Thu Dau Mot University Journal of Science

Language ability and Vietnamese postgraduate students’ experiences in a Western country

By Ho Trung Hau
DOI: 10.37550/tdmu.EJS/2023.03.460


International students’ experiences are a major concern for universities and educational researchers. Globally, Vietnam is a top source country for international students but little is known about their experience.
This study explores the everyday experiences of 10 Vietnamese master’s students from a New Zealand university through a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews. A qualitative approach enabled me to capture the essential meanings of the participants’ experiences and understand what it was like to be Vietnamese students in New Zealand.
In academic settings, the students initially struggled to deal with a range of problems related to language and communication. These made them feel overwhelmed and bewildered. During these formative months, many of them experienced language difficulties. These difficulties forced them to learn to deal with challenges and become independent.
This research helps universities become more aware of the experience of foreign students studying at the host universities, and thereby take measures to support them in their studies and daily life.

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Publication Information


Thu Dau Mot University, Viet Nam

Honorary Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the Editorial Board

Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Hiep

Deputy Editor-in-Chief

PhD. Trần Hạnh Minh Phương
Thu Dau Mot University

Editorial Board

Prof. Tran Van Doan
Fujen University, Taiwan
Prof. Zafar Uddin Ahmed
Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City

Prof.Dr. Phillip G.Cerny
The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Prof. Ngo Van Le
University of Social Sciences and Humanities (VNU-HCM)

Prof. Bui The Cuong
Southern Institute of Social Sciences​​​​​​​
Prof. Le Quang Tri
Can Tho University

Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Duc
Animal Husbandry Association of Vietnam
Assoc. Prof. Ted Yuchung Liu
National Pingtung University, Taiwan

PhD. Anita Doraisami
Economics Monash University, Australia
Prof. Dr. Andrew Seddon
Asia Pacific University of Technology & innovation (APU)

Assoc. Prof. Le Tuan Anh
Thu Dau Mot University
Prof. Abtar Darshan Singh
Asia Pacific University, Malaysia

Prof.Dr. Ron W.Edwards
The University of Melbourne, Australia
Assoc. Prof. Hoang Xuan Nien
Thu Dau Mot University

PhD. Nguyen Duc Nghia
Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City
PhD. Bao Dat
Monash University (Australia)

PhD. Raqib Chowdhury
Monash University (Australia)
PhD. Nguyen Hoang Tuan
Thu Dau Mot University

PhD. Nguyen Thi Lien Thuong
Thu Dau Mot University


Nguyen Thi Man
Thu Dau Mot University