ANNA PETERSEN Anna Petersen is a student at Dania Academy, University of Applied Science, currently on internship in Vietnam.
Curious about the ‘other perspective’ from a European student spending 8 months in Asia, we asked Anna to share some of her experiences.
The Flip Side – A Danish Student in Asia – Anna Petersen
In recent studies, it says Danish people are the most difficult to engage with and be friends with, for a foreigner. I absolutely agree, we are so hung up on our own happiness, that we are scared to let new people in that could interfere with that happiness.
So it has been a great surprise to see during my time in Vietnam, how Vietnamese people only see happiness in all connections they make, they are not wary about possible interference from strangers. They are only happy for this moment with a new friend. I have never felt so much kind hospitality before, and I have travelled a lot.
I have never had so many invitations to go back to my new friends hometowns to meet their family for New Year, I only wish I had time to go visit them all!
I have learned that the Vietnamese people are the most helpful and kind people (if language isn’t a barrier).
If you are lucky enough to meet Vietnamese or become close friends with them, they will let you in, in a heartbeat. There isn’t a thing they wouldn’t do for you. You ask and they are always happy to give you help and advice.
I was working at a office, and I was amazed that no matter how busy the other staff were, if you needed help, they would get straight to you and they will make sure to walk you through it along with some more advice.
I don’t know why I was so amazed by that, because it seems natural that when you ask for help you get it straight away, but here it was different somehow. I have been truly grateful for all the help I received when I needed it.
Because you feel so grateful to the help you have been giving, you want to give back and I always want to help, but when they give so much and do so much, it puts a pressure on you to help as much as you can, but somehow it just doesn’t feel enough, because they put so much effort into helping you, guiding and making sure you belong. But either way, they are truly grateful to get help when you can, and you would appear to be the kindest and sweetest, just by asking if you can help them and seem grateful in any help they give.
To me it has only been a great adventure to get here and to meet so many amazing people. I can definitely say it was a surprise to meet so many people that would let you into your life and be friends with you outside of work.
– Anna –
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