Vietnamese international students seek to escape from England

Vietnamese international students seek to escape from England 6

Vietnamese international students seek to escape from England

Studying for a master’s degree in Leeds, Vu Ngan returned to Vietnam on one of the last international flights of Vietnam Airlines.

On March 16, I was confused and scared when the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Leeds was 19, nearly 2,000 cases nationwide.

That evening, receiving notice that the school allowed students to study online, the idea of returning to Vietnam appeared in my mind.

On the morning of March 17, when the number of Covid-19 infections in the UK reached more than 3,000, I rushed to my laptop to find the nearest flight back to Hanoi.

`I have to return. I have to return home`, that thought motivated me even more.

Because of the rushed flight time, I only spent half a day preparing my belongings including 2-3 sets of clothes, a box of masks and necessary necessities, all in a backpack.

Flight VN50 brought 164 international students from the UK back to Vietnam.

At 5 a.m. on March 18, I woke up, put on a knee-length coat, gloves and a mask, then boarded the train from Leeds to London Heathrow airport.

Even though there were still a few hours until check-in time, a large number of customers were already present at the ticket counter.

Flight VN50 that day had 164 passengers, all Vietnamese international students in the UK.

It wasn’t until the plane took off that I dared to believe that I was actually going home.

After about 6-7 hours of flying, we were informed that the plane would not land at Tan Son Nhat, Ho Chi Minh City as planned.

Throughout the 12-hour flight, the fitful sleep made me feel like the night lasted longer than usual.

Flight attendants in protective suits served us meals including hamburgers, salads, soft drinks and sandwiches, served on disposable plastic trays and plates.

Vietnamese international students seek to escape from England

The military school in Sa Dec city, Dong Thap province, was used as a quarantine place for 164 international students returning from the UK.

At 6:00 a.m. on March 19, Can Tho airport appeared behind the clouds, my heart felt like a boulder had been lifted from me.

After getting off the plane, we filled out a medical declaration, trying to be as honest as possible about each person’s travel itinerary and health.

After completing the declaration, a military vehicle picked us up and moved us to Sa Dec city, Dong Thap province for 14 days of centralized quarantine.

On the way, I was curious and somewhat excited, imagining what I would experience in two weeks.

Vietnamese international students seek to escape from England

Vu Ngan’s first meal in the quarantine area.

Each of us was prepared with personal items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, mask, and a set of blankets and sheets.

My first meal had shrimp, roasted chicken and banana for dessert.

After days in the quarantine area, I understood why our small Vietnam is one of the leading countries in fighting Covid-19.

I silently thank the Fatherland, the airlines, medical staff, soldiers, and police for taking care of us day and night, helping children like us who are far away from home to return home safely.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Education and Training, Vietnam currently has about 190,000 international students, the largest being the US 29,000, followed by Canada 21,000, Australia and New Zealand 30,000, Japan 15,000, Korea 14,000, England 12,000, and China.

Since Europe and America became the epicenter of the epidemic, thousands of Vietnamese international students have returned home.

In case it is absolutely necessary to return, international students must honestly declare their health and quarantine according to regulations of the Ministry of Health.

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