Living independently and studying at the SNA Saigon South Campus boarding has never been easy. Pham Huy (Brian), a 12th-grade student at SNA, has shared many memories, lessons, and personal growth experiences after more than 2 years of studying at the boarding. Let’s listen to Huy’s sincere sharing about boarding life at SNA Saigon South Campus.
Huy’s family supports the decision to live at SNA boarding.
Huy’s family resides in Dong Nai province, approximately 90 km away from Ho Chi Minh City. With the desire to develop himself for a better future, Huy chose to move to Ho Chi Minh City for the convenience of studying at the International Schools of North America (SNA). When deciding to be away from family and enroll at SNA, Huy carefully considered between renting a house or staying at the school’s boarding facility. “After thorough consideration, I chose to live at SNA’s boarding house. My decision received wholehearted support from my family. Until now, I still believe it was the right decision. The first reason I trusted this boarding option is the quality of the school’s infrastructure. The boarding provides each student with a living and studying space equipped with amenities such as beds, personal lockers, study desks, communal areas, and libraries. The second reason is that living at the boarding gives me the opportunity to integrate with new friends faster, and they have been very helpful to me during the initial period of getting acquainted with SNA,” Huy shared.
Throughout his time at the boarding, Huy has consistently felt joyful with what he has received. Huy explained the reasons: “Every morning, the boarding supervisors wake us up on time to go to school. Afterward, they carefully accompany us, the boarding students, to and from school. The daily support provided by the supervisors has made me feel safe from the very first day of studying in Ho Chi Minh City. Additionally, being reminded and monitored by the supervisors has helped me develop good habits and stay away from temptations when living away from my family. Every evening, I study and do homework together with other boarding students. Studying together motivates me to keep up with my peers and achieve the best academic results. It is because of the boarding facilities and the wonderful people here that I not only do not encounter any objections but also receive complete trust from my family up to the present moment.”
On the first day in the boarding house with an introverted personality
On his first day starting life in the boarding, Huy encountered some difficulties, but he managed to overcome them with the help of a special friend. Huy happily shared about that day: “I am an introverted person, so I often struggle with communicating with strangers. On the first day of enrolling and getting a room in SNA’s boarding facility, I felt nervous and anxious because I didn’t know anyone and didn’t know how to initiate conversations and make friends. However, the friends and teachers in the boarding took the initiative to help me overcome those thoughts. I remember on the first day, I didn’t know all the areas within the boarding facility. At that time, there was a friend who understood and approached me. He introduced himself as Thiện, and then he asked and assisted me with the activities in the boarding facility during the first few days. He also guided me to get acquainted with everyone in the boarding. Thanks to Thiện, I quickly adapted to life here, reducing my shyness and homesickness.”
Memorable moments before the exam days
Every day spent at SNA’s boarding is always filled with wonderful moments and memories for Huy. For him, the most memorable time was before the exam days when Huy and his roommates would study late into the night. “We supported each other in our studies. If I didn’t know something, there was always someone to explain it to me, and vice versa. Sometimes, when we felt hungry while studying, we would take out food and share whatever we had with each other. Those warm moments are unforgettable because I know that having such a friendship is not easy, so I cherish those moments.”
The greatest success is understanding myself and finding a personal mission.
Throughout his time living and studying at SNA’s boarding, Huy has noticed his personal growth over time. He shares the changes he has made within himself, such as managing his time, improving his self-study skills, and working effectively in teams. Additionally, Huy has become more confident, improved his communication skills, and demonstrated his abilities more strongly to others. These factors have supported and transformed him in both his studies and everyday life more than before. Speaking about his achievements while living at SNA’s boarding, Huy shares, “Perhaps the greatest success I have achieved during my time at SNA is finding myself. I understand myself better and have found my own mission. In the learning process, I use English more naturally and allow myself to surpass previous limitations. Regarding the awards I have received during my studies, I humbly share, ‘Up until now, I have not received any major awards, but for me, the improvement in grades day by day and achieving my set goals is a reward in itself and motivates me to strive harder every day.”
Some tips for living in the boarding house
“If I were to share some tips for those who aspire to live and study at SNA’s boarding house, I would like to share the following. When choosing to live in a boarding house, there is no need to worry. Feel comfortable and confident because your friends and teachers in the boarding will always wholeheartedly support you. The feeling of homesickness will gradually fade over time because after getting used to life here, boarding becomes your home. However, it is important to note that you should not violate the boarding rules, as any violations may result in writing a discipline record or, at worst, being expelled. The rules of the boarding are established to ensure a healthy living environment.”
Additionally, regarding studying in class following the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme, Huy wants to share that students need to have a relatively strong foundation in English to meet the requirements for academic abilities, confidence, and teamwork in each subject. When choosing courses for the long-term learning process, select subjects that are your strengths so that you can develop yourself best in those areas. An important note for students pursuing the IB Programme: You need to complete the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) activities and the Extended Essay (EE). These are essential elements to receive the IB diploma for your academic journey at top universities around the world.
For Huy, the time spent living on the boarding is a turning point that changes him and becomes a valuable memory on his educational journey, both in the present and in the future. We wish him to have many valuable lessons, and maintain confidence, open-mindedness, and a thirst for knowledge while studying at school and in future endeavors.