Becoming a student of University of Language and International Studies is one of the most important turning-points in my life. I believe that this university will equip me with many necessary skills and lessons to achieve my ambition. I felt elated on the first day I went to ULIS, which remind me of my feelings on the first day of primary school where I met new friends, new teachers, and encountered new hardships and challenges. Particularly, I had to leave my beloved family, my kind-hearted ex-friends and start an independent life in which ii have total control over my life and my study. The happiness is gradually changed into anxiety. The failure in the entrance exam into CLC class helped me realize that my knowledge is inadequate and my speaking skill is weak. In addition, the listening lessons made me shocked because I couldn’t hear what the speaker was saying. What I was studying in university was so different from what I had studied at high school. Sometimes I feel I do not belong to this place, I’m tired of my feebleness but I wonder “whether I tried my best or not”. I shared my feeling with my friend s and my uncle, they all advised me to keep trying and never to quit. My friends told me that she also had difficulties like me but she didn’t feel disappointed, she did always try and try. She shared with me her studying method, which proved to be effective for me. My uncle also encouraged me a lot. He told me that I couldn’t achieve anything without dealing with difficulties. The thing I should do now was try and the success would smile with me. Now I always push myself to be better. Although I only make a little progress, I will never give up my effort and my ambition. It is because I have good friends and good teachers who are by my side and are willing to help me. I believe one day I will win.

Do Thi Hanh – 09E23

On receipt of my university entrance exam results, I was so happy that I spent a lot of time daydreaming with excitement about how my life would be. However, after seven months living in the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, caught in the endless circle of assignment, I realize that the reality of college life is really different from what I had expected. More specifically, student life, especially for freshmen can be full of hardships. Leaving hometown and their familiar environment, first-year students miss their families, their relatives and their friends a lot. They may also realize that real life is not simply what they thought it is but much harder and more complicated. Besides, they can encounter many difficulties in building a strong relationship with others. What they need is time. Another big problem is that they themselves have to be fully responsible for their life, for example being attentive to their study, catering to their own needs and taking care of themselves. No one wakes them up in the morning, prepares breakfast for them or helps them do the housework. Doing these chores by themselves will certainly cost them a lot of time. In general, it is not easy to become an adult immediately. Sometimes, they have to waver between two choices, for instance suddenly falling in love with someone or wanting to do a part-time job but still having some hesitation. It may distract freshmen from their most important duty - learning. Besides these hardships, they also have many opportunities to express themselves and adjust to the new social life. This helps them not only to develop their social skills but also to pursue their own interests. They will benefit a lot from activities held by organizations on or off campus. We can see that students’ life, especially freshmen’s has both drawbacks and benefits. A 4-year period is not long, but enough for first-year students to be more mature and equipped with essential knowledge skills to go out into the world. That is to say, it is advisable for them not to under-estimate the obstacles they may face, but at the same time to take any opportunities that come their way.

Duong Thu Van – 09E18

I took up learning English when I heard the English song “Proud of you” for the first time. Since then, English and music have played an important role in my life. After graduating from high school, I decided to apply for ULIS but I failed. I had to choose another university. It was such a boring and disappointing time to me. I almost couldn’t find any friends who shared the same hobbies with me. I didn’t find any interesting things in every lesson. I became more and more quiet, more and more depressed. I was not me anymore. Fortunately, I succeeded to score a place at ULIS in the second chance. On the first day at the university, I felt like I had found my old self again. I easily found out a friend who loved English songs. Lan Anh was a really amazing discovery to me. She also loved Shayne Ward, and was interested in Super Junior. We had many things in common. Gradually, I found out that all of the friends in E 23 were so friendly and humorous. Every day at ULIS was such a perfect day to me. I loved writing lessons because I could express myself in every essay. Every topic was not only a new challenge but also a joy. I was especially impressed by the topic: “Writing postcard”. I had never written any postcard to anyone. After learning this lesson, I thought that I should write postcards to everyone I loved because love should be expressed. I also loved Speaking lessons – when I had chances to speak about interesting topics: Couples, Fit, Shop, Job, etc… - the chances to show my idea about an issue openly, the chances to work together with all classmates. I liked the preparation for the role play. This activity was so exciting. I lived in an authentic English environment. There was no distance between teachers and students. We were very close to each other because we had a same passion: English. I still remembered the comment of Ms. Huyen Ngoc for my assignment when I said that I wanted to be a translator, the biggest dream in my life is writing my own book and translate it into English. She wrote: “I like this idea of yours, stick to your dream, dear!” I was greatly However, the thing I like best here is the friendly environment. We worked together, we helped each other and sometimes shared some stupid sentences. Dictionary means: “ ch c n làm gì” in Vietnamese, the word “Các b n tr ” of Lan Anh, many many funny things. I love this university. It made me feel alive. I became more and more easygoing, more and more active, more and more confident. I love my classmates and my teachers. ULIS – you changed my life!

