March 15, 2018

What is FEL?

March 15, 2018

To FEL and the Rocketeers,

Here are the things that Duke wants to say after being in the FEL family. What is FEL? Is it a scholarship designed to develop English abilities? Not necessarily.

FEL is a home. Why do I say that? Only this home can make me cry more than four times in the last week, make me smile every time I remember moments being with those people, make me feel more mature after one month.

Stepping out of the plane at Tan Son Nhat Airport, I brought to Sai Gon the idea that I was here to study for experience and growth. That’s all! But who really knows? This program is not just something to teach people English, it’s more than that.

I learned a lot of things, from how to live in harmony with 16 boys in the same house (and overall 40 Rocketeers), how to work as a team, to how to talk with people who have achieved success in life, how to ask them questions. What’s more is that I am one of forty future representatives for Fulbright.

“My English improved significantly, because I had to force myself to speak English 100% of the time from the usual greetings to learning material.”

I felt really happy when I heard Tony say: “Everyone will forget what they learn but they will remember the feeling they got.” Yes this feeling lingers in my head, in my mind, since I went home. I still think of myself in the guys’ house with 15 other men, a great home.

There, everybody was extremely friendly and good together, they didn’t hesitate to help others because they wanted to help, not because they were required to help. I really loved that.

So, of the 4 times I cried, 3 were in the guy’s house. The first time was the last time we had a family meeting at the beginning of week 4, when I realized that we were going to be apart. I cried like I never cried before, like a child.

I cried because the times of 16 guys eating lunch next to the street or in the grass, cheerful or cheering each other up. In addition to that knowledge I learned a lot of things. First of all, of course my English improved significantly, because I had to force myself to speak English 100% of the time from the usual greetings to learning material. As Nang joked, “Have you stumbled and said ‘Ahh!’ in an English style yet?

Besides that, we also have life skills, such as the ability to argue and communicate effectively with others, respecting others’ opinions – what I lack, and the ability to work in groups, as well as the ability to remain sociable with everyone and retain what makes us uniquely us.

I was in the prom committee and the plan was just to make a prom for a week…

When we received the mission, nobody thought it was doable because we only had one week for preparations, logistics, and running the program. It seemed like everything was too new and too difficult for me and my friends. But we accomplished this despite the occasional tension in our group and that is a valuable lesson for us to learn from.

Beginning at Tan Son Nhat and ending at Tan Son Nhat. I was the last person to go to the airport. So I went to the 2nd door while everybody else went in doorst 16-19. So that means while everyone had conversations, I was alone ruminating in my memories.

No one knew I was going to the other door, so I quietly went to the security gate after saying goodbye to the people who dropped me off with a wave of my hand and walked away without looking back. After passing through the security gate I hurried to the door 16-17-18-19, and I saw some friends there crying.

They cried for me. They cried because we hadn’t yet said goodbye. My eyes stung at that time, but my heart was relieved and happy, because I had someone who cherished and remembered me.

Hai Phong, Son La, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Da Nang, Ninh Thuan, All going to Sai Gon.

Feelings that everyone gave me will stay in my heart forever.

From Da Nang with Love,


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