Nguyen Kim Tien

My full name’s Nguyen Kim Tien. I’m from Hau Giang, Vietnam. I have just finished my third year at Cantho University. I’m studying English, specialized in Teaching and Education.
First of all, I would like to give many thanks to sponsors and volunteers in the association of VNSF (Vietnam Scholarship Foundation) for your helps to me during the last five years, as well as to my other friends, who are in difficulties. Actually, this program is really helpful for students in poor conditions, in general.

In two aspects, this program encourages and motivates the students.

Firstly, this scholarship helps students out of worries of financial problems. The fact is that learning makes their families more suffered and their life more difficult. They are pressured too much about that. In fact, most of these families are in different situations. They don’t want their poor situation. They want to let their children go to school. However, they don’t have enough money to support their hard life without mentioning the schooling of their children. Some families are aware of the importance of education for their children; they try to send their children to school. However, it is not simple at all for them to afford. They still believe that in the future, their children’s life will be better. However, not few families give up that effort. At the same boat with them, I know many of very young people have to quit school to work at very early age. They have to do different hard jobs to earn money, but they don’t get much. Although some of them may be reduced or exempted from the school fees, the learning materials like text books, notes books, pens etc. and school uniforms and other learning supporters cost out of the financial ability of their families. With these families, sending their children to school means they have one more burden on their shoulder that they can’t assure. Thanks to helps from VNSF, the families of these students don’t have to worry of the finance for their study, getting out of the pressure of spending more money, or they are less worried about that.

Secondly, these students can have more spiritual motivation in life. They don’t think of their “bad and black” fate any more. It also help them escape from the passive thoughts: They believe in their fate; they feel shy because of their situation; they become passive or less active; they themselves tend to be embarrassed.; they are extremely sensitive and easily to be hurt; they keep a long “distance” in their souls from others; they may be on the edge of quitting their schools or they overcome all to get out of their situation. It is essential for them to make decision whether they make effort to win themselves or to give up. With the appearance of the help form this program, it is easier for them to make up their mind that they must carry on. With the helps from VNSF, they have more motivation to get out of their shyness and interior life. They know that they are not lonely and they are encouraged and supported. Gradually, they become more confident in life, and more consistent in their study to overcome their fate. They try their best endlessly with a simple and gentle wish: no poverty and misery. They win themselves and never give up.

To me, this scholarship is very meaningful. From the beginning, like my other friends, it helped me to get out of my worry that I was setting up a burden on my parents’ shoulders. (It was when I was at the end of grade 10). I was always worrying about that problem because I am from a big family with seven siblings. My parents had to take care of them, not only me. Therefore, I was very embarrassed and sensitive to ask my parents for any money for my study. I really loved studying and I worried and afraid of being stopped going to school. At that time, this feeling badly affected me and my study. However, I believed and always believe that only studying could better the life of my family and me later all. Studying would and will give me to the new horizon in the future. Consequently, I always try my best to study in any circumstances. Luckily, I was helped to meet VNSF.

I can be like myself today thanks to many concerns of many benefactors who are willing to help me and encourage me in time. Among them, VNSF has been supporting me for five years (from the year 2005 when I was in grade 11 at high school). This scholarship has given me the conditions for my study. It has motivated me in my spirit and my study. Not only was I partly released from my financial problem but I also had more motivation to study better and I was happy because I was paid attention to by other people. The feeling of being paid attention is somehow wonderful. Perhaps when people have positive feeling of their existence, there will be valuable changes in their life. Thus, I was less reserved and became more active and went out of my hut! My thoughts have changed, and I have had more friends. I had a very good time with many changes for myself from the time of being supported by VNSF. Since then, I concentrated on my study and always made great effort. I had quite good results. My wish to a university was gradually set up. I admired my teacher who teaches English. I wanted to be a teacher. I was determined to pass the entrance exam to Cantho University.

