Nguyen Thi Trang, a young lecturer based in Thailand, said she always tries to build a positive image of her country as an overseas Vietnamese.
“When I was a student, I did not imagine I would be a lecturer, especially in a foreign country,” said Nguyen Thi Trang, a lecturer in Vietnamese language studies at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok.
Trang, 30, recalled the days of her youth, when she desperately wanted a dictionary.
“At that time, the price of a dictionary might have cost half of my monthly living expenses. So, it was just a dream,” she said.
One day, her teacher brought that dictionary to the class and lent it to her.
He later announced his upcoming placement in a PhD program abroad, and told Trang to keep the book.
“You can give it to another person if you do not need it,” he said.
From that moment, the young girl dreamed of becoming a teacher, just like him.
In her fourth year at university, Trang was selected to be a lecturer at an educational institution in Thailand.
“I decided to take that opportunity, but honestly I did not think it would last this long,” Trang stated.
At first, the Vietnamese teacher faced many difficulties in both communicating and teaching skills, but she gradually found her way to overcome.
“The most important factor that helped me to go through that rough time was my passion for my job,” she remembered.
As an expat in Thailand, Trang always shares Vietnamese culture with her students by wearing an ‘ao dai’ during holidays, cooking traditional meals, or introducing folk songs in her lessons.
The teacher said she understands that every overseas Vietnamese is an ‘ambassador’ who represents their country.
Therefore, it is her responsibility to build a positive image of the Southeast Asian country in her Thai students’ mindset, she explained.