“I don’t see myself living abroad without returning to France and I don’t see myself doing my whole life in France either… (laughs)”
Who are you?
My name is Justine, I am a French student at Kedge Business School. I am from Chambery, a small town in the Rhone-Alpes region but I have been living in Marseille for 2 years now.
Why did you come to Vietnam?
I came to Vietnam to do my internship. I am working for a Vietnamese travel agency called “Vietnam original travel”.
What do you like the most in Vietnam? Why?
I like everything: there is a good atmosphere in Vietnam, the people’s mentality is incredible and completely different from France. Vietnamese are very welcoming and smiling that’s probably what I like the most.
How long are you going to stay here?
I have been here for 3 months and I will probably go back to France at the end of July.
Do you think it is difficult to find a place to live in HCMC?
Not at all, it’s quite easy, there are a lot of Facebook groups you just have to look around a little bit. I found several accommodations when I arrived I really had the choice.
Where do you live right now in Saigon? What do you think about your neigborhood?
I am living in Binh Tanh near to the Pearl Plaza, it’s a typical district which is super pleasant and very practical because we are located next to a main traffic axis, which allows us to join the D1 quickly.
Can you tell us a little story about what has happened to you during your trip?
It just happened yesterday, I was walking on a bridge with a friend, and we know that here we still have to be careful with the stealing, but normally when you’re on foot and there are no scooters around it’s safe. And there’s a Vietnamese guy who ripped off my girlfriend’s necklace, we tried to chase him and then he jumped off the bridge. A bridge at least 12 metres high! I was voiceless…
Can you describe Vietnam in one word?
Uh, a word, no. (laughs) In a word, it’s not possible. I would say Unpredictable not just for the little story before but for everything. There are so many different things and atmospheres here that for me it’s really surprising every day.
What is the biggest culture shock for you?
I don’t really know how to explain it but before I came I thought that the Asian countries in general were very well regulated. According to me Vietnam is not at all, there are no real rules, there is a lot of corruption and everyone does a little in their own way.
What do you think about youth mobility now? Is it easier compared to the generation of our parents?
I may be wrong, but yes, I think it’s much easier to travel today. It’s really nice because if today someone really wants to travel he can do it even on a small budget.
What will be your next destination?
I don’t know at all yet, in Asia for sure, maybe Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia or Malaysia. It’s a little vague, but there’s a lot to see. (laughs)