative

VIA (formerly Volunteers in Asia)

Hanoi International Post Office

I.P.O. Box 1

Hanoi, Vietnam

viahn@netnam. vn.org

Hi everybody,

My name is Christine Tran, a UC Berkeley alumni and current Vietnam program director at Volunteers in Asia (VIA).  I’m writing to let you know about volunteer opportunities in Vietnam through VIA.

If you’ve ever thought about spending an extended amount of time in Vietnam, contributing something meaningful while exploring your Vietnamese roots, a great way to do it would be through an organization like VIA.

VIA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding between the U.S and Asia.  Our Vietnam program was established in 1990, making us one of the first American organizations to return to Vietnam after the war.  We have sent over 200 volunteers to Vietnam on summer and long-term (1-2 year) volunteer opportunities.

We currently work with mostly Vietnamese public universities and a handful of nonprofits and research institutions.

These are THREE types of volunteer opportunities we offer:

For those with a college degree and demonstrated interest in Vietnam or the Vietnamese-American community:
VIA offers two brand new fully-funded fellowships for exceptional college graduates who have a demonstrated and ongoing commitment to Vietnam or the Vietnamese-American community.  Fellows serve at one of our 11 long-term posts and design and implement a community service project over one year.  This fellowship is funded by the Ford Foundation.

For those with a college degree:  VIA has one- and two-year long volunteer opportunities teaching English in Vietnam.  You may teach at institutions like the University of Hue, University of Dalat, University of Danang, University of An Giang, University of Fisheries, Nha Trang, or Hanoi University of Foreign Studies.

For continuing undergraduates or recent graduates: VIA has a 7-week long summer program called Teach-in-Hue.  This program is wildly popular among US participants and Vietnamese university students in Hue.  Volunteers teach American Culture at the University of Hue to first- and second-year English majors and gifted high school students.

If you’re interested, please take a look at our website first and then feel free to give me a call or send an email.  Our application deadline is Feb. 22, 2007 and volunteers leave between mid-June and mid-July each year.

There is a participation fee (except for fellowships) which only covers a fraction of what it costs VIA to send volunteers to Vietnam.  The fee covers all or partial airfare, housing, stipend, training, visa, insurance, orientation, etc.  We’re supported generously by former volunteers and foundations.  Financial assistance is also provided and funded by former volunteers.

If you’ve ever thought about living and volunteering in Vietnam, take a look at our website to learn more about our program and what the benefits are of going with an organization.

Check it out: www.viaprograms. org

Thanks for reading!
Christine Tran
Vietnam Program Director

We’ve moved!  Our new contact information is:

965 Mission Street, Suite 751
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.904.8033
www.viaprograms. org