A Long Way From My Country


Written by Vuong Truong |

Four years ago when I was 15, I came to the United States from Vietnam. When I came to the U.S, I did not know how to speak English. I didn’t speak any English during my freshman year at Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After my sophomore year at Central High School, I moved to Clinton.  Here I again began a new life with more opportunities for me, but it was boring because I didn’t have many friends to talk to until now. Below is a picture of Quang Ngai where I lived until I was two.

Photo via Dan Tri

When I was 2 years old, my parents moved to the capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City.

Photo via Vietnamtypicaltours

Until I was 15, I attended school in Vietnam.  American schools and Vietnamese schools are completely different.  In VietNam teachers gave students a lot of hard work. In the U.S., the teachers try to convince the students to do the work.  If the students don’t do the work, they earn failing grades.  This motivates students to complete the work.

Teachers in Vietnamese schools use corporal punishment if students don’t study.  When a student does not complete his work or study, the teacher in a school in Vietnam uses rulers or sticks to hit a student on the buttocks.  I used to be punished by the teacher’s ruler or stick because I didn’t study when I came to class.

The streets in the U.S and Vietnam are conpletely different. The streets in Vietnam are smaller than streets in the U.S. In the U.S, the streets are separate such as for motocycle, bikes or cars. On the streets in Vietnam, most of the vehicles use the same lanes.  The transportation vehicles are similar to the transportation in the U.S, but there is a bus that drives across the city to the countryside.

The supermarket in Vietnam is similar to the U.S stores such as Stop and Shop and dollar stores, but the prices are very different because the Vietnamese do not use dollars. In Vietnam, they use Vietnam Dong. 1 dollar in U.S is approximately 20.000 VND.  The stores are full of groceries, tools, toys and more. Below is a picture of a grocery store in Saigon.

Photo Via Saigon Supermarket Coop Mart

The food in Vietnam is really different from the food in the U.S. My favorite food in Vietnam is Pho which is pictured below. The ingredients of Pho are noodles, beef, onions, bean sprouts, parsley and cilantro.

Photo Via Pho Madison

Although education, cuisine and transportation networks are different, the occupations in Vietnam are the same as those in the United States.  However, the money earned from working is different because all workers are paid every month not every week or 2 weeks as in the U.S.

When I heard the news that my family was going to the U.S, I was very excited. Unfortunately, all my family members could not move to the United States. My oldest brother had to stay in Vietnam because he was over the age that allowed him to travel to the United States as a minor. He married a girl last August that he dated for years, but he and his wife don’t have any children yet.

Until 2 years ago, all my family except my brother who remained in Vietnam, lived together. Now my father and my older brother live in Texas.

Photo Via Houston, Texas

Below is a map to show the distance between Vietnam and The United States. Vietnam is over 8,000 miles from the United States.

Photo Via distancefromto.net










My mom and I still live in Connecticut. When  I graduate, I will move to Texas to attend college. I will try to start a new life in Texas. I am looking forward to the new opportunities that I will have in a large state.

Photo Via Clinton, Connecticut