VJEP, VIETNAM – JAPAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2019 PERSONAL REPORT (9) Hồ Nhựt Hào (University of Economics and Law)

Krakow, Oct 3rd, 2019 

     It has been a month since we separated. To be honest, a couple of days after the program, sometimes in my dream, I felt like the program was still happening and we were still together. I really miss all of you.
     My 2019 summer could have been like every summer ever if it had not been for VJEP 2019. First of all, let’s bring it back to the beginning of May when everything started. I was invited by a friend, Mingo, who worked in the organizing team. Although I’m always interested in such inter-cultural activities, I did not set high expectations when I first knew about the program. AAEE sounded so big to me, they had already organized 6 programs of VJEP since 2013, the applicants were from many top universities in Ho Chi Minh city – all that things dragged my feet. Anyway, one of my favorite quotes is “nothing is impossible”. And on May 12th I received the first e-mail from the VJEP organizing team informing me that I had passed the application round. And from that moment I kept trying my best from round to round and I knew what I was trying for was worth it.
     Eventually, on May 31st, I officially became a Vietnamese delegate of VJEP 2019. From that day to the day the program officially began, we had to prepare many things together. And that is when I started to get to know other Vietnamese participants more. I did not talk so much at first, because I’m quite an introvert person. However, the other’s enthusiasm and creativity pushed me to talk. We had to prepare for five tasks. Everyone was so dedicated and I was always looking forward to meeting them at each Orientation session.
     Now I still remember how eager I was for August 16th, my words cannot describe. At first, there were 4 early birds, we talked about all kinds of things, about how Phuong studied Japanese and Chinese, about Linh and her first crush and how she hurt her groin. The stories kept going on from 4pm till the evening, starting with 4 Vietnamese delegates, and then 6, and then 8, then all 10 members of us. We really got along and at that time I knew that I had found good friends that fit me. Around 10:30 that night, the Japanese delegates arrived. Yui was the first one of them that I talked to. In dorm 1, everybody was talking to each other, the room was full of their generous greetings. I tried to find Arina – my buddy – but I couldn’t because she took a different flight. It was not until midnight, I suppose, that I could meet her. We started with small talks, then we talked about more things. That night, the room was full of friendliness.
     I was really impressed by the Japanese national performance. It was a unique experience that I think I will never have the same thing anywhere else. We were really excited and I will never forget that performance. They are so creative and talented to create such amazing performance. Hiking through Bu Gia Map National park is also an unforgettable memory for me. It was my first time to visit a national park, to go hiking and to cross a stream. Especially I did that with such amazing friends. I believe some of you may be obsessed with leeches after that. Anyways, good or bad, joy or fear, those memories are a treasure.
     Additionally, I need to say something about the main theme of VJEP 2019. I had seen many news and read many articles about protecting the environment, finding an alternative source of energy or building a sustainable community but honestly, it was the first time I had heard about the term “Sustainable Development Goals” or “SDGs”. We were assigned to make a green business plan. I barely knew about the problem, so I had to do lots of searching and read about many things. And just because of that, I could learn so much about SDGs and agriculture. With my certain knowledge about the environment, I feel I have more responsibility to join a hand to create a sustainable community.
     During the program, I had several chances to talk with Mr. Seki. At every time, I could feel the enthusiasm and positive energy. I wish I could have talked with him even more. Anyway, I will never forget when he said the purpose of VJEP is not just to create 2 weeks of cultural exchange, but to create relationships among people of young generation in Vietnam and Japan. Those relationships need to be maintained and grow gradually until someday we can do something bigger together. That is not only his ambition but also my mission, our mission.
Thank you for everything! And see you again…


VJEP, VIETNAM – JAPAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2019 PERSONAL REPORT (8) Mai Yen Linh (University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City)

