“Gap year” getting more prevalent among Vietnamese students

VietNamNet Bridge – More and more Vietnamese students decide to postpone their study to follow other plans – the thing that their parents and grandparents in the past would consider the “wild thought.”

The student who came first at the 2013 national entrance exams to the Hanoi University of Technology was Nguyen Thanh Trung, from the Phan Boi Chau High School in the central province of Nghe An.

The student who came first at the 2013 national entrance exams to the Hanoi University of Technology was Nguyen Thanh Trung, from the Phan Boi Chau High School in the central province of Nghe An.

The boy who got 29.75/30 marks from the exams has recently caused a surprise to people when revealing that in 2012, he passed the exams to the math faculty of the Hanoi University of Education, but he decided to give up school just after two months of studying.

Trung said he decided to quit the school to “start again from the very beginning.” He spent one year staying at home, reviewing the lessons to prepare to attend this year’s exams to enter another school.

Trung’s decision to give up the education school which would make him become a teacher then caused a shock to the whole family. These were the tough days for Trung.

“My parents got frightened. As they failed to persuade me to return to the school, they scolded me. My friends also thought I made a crazy decision. Some of them told me that I gave up a good opportunity to follow the university education – which is the dream of everyone. I was under a hard pressure,” Trung recalled the days.

“I suffered stress in the first two weeks after I made the decision,” he said.

However, Trung’s parents later realized what their son wanted. The boy then spent 6-8 hours a day on learning to prepare for the new exams.

Nguyen Gia Ngoc, the administrator of VNpedia website at vietabroader.org/pedia, a project of VietAbroader, is a second year student of the HCM City University of Foreign Trade.

In fact, Ngoc entered the school four years ago already. However, after passing the exams to the school in 2010 and studying there for two months, the student decided to have two “gap years” just because he felt he “had some personal problems”.

Ngoc, having come back to the school to fulfill the study plan, said he does not feel regret his decision, because he has learnt much from the two years from the life, the things that no school could not give him.

In the eyes of Vietnamese parents, continuing studying at universities after finishing high school is the best way for their children. They could not imagine that someone may give up his opportunities at universities – the thing that everyone dreams to have – to “go learning things from life” as explained by the “gap year students.”

They also don’t want their children to stay jobless for one or two years, unless their children fail the exams to universities. In the thoughts of Vietnamese parents, their children need to fulfill their studies at school to get necessary knowledge before they make their ways in the world and implement their own plans.

However, Vietnamese youth nowadays have their strong arguments to implement the plans they draw for themselves. Analysts have noted that the number of gap-year students has been increasing year after year. Meanwhile, the pioneered gap year students all have affirmed that the gap-year period was really useful and interesting for them.

Chi Mai

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