This week has been full of students cramming in final class sessions, starting to STUDY BIG TIME in small groups clustered all over campus and "final" celebrations. A really great celebration was the 5th Anniversary of the TDTU modern dormitories. We knew when we stayed in the dorms two years ago that they were new-ish and modern, but did not realize just how recent they were constructed.
The dorm Birthday Party this week was also an event to hand-out dorm "scholarships" -- grants or subsidies for student rent based on both need and scholarship.
Along with other campus leaders we got to help hand-out the grant recognitions to students -- what an honor for us.
The students also prepared a beautiful drawing of the dorms for Mr. Heiu who has been the primary administrator for the dorms for the entire time. There was a GREAT video showing him and earlier students "surveying" the ground before construction started, observing progress, moving into the dorm rooms, etc. IT was a real treat to see the connection Mr. Heiu has made with so many students! Having the dorm rooms and affordable or free dorm rooms makes the difference for students from all around Vietnam being able to attend university. And having support from staff like Mr. Heiu makes such a dramatic move from villages and rural farms do-able in the midst of also experiencing university and city life.
No TDTU celebration is complete without student singing and dance performances! There were modern songs, outrageous soccer ball " freestyle" handling, traditional songs and even a student skit about respecting rights of the disabled. Several of the performers "testified" about their own dorm experiences at TDTU either currently or in the past. The whole evening was very "homey" where we often felt like adults glimpsing students talking to each other.