teaching English to Vietnamese students

Jim, a Vietnam Veteran and Volunteer,  describes how teaching English to Vietnamese students has enabled him to “pay a debt” to the country’s people.

Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, where I taught English, clearly does not have the resources of the average American university. The classrooms are bare, the technology is hit and miss, (or just missing) and the learning materials are relatively unsophisticated. Despite that, the students are impressive. They are intelligent, motivated, eager learners. And they are such warm and sweet people, that any teacher would feel lucky and grateful to work with them. This is how we feel. We signed on for teaching English to Vietnamese students – to help ease more English language into their heads on onto their lips.  But they have found their way into our hearts.

Teaching English to Vietnamese students in Hanoi was one of the great experiences of my life. I look forward to another Global Volunteers adventure in the future.

I had written to friends and family at home that it would be impossible for us to have this experience and remain unchanged. We have been changed, and clearly for the better. I confess that I had my own agenda when I came here. I wanted my wife Mary Lou to see firsthand the beautiful country that was the setting for a significant chapter of my life as a young man. And I came carrying the burden of a debt to the Vietnamese people that I felt a need to repay. I have worked that debt off, and I am at peace.

teaching English to Vietnamese students at Foreign Trade University

Foreign Trade University students in Hanoi.

My noble and generous fellow volunteers have shown me the best of humanity. It has been an honor to serve with them. They are pursuing a goal – helping heal a wound through English tutoring – that some may think futile, but they do the work and keep the faith. They will not see the full fruit of their efforts in their own lifetimes, but still they keep hope alive. Coming together in this exotic land to pool their talents in the name of peace is an inspiring act of love. Bless each of them on their life’s journey.

You too can be inspired by eager, enchanting students in Hanoi.  Volunteer in Vietnam with us, and invest in mutual international understanding and peace.  If you doubt you can make a difference, please call, chat or email us for more information!

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