Each weekend, Mr Vi To Dinh’s house in Truong Thi district, Vinh city is packed with Lao exchange students. Mr Dinh often throws parties to welcome new Lao students in Vietnam and even farewell parties for those who finish their studies in Vietnam.
Mr Vi To Dinh, Vice President of Vietnam-Lao Friendship Association in Nghe An Province is a host parent of five Lao students. Mr Dinh said “The gatherings aim to help Lao students improve their Vietnamese. Lao students also introduce us to their own culture. Vietnam and Laos have a long-term friendship so we consider Lao students studying and living here with us as our children.”
Na-lay-van, one of the five students living with the family, is now studying at the Vinh medical university. Mr Dinh considers Na-lay-van as his daughter, and he even bought her an e-bicycle, a laptop, and school stationery.
“Living here with host parents I feel like living at home with my own parents. The hosts help me with everything I need. I am living far from home, so during Lao traditional Tet, host parents often organize parties for me and other Lao students living nearby”, said Na-lay-van.
After five years of the exchange program, more than 150 Lao students have been hosted by Vietnamese families in Vinh city. Mr Bac’s family in Doi Cung district has hosted more than 20 Lao students. And Mr Vy My Son’s family in Truong Thi district has hosted more than 30 so far.
After graduating, many in the exchange program have returned to Laos and now have good positions in the governance system.
Si-von-bun-tha-vi, head of the Lao exchange students association in Nghe An province said “We have received great care from host parents and siblings during the years living in Vietnam. There are not enough words to express my gratitude to the host family, who have provided me with daily meals and even medical care when I was ill.”
There are between 400 and 600 Lao students studying in Vinh city buildings including Vinh university, Vinh medical university, the Nghe An college of teacher training and Nghe An Economic university. The cooperation between universities and host families in the city has helped many Lao students.
Associated, PhD Ngo Dinh Phuong, Deputy Head of Vinh University said “We have worked with Vietnam-Lao Friendship Association in Nghe An Province to choose Vietnamese families to host Lao students. There are about 20 to 30 host families in Vinh city offering good living conditions for exchange system.”
Hosting Lao students with difficulties in Nghe An province is a meaningful activity which contributes to the special friendship between Vietnam and Lao.