Reporter: Mai Yen Linh
Ho Chi Minh City, 20th September 2019

     It took me a few days to think about this report, like I had to write down everything that comes up in my mind but when I started to text, everything was a mess.
     At first, I was introduced to VJEP by a friend, and that was the first time I’ve known about our program. But I was interested in our subject and it was such a long time since I last joined in something like this. Moreover, I want to make friends and learn more about Japanese culture. As you know, I studied Math gifted class, Biology gifted group and now UMP; it seems like I don’t have any connection to businesses or even something – using - English (that’s why my English is terrible). Yet I want to try again, finding an environment with energetic friends and learning new things. I have to say that, when I first search SGDs on the Internet, it was totally a new world to me.  Everything I’ve known before is just simply doing something to protect the environment. Then I realized I was out of this program when looking at other’s comments as they know all. When I received the email, or even until Mr. Seki’s call, I still kept the thinking to text you and quit this program out of thinking that I couldn’t help anything. However, after all, I decided to become a participant. Thank you, Mr. Seki and our organizers, for everything, every moment you have given us in VJEP 2019.
    August 16th was a memorable day! Actually, it was the first day I really talk to Vietnamese participants, I was a little bit surprised because I could have had such a strong feeling with them like I knew they would be my friends, I would share my thoughts, my stories to them and I wouldn’t be lonely. We are in different majors, and I learn a lot from them; although I can’t understand well when they talk about business or economic, but it’s good to hear they talk. To everyone, VJEP is maybe just an exchange program between Vietnam and Japan, but to me, it is also an exchange between me and other students from other universities. 16th was the day I met Japanese participants, too. It was not that easy for me to talk to them. My first impress about them was they were so beautiful and not that shy as I had thought. I was really happy but I didn’t know how to start even a small conversation for the first few days. And then, luckily, I knew.
     Our program brought me a lot of surprises, like our lunch box, finding a hostel that was totally environment-friendly, ice-breaking section, drama, and national performance and so on. I had a lot of first-time-experience like going to BMG national park, knowing about Japan through Japanese or learning some casual Japanese words or songs or dance. It was a bit different from what I learned on the internet or even what I had thought before and it just made me love Japan more. And one more thing is also I’m living in HCM city, I have never gone to the places we visited or knowing its stories.
     Taking part in this program to me is not just doing researches or preparing for the final presentation, the most important thing that I truly wanted was having real friends. I did. Although we didn’t talk much, they had taken an important place in my heart. 14 days may be too short to be close friends, but it was long enough to find friends. Now, I’m texting this report and I’m so happy because I’m texting with my new VJEP-friends, too. Although my English was bad, I hope you know that I love all of you very much.
Sincerely thank you for everything.


VJEP, VIETNAM – JAPAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2019 PERSONAL REPORT (7) Reporter: Nguyễn Thị Thùy Dung (Julia) (University of Economics, HCMC)

Reporter: Nguyễn Thị Thùy Dung (Julia)
Ho Chi Minh City, 23rd September 2019

                                                                               DUNG | 23.09.19                                                


I still remember a day I first knew about VJEP. I just randomly saw your post on my university page. My first expression was “This is such a cool program” I started to do more research about the program. I think the reason I choose to join is that I never join an exchange program with Japanese before and I was really interested in the national park in Binh Phuoc. Eventually, I became the VJEP 2019 delegate (although I still wonder why I was chosen because other delegates are so excellent).


To be honest, I was quite struggling during this time. I had to be in charge of the drama part which I hate the theater drama a lot because the actors always have to overreact to everything. The hateful feeling procrastinated me to finish my task! However, I finally had my idea for drama after reading a lot of scripts. And I started to look at drama with a different view. I actually enjoyed and loved to write another script and develop another idea. Of course, the most important thing to make my drama succeeded was the support of all Vietnamese delegates. Everybody was so supportive and positive. They helped me to finish my drama part, add more with their own ideas and made it perfect.
That moment I felt I’m now being a part of a family. I love you guys so much.


Time passed, and we are now officially joining the program. I first met my buddy, gorgeous Aika. In my impression, the Japanese are strict, workaholic, rule-makers, not enjoying the fun and stress of working all the time. And I never wanted to live in Japan because the suicide rate was so high. Maybe I was affected so badly by social media. So, when I met the Japanese delegates, I was totally shocked. They were always happy all the time especially my buddy. They were living their best life and they smiled all the time which influenced me and made me feel so comfortable. I really loved the Japanese vibe and it changed all my points of view about Japan.
The first 4 days of HCM was so good. We played, we performed, we ate, and we discussed together. There were lots of activities to took part in. We have team building activity which required us to work more with each other to win the. The cooking session allowed us to know more about the everyday lifestyle in each other country. I was not so good at cooking, so I was just an active assistant. Next day, we met the guest speaker from Eco Vietnam group which helped me to learn that there were some people trying to make a better impact on our life. 


Head back to HCM city, we have another city tour and prepared more for our outcome presentation. The city tour was simple but fun, we walked around the center of HCM, visited tourist attractions like HCMC Notre Dame Cathedral, HCM post office, the turtle lake, and art museum. Hopefully, everyone had a great time learning about HCM.
All the activities are so well organized and so much fun. I personally love a party with the border guard a little more. Actually, Vietnamese and Japanese also had some problems which are the language barrier, cultural misunderstanding and some delegates were sick. However, we were openminded and accepting each other to enjoy our times together. The farewell party was sad because the distance was too far, and everyone was busy with their lives. BUT I wish the best will come for you guys. 
Thank you!