At work, my desk includes a computer, but since everything is in Italian and it doesn’t have Hangul Word, I usually use my own laptop. To ensure that I have a useful work environment, the school has provided me with an elevator key, a pass card for library access as well as printing and copying, and a meal card that gives me discounts for on-campus dining.
My duties involve preparing classroom materials, collecting and analyzing data for textbooks, and consulting with students who are interested in studying in Korea. One day in April, a professor was ill, and I suddenly had to be a substitute instructor. I had spent all my time preparing course materials for professors, so conducting the lecture wasn’t a big problem, but since it was my first teaching experience, I was very nervous. Fortunately, I had a great time talking with the students, and the experience has left me with good memories. Students here can choose when they take their exams. They can select from two different periods for their oral exams, and it was fascinating to see a system so different from Korea’s.
One day, a third-year student invited me over for a nice Italian meal. It was a great experience to have home-cooked Italian food. As it was a student who likes Korean food, I returned the favor with a gift of Korean ramyeon and dried seaweed.
Hanoi is starting to get really hot. At the University of Languages and International Studies in Hanoi, the lecture halls have no air conditioners, but only ceiling fans, making them incredibly stuffy.
Like many European institutions, Vietnamese universities begin their first semester in September and their second semester in January. One semester is 16 weeks in length, and students take their final exams after finishing their lecture courses. In May, first-year students completed their speaking course and second-year students finished their reading course. On the last day of each course, students gave their feedback during a meaningful discussion session. Summer break began in June.
The Teachers’ Day event that had been scheduled for May 21 was moved up to May 19. The event was not only a time for students to show appreciation for their teachers—it was a precious opportunity for everyone to say goodbye to the seniors about to graduate and to congratulate them on their new journey. The event started at 9 a.m., with a samulnori performance by the Korean language department, followed by a student talent show, various recreational activities, and a ceremony for students to thank their teachers and offer gifts to them. Afterward, first-year and second-year students showed their appreciation to the graduating students, congratulating them on their commencement, while the president of the graduating class offered a few words of parting and advice to the younger students. Teachers’ Day was a gathering of students from all grades, from first year to fourth year, as well as a time for lecturers, professors, and educators from the Korean department to greet and support each other.