In the last few years the number of Vietnamese who want to go to high school and university abroad has increased dramatically as has the number of institutes purporting to teach them how to crack international tests like SAT, TOEFL, IELT.
Places like YOLA, ILA, and Cleverlearn are particularly popular, and are getting more and more students of all ages.
Although some students prepare for overseas studies from a very young age, thus making it smooth sailing, the ones in grade 12 face the most difficult decision of their lives: What course should they opt for in university?
One common way to resolve this issue is to jump on any bandwagon that seems crowded. N. Quang, a student hoping to get into university in the US, explains how he chose his course: "My father's friend's daughter studies mechanical engineering in C. college in the US. She said it's pretty good. I decided that was what I will study."
Another popular way to make this hard decision is to follow unsubstantiated opinions floating online. P. Khanh, who will soon go to Melbourne, Australia, said: "I chose accounting because many people (mostly on blogs) said it will be in demand in five years' time, so the chances of getting a job after school will be high."
There are plenty of others who choose their courses in a similar casual manner, forgetting that it is their very future that they are deciding when they make that vital decision.
Choosing the inappropriate majors not only leads to tedium at school but also represents a waste of money and possibly jeopardizes their future. Many students regret choosing the wrong majors, so they switch after one or two years, wasting both time and money. It is even worse for those who not able to switch -- they just have to grin and bear it.
Choosing a university course should be based on a lot of research, fully learning about the various options available, and, most importantly, a passion for their choice of subject, since that will mean learning is not a tedious responsibility.
Word of mouth is a common way of acquiring knowledge for students looking to study abroad. So, in order to help them have a proper and well-oriented education, the government needs to organize more free student orientation programs and publish guides with proper and comprehensive information.
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