The provincial Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association and Thai Nguyen University held a meeting on August 30 to review the homestay programme for Lao students over the 2017-2018 school year.
Vice Chairman of the association Nguyen Nang Dac, who is also head of the programme’s steering board, said that there are about 2,000 Lao students at 13 universities and colleges in Thai Nguyen at present.
The province piloted homestay services for Lao students at the Thai Nguyen University of Education and the Thai Nguyen College of Economics and Finance during the 2016-2017 academic year. The progamme was then opened to more schools in the province the following year.
Seven of the 13 Thai Nguyen schools are currently participating in this homestay programme, under which Lao students live with Vietnamese families either for the duration of their course, during holidays, or even just joining local families on trips.
Dac said living with Vietnamese families, Lao students have had a chance to take part in local daily activities and learn about the traditional culture of Vietnamese people.
Deputy Director of Thai Nguyen University Dang Van Minh said the homestay programme is very useful as it has helped enhance the sound relationship between the two countries. Notably, it has helped Lao students improve their Vietnamese language skills – a useful tool for them to gain greater insight in their classes and better understand local culture.
The steering board will continue working with universities and colleges to popularise the programme among families, schools, and Lao students in Thai Nguyen. It will also organise more cultural exchanges to strengthen relations between Lao and Vietnamese people, he added.