Bui Thi Phuong Thao – 09E23

Life at university
Since the first time going to university, I have found that it has many different things compared with high school. First, the university buildings are very big and beautiful. The campus is large and is crowded with people. I meet many new friends from different provinces, but I do not see anyone from Bac Giang like me. Everybody looks intelligent, active, and confident. I am a quiet person, so I think I will not do something as well as they do. My classmates are friendly, confident, and hard working. We study and take part in many activities together.

Second, studying at university is a little difficult for me to follow, because all students have to use Computer and the Internet. Since I didn’t use them in the past, they have caused me quite a a few troubles. Yet, with the help of my friends, my computer skills have been better.Now I can type without needing any help. However, I still do not know how to send an email. That is a problem, which needs solving as soon as possible.

Third, at university the activeness of students is very important. Because the time we are in class is not very much, we often do the self-study on the textbooks. It is different from studying at high school when we attended class most of the time, and our lessons were not too long and our teachers often checked the homework after each lesson. Now our university teachers do not give us much homework and they do not always check them. We have to find our-self exercises to do to improve ourselves; we can buy new books or borrow some from library or search for the materials from other sources.

Fourth, I find it difficult for students like me to go in for some credit classes because I cannot use the computer for registering. My friends often help me do that. However, I have to follow the classes, which are not very convenient for me. When I was at high school, I did not have to do the things like that by myself.

Fifth, since entering the university, I’ve coped with a lot of problems concerning the new skills like speaking & listening. When I was at high school, I mainly learnt about grammar and reading skills. We rarely had listening lessons. Therefore, it the first semester, my listening and speaking marks were rather bad. However, I gradually feel more confident. The life and study at university has helped me become more and more confident. When I was at high school, I never spoke confidently in front of the crowd, but now I can do. Thanks to the business at university, my quietness is broken. Living far from hometown, I miss each member in my family, especially my mother, because she is busy every day doing the housework and the farm work. I really want to help her but I cannot. I remember when I was small, my mother told me to study hard, and she did not let me do these works. I obeyed her and tried to learn by heart so that one day I could enter the university I dreamed. Finding that I was keen on learning English, my parents advised me to take the exam to University of Foreign Languages and International Studies. Now, I am studying at this university, which makes my parents very happy. I always want to make them happy and not have to be too worried about me. Nevertheless, I am not familiar with the environment of a big city. The noise from vehicles and the polluted air make me feel uncomfortable. In addition, I find the people here not as friendly as people in my hometown. Therefore, I want to come back to my hometown whenever I am free for studying to visit my love people and to enjoy the fresh air there.

By Kieu Linh – 09.E21

I am Linh, a first year student of the University of Languages and International Studies. I was born in Thanh Hoa but I am now living with my cousin in a flat in Hanoi. Since the day I went to study in Hanoi, my life’s been fullfilled with a lot of new things including both the good and the bad ones. The first thing that surprised me much was the learning style at the college where I won’t be fully equipped with all the necessary skills and knowledege if I just passively wait for the teachers to give me exercises, finish all and do nothing further. Initially, I had to face with a lot of troubles of selfstudying though I believed that I was really hard-working. Yet, later, thanks to the help of my teachers, I could overcome these and found the materials to self-study. However, as I expected to enjoy a great time studying at the college, I had to cope with an other difficulty, that is, I was really disappointed with some boring subjects like philosophy, logic, etc. Moreover, it also appeared to be under my expectation when my results of the first term was not very good. Nonetheless, my wonderful teachers, again, help me to evaluate myself and help me improve. Therefore, I have been able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, my source of motivation and my targets to study more effectively. I am now making great progress after the first term at the university. The second new thing happens to me when I entered the university is my student life which is totally different from my life in the hometown. Firstly, since I didn’t have to cook meals for my family, I had to face with lots of challenges in cooking for myself. Therefore, I had to take part in a cooking class to better my cooking skills. Secondly, I also had to experienced many periods of stress, pressure and illness alone. I have been missing my family so much. Yet, I just thought to myself that I had to thank those stressful time for making me more mature and confident. Moreover, the bad periods also brought to me many kind and reliable friends who always stood by me, supported me and helped me to stand tall and stay strong. Although I certainly had many difficulties with the new life at the university, I think I am now getting used to it. I am feeling more and more pleasant and happy with this life and I hope that I will equip myself with necessary skills and knowledge to prepare for the future after the four year at this college.

