Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

New to Vietnam! Would Love Some Advice!

Posted by KatieK on 29/5/2012 at 00:51

Hello all!
I've recently received a grant to teach English in Vietnam for a year. I don't know what city I'll be placed in yet, but it will definitely be a big-ish one as I'll be teaching at a university. I am so thrilled to be moving, and have always been in love with Vietnam from afar, but I worry that I'll have a hard time making friends!
I'm a fairly outgoing 24 year old American with poor but improving skill in Vietnamese, and while I suppose it would be nice to make friends who also speak English, I'm more interested in meeting and making friends with young Vietnamese people, who can help me understand the charms of their city and practice their language.
If it were a new city in the U.S. I might take a pottery class or join a gym, but I just don't know how people meet each other in other countries (obviously, I'm pretty green to travel).
So what do you recommend? How do I avoid becoming the lonely tay?

#1 KatieK has been a member since 29/5/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by daawgon on 29/5/2012 at 11:14

Vietnam is one country where it's difficult to really feel lonely. Why, because this country is full of very outgoing people. The Vietnamese are sort of noisy by Western standards. They ask you your age, salary, marital status (most everything except gender preference!) I think you will love it here.

Vietnam is not as pretty as the pictures. Pollution is everywhere, and poverty is widespread. The thing that is outstanding in this country are it's people. I encourage you to read as much as you can about VN before you come. Know it's problems as well as it's finer points - I think this will help you to understand your adopted country. One thing is for sure, VN is a country of constant change. Travelfish is a great place to start your VN education.

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111


Posted by Vietnam720 on 2/6/2012 at 20:12

Posted from within Vietnam.

There's a fairly active expat community on Twitter. Just head there and watch out for hashtags like #Saigon and #Hanoi :)

#3 Vietnam720 has been a member since 26/8/2009. Location: Singapore. Posts: 46
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Posted by haitranxuan on 4/6/2012 at 05:26

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi KatieK,

You will never feel lonely when you are here in Vietnam. You can find friends everywhere at work or at sight seeing spots. I would suggest that you should make friends with some young students who would like to exchange their language skill with foreigners,they are very excited to have friends like you in their country.In Hanoi you can get this easily through Hanoi Kids: http://hanoikids.org/index/

Hope you feel better and be ready for your trip of lifetime!!!!!!!!!!
Pls let me know if you should need any further info about Vietnam.
Hai Tran

#4 haitranxuan has been a member since 18/7/2011. Posts: 5

Posted by Randy on 26/8/2012 at 17:37

Feeling lonely in Vietnam? Are you KIDDING me? Especially for white female Westerner. I do not think she will be alone in the 4th day she lands in Vietnam. Good Vietnamese friends mostly come from..STUDENTS. They are eager to practice their English and with their national friendship nature, I do not think you will be lonely in Vietnam. Some Western man came by himself to Vietnam and the first few mornings he had his coffee at...any shop around the corner, then he found out he got Vietnamese friends at the end of his first week there. Some even married and wanted to stay in Vietnam. You must be kidding me. Cheer! I love Vietnamese people and her hospitality. From " White Polar Bear of the North Pole-Canada-"

#5 Randy has been a member since 3/2/2011. Posts: 28

Posted by MADMAC on 11/9/2012 at 22:36

"I'm a fairly outgoing 24 year old American with poor but improving skill in Vietnamese, and while I suppose it would be nice to make friends who also speak English, I'm more interested in meeting and making friends with young Vietnamese people, who can help me understand the charms of their city and practice their language."

Your attitude is already so positive, I don't see how you can go wrong. Don't let the tough ass Vietnamese get you down. As you can see from many people who have posted here on Travelfish, there are plenty of nice people in Vietnam. I know a number of them. If you are a salsera by chance, there are decent dance scenes in both Saigon and Hanoi (and I hear a budding one in Hoi An). Others above gave some good advice. Have a great trip.

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by aney on 11/9/2012 at 23:06

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi Kattie, don't worry about being lonely and getting boring in Vietnam. You'll easy to find many friendly and excited people, especially young people. Let's make some Vietnamese friends online so they can help you in advicing, consulting and talking about anything you want to know about Vietnam.
Just feel free to contact me via email: dongquan@vdc.com.vn
Wish you have a good time in Vietnam.
Aney.

#7 aney has been a member since 31/5/2012. Posts: 8

Posted by jennysjourney on 13/9/2012 at 08:41

Hi Katie,

Like everyone else said, the Vietnamese are super-friendly, you won't have a problem. You are guaranteed to meet friends through work/ flat share and if all that fails, then why not try setting up a language exchange with a local your age. You could meet once a week for coffee, you teach them English for half an hour say and he teaches you Vietnamese for the other half. I have met lots of people this way on my travels and you also get to learn a language.

All the best,

Jenny.

#8 jennysjourney has been a member since 13/9/2012. Posts: 2


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