A Korean scholar, who has been pursuing his graduate program in Vietnam, has expressed his hope to be able to continue his career in the country.
Yong Wook Song, a 39-year-old Korean, is currently working on his thesis, the topic of which is the study of the social development policies of Vietnam and an area in South Korea, for his master’s program in sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City.
The objective of the thesis is to conduct research and form a comparison between the policies for developing society, the population, foreign investment and other fields of Ho Chi Minh City and a Korean province, according to Yong.
He has already obtained a master’s degree in public administration and used to work for the South Korean Ministry of the Interior.
The Korean academic received the scholarship from the Korean government in 2014 and chose Vietnam as his place of study from a variety of options.
Yong said that he had spent four months studying Vietnam before pursuing his education in the country.
“Vietnam has been developing at a fast pace in recent years. Many Korean people have chosen to work and live in the country. Vietnam is expected to grow faster and more Korean investors and businesses will target the nation,” Yong explained.
He has been learning Vietnamese since he began his master’s program, Yong said, adding that he found pronunciation to be the most challenging part of Vietnamese after eight months studying the language.
Yong tries to speak Vietnamese as much as possible when communicating with other classmates and only uses English when he cannot think of the correct word or phrase, according to the foreign scholar.
He stated that his Vietnamese friends are very supportive in helping him improve his language skill as well as explain the study content.
“Many Koreans are trying to learn Vietnamese as they plan to work in the country for a long time,” Yong elaborated.
Yong starts his normal day by taking a bus from his tenanted house in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City to Dong Khoi Street in District 1 before catching a motorcycle taxi to his university.
Yong intends to return to his hometown in South Korea after his thesis defense and work there for about two to three years.
He added that he wished to have an opportunity to come to Vietnam again and work for an international agency or that of the Korean government in the Southeast Asian country.
“The culture and lifestyle of Vietnam and Korea are very similar; the Vietnamese people are also friendly and approachable. As I already have experience in living in the country, I shall return here and start my career,” Yong asserted.