As far as I am concerned when we learn any foreign language, vocabulary plays a very important part. The more vocabulary we have, the more we can communicate with other people. However, many English learners have difficulties in learning the new words by heart. Therefore, I want to share with you some tips in studying new words. First, some people learn from 15 to 20 words a day, but I’m sure that after a short time, they can’t remember all of them. Therefore, instead of studying so many new words a day, you only should study 5 words. At weekends, you review and check your mind how many words you can remember correctly. If you practice regularly, after one week you will learn 35 words and after one month the number of words you study will reach140. This is the not small figure, isn’t it? Second, I take pleasure in studying new words by writing them on many pieces of colorful paper. After that, I stick them at places where I usually see such as: my computer, TV, refrigerator, my bed, etc. This way makes me see new words many times, so it’s easy for me to remember them. Next, when I learn new words, I often learn the examples or make sentences containing the target words. In this way, I know not only their meaning but also their usage. This also helps me improve my speaking skills. Finally, my dictionary is colorful because when I look up vocabulary in the dictionary, I often use highlighter to circle them. The next time, when I open my dictionary, I am impressed by them immediately. Therefore, I can store new words in my mind more easily. Many people only learn the meaning of the new words. This is a fault. Remember that when you study vocabulary, it’s vital that you learn how to pronounce them. Because this affects directly your listening and speaking skills. If you don’t have correct pronunciation, your communication will be bad. These are my experience in learning new words. I hope that they are useful for you. I am very happy if you can share your experience with me!!!

Like many 1st – year students, I find listening skills is very difficult. I didn’t practice and study carefully before. Now, I realize listening is an important skill. If I have a good listening skill, I also improve others such as speaking, writing, communication skills etc. I made many mistakes when practiced skill but I am very happy. Now I want to share with you some experiences. I hope that they can help you improve your listening skills. Do you know why listening skills are more difficult than others skills? You should agree with me that listening is a passive skill. Unlike writing skills, you cannot produce information with listening skills. With listening skills, you can’t see what words people are saying like when you write a letter. Listening and reading have the same characteristic, namely receiving information. Listeners have to receive information from others but can not see what are said, while readers can see what are written on paper. It means that you have to try your best to catch all information. I have tried to do many ways to improve listening skills. I always try to hear all what people saying before. However, that way is not useful because native speakers speak very quickly as a result I can’t catch all the words. Then I find that the previous way is unnecessary. I only need to understand what the main idea of the conservation is so I only need to catch the key words. This new way is easier than the way before because speakers always put stress on the main idea that they want to express. I think that you often have the same view-point as the more you do exercises, the more you practice listening skills. However, I think it only has one advantage of its aspect. You should have effective ways not only to do many exercises. You know that every listening exercise always has a tape script. It has many advantages. You can design some useful exercises for yourself. You shouldn’t look at them immediately after listening to the recording. You can listen again and again to guess the main idea. I am interested in how they are speaking. I often listen to a long piece like a magazine program or a news digest. I always choose an essay, in which I am familiar with the basic stories (in my language perhaps) so I can concentrate on the detail. You also can think about my way. I usually break them into many small sentences so I can listen carefully the sections. I often imitate speaker’s intonation. Sometimes I find it so funny but it helps me have a break time. I think you should do this because you are acquainted with the intonation of native speakers. Song is a good source. Listening to English songs is an effective way to improve your listening skills. Let listen and then check lyrics were you right in your understand. You also should listen to many kinds of conservations. It helps you have a great variety of different voices, idiomatic languages and accents Finally, I advise you to have a good confident to face all mistakes you have. Always smiling is the best way to help you reduce stress. In addition, you have to have a strict rule for strategy improving your listening skills. If you obey your rule seriously, I think you can not only improve your listening skills but also others skills. I hope that my experiences are useful for you.

Le Thi Thu Hang – 09E23

Lai Thi Lan Anh – 09E23

Information Box

Some useful websites for learning English
In correspondence with the explosive growth of the Internet, we can easily get accessed to an enormous amount of websites for various purposes: study, entertainment, or communication. It would be meaningful if we could share with one another amusing and helpful websites to better our English because the Internet is a huge mine of information that sometimes makes me get lost. In the limited scope of this article, some websites, which from my personal point of view might be useful and appropriate for you to study English, are introduced. 1. In my opinion, this website is wonderfully tailor-made for studying English with a variety of information and user-friendly format. You can easily find the field which you want to focus on by looking in the left margin of the web page.