When I set up my feet on the “wonderland” of Cantho University, I did not think that I could continue to be supported by VNSF. My parents try to pick up an amount of money from working and from borrowing for me. They have the desire of my study to make me have different life from theirs. With the mixed feeling of happiness and worry, I finished my first semester at university. At this time, my family had more and more difficulties. My mother got two more illnesses. Then, my father got serious illness. The financial problem became more and more serious. However, my parents always encouraged me, “Don’t worry, my dear! Try your best to study. Dad and Mom can try.” My parents realized that the misery and poverty of our family is from their illiteracy. Anyway, they want me and my three younger sisters to have good education and nice future. Facing that difficulty, I always make great effort for my study and I try to find out whether there is any way to help me cope with this. I spent time finding some part time jobs but they were not suitable for me. Then, I decided to choose tutoring for students from high school or middle-school. However, I was not successful with my part time job. I got much depressed. The environment in the university is quite different from that my high school because it was too crowded, more than 15 thousand students. There was rarely condition that the university staff could know my situation and helped me as I was helped in high school. I was disappointed at that moment.

By chance, I saw the phone number of VNSF when I was finding my documents. A little bit hope in my heart was up, but I was too hesitated to make a phone call to know if I could continue to receive the scholarship. I was really shy and ashamed. My interior life then was very complicated. About a week, I had been conflicting in my mind. It was extremely sensitive. I thought too much. I thought of what I was helped by VNSF. I thought of their encouragement, how they gave me motivation to study and how they desired me to get over my unlucky situation and try to study, never giving up. Then, I thought of my family, of my parents. It was real that I really need help. I had to say and share my difficulty. Finally, I made decision to ask VNSF for help. I was not disappointed because they were really nice to me and helped me… Actually, my energy was awaken. With the scholarship, my family and I become less worried about my fees. I used it for my study and life at university. I can somehow cope with the cost of learning materials and housing. With the remaining cost, I try to re-start my tutoring job. At this time, I have got experience in tutoring and I can get some money. Thanks to this, I don’t have to ask my parents for the fee. Up to now, every semester I have been given this scholarship, and I am assured of my study. Besides, I can spend little time doing other extra activities to train myself to become less shy and more active.

Gradually, I can affirm my belief. Until now, I can make up a feasible plan, in my mind, of what I will do after my graduation from the university.

I am writing with all my heart about my desire. There are two important things that I really wish to do. First, I want to have a good job with the salary to help my parents to cure their illnesses, to replace my parents to work for my younger sisters to continue their study. Second, I hope I can do something to help unfortunate people like I have been helped.

For the first wish, I was born and brought up by my parents. Because of my life and my siblings, they have been working too hard that they have been very sick. Up to now, in spite of their sickness, they have to work because of my siblings and me. There are no other ways until we can completely assure our life. I want my parents to have a happy and better life. I want them to live healthy. Besides, I want to take responsibility of my younger sisters, supporting their school work.

With the second one, I hope to make contribution (any thing if possible) to help unlucky people. I hope to help them overcome difficulties and believe in their life. I hope I can give them motivation to never give up, giving them encouragement in time.

For my work, I used to wish to become a teacher when I was very young. Actually, I can do it in the future. But I gradually recognize that, to be a good teacher, I need more than what I have learned at the university. After I have just practiced observations in real classes at high school, I recognize that students expected much from their teachers. (I have my first official students. I love them very much.) I realize that they need much knowledge and experience in real life, not only the things in textbooks or lessons. I think like that because I was and have been a student. I am also called teacher in the time of practicing the observations in classrooms in a high school. I really love my first official students. Then, I make up my mind to make great effort to work and get knowledge and experience in real life to satisfy the demand of students. Therefore, in the future, before I work as a teacher, I will work and experience outside the schools.

With the time, I also realize that I have one more other need: I like to work in an economic field because I think that I am very excited to know how to work in such an active environment. I think that this is the place that I can learn and understand, affirm myself, my characters. In that environment, I think I can gather much for my students later. I knew a situation that a teacher, when I was young, could not give clear and valuable information and advice for her students when they asked for their future jobs. I wish that I know much to avoid that situation, and instead, I will be able to give really necessary information for my students. I will never stop learning to know that.

For those, I think graduation from high school does not mean that I have finished my way to reach my future. More than that, I know I must experience in life and never stop. Even I can affirm that my choice in the past is correct, I will still try my best for what I have desired.

In all, I am very happy when people want to heard my thoughts. In fact, every time when I can share my wishes is the time I can get more encouragement to go on. It is very difficult for me to use any words to express my appreciation and thanks to you, sponsors and volunteers in VNSF, who are willing to hear, to share and to help me, as well as my other friends, whole-heartedly during our path to the future. This invaluable action creates more motivation and energy for us to come on! We will never give up! I really can’t find out any word to say how much thankful I am for all VNSF. I wish you all with good health and happiness.

Nguyen Kim Tien