General & Business English’ provides a range of audio files entailed tape-script for you to practice listening and learning new words and expressions on various topics. ‘Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation’, as suggested by its name, is such an informative resource. You can make clear any confusing grammar items by reading Q&A sessions or by asking questions yourself. You do not have to doubt the quality and reliability of the answers because they are consulted by experienced native English teachers and editors. As regards vocabulary, you can learn new words in context because they are all in English news. It means that you are able to tripleutilize this resource for improving reading skills, learning vocabulary, and enhancing background knowledge as well. Moreover, contemporarily-new words and expressions are presented to “keep your English up to date”. In terms of Pronunciation, you have chance to watch videos about pronunciation tips and practice exercises followed.

Information Box
‘The Flatmates’ is one of the most attracting parts to me as it leads me to the real conversations with detailed explanation of language points. Generally, BBC Learning English website is worth experiencing and trying to make use in your own way. 2.

It sometimes happens to you when you find yourselves unable to express your ideas clearly and fluently. This website helps you learn idiomatic and everyday expressions to deal with daily conversational situations. Those conversations are categorized into different topics such as communication, eating, emotions, fashion, housing, traffic or traveling. In addition, you can simultaneously practice listening skills by doing exercises attached in each conversation. By practicing the idioms and expressions supplied by this website, you can help your English more natural and nativelike. 3.

Information Box
This website is surprisingly helpful and convenient for me. Each lesson is designed with both reading and listening exercises. For each of them, pre-, while-, poststages are presented clearly with detailed instructions. In terms of reading, the texts are all updated news and appropriate for intermediate-level students. You can also learn new vocabulary through interesting quiz or matching exercises. In terms of listening, although the exercises just require you to fill in the blanks while you listen to the script, I suggest you a way to make full use of these exercises. You should listen to the whole recording for the first time to get the main idea, then take a piece of paper to take notes. Taking notes is one of the key skills that I highly recommend you to practice. You are self-studying, so be strict with yourself. You should not pause and play repeatedly while taking notes. However, you can listen to the whole recording as many times as you can until you feel satisfied. It is time you did the gapped text exercises. 4.

This is one of the first websites I have experienced as recommended by my teacher. It consists of a variety of listening exercises ranging from easy to difficult level. All of them are designed in the form of multiple-choice questions to help you check your comprehension. Moreover, the scripts are enclosed with further explanation of some phrases and idioms used by the speakers. As for me, those phrases are very useful and close to real life because they are put in the daily contexts like answering machine or going shopping. Apart from those four websites presented above, podcast is a good listening material. You can easily find and explore podcasts more on the Internet by using Google searching tool or by visiting the website I hope you enjoy and can exploit them. All in all, resources for studying English are available for us and the matter is how we can utilize them. As mentioned initially, I can share only some websites here, so I expect more valuable websites as well as the way to make full use of them suggested by you.

Hong Anh _ 06.1.E1

On the occasion of the Friendship’s day, I would like to share with you my new recipe for a long lasting friendship. Ingredients: smiles, laughter, warmth, happy memories, patience, sense of humor, trust, compliments. How to make it: Start with smiles, a generous share, then blend in warmth and laughter. Add lots of happy memories that will last forever after. Don’t forget the patience for the days when the things go wrong. Add a sense of humor and a trust that is deep and strong. Garnished with some compliments that are lovely expressed. And there you have a recipe for friendship at its best. Hope that you will have fun and be successful!

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong – 06E1

All members of my class, E18, were very excited and happy because the first speaking class would be taught by a New Zealand teacher. He is over 50. He introduced us many things about his country especially their language. The lesson was incredibly interesting. At the end of the lesson, our monitor, Hien, stepped on the dais to thank him for the lecture. Immediately, he smiled and moved towards her. He bent and the scene looked like that he was going to kiss her which surprised us very much. Hien was very embarrassed. It’s easy to understand because we were not familiar with this custom for the first time, even if we knew that it was a common Western custom. However, to our surprise, only his nose touched Hien’s nose. It was New Zealand’s greeting. In the end, Hien had her heart in her mouth and said what she thought in that amazing moment. “Oh! My first kiss…..” said her.

Dao Thi Bich Ngoc – 09E18

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