The term “Rare foreign languages” refer to those which are uncommonly used in Vietnam. In fact, there has been a scarcity of rare foreign languages in several state-owned units as well as private enterprises. However, pursuing these languages will offer learners excellent opportunities for their future careers.
Taking tourism in Central Vietnam as an example, while the number of visitors from China, Thailand, Japan, Spain, Russia coming to Vietnam is increasing, there has been a severe shortage of tourist guides speaking these languages.
In the admission season of 2016, University of Foreign Language Studies - the University of Danang (UFLS) had its enrolment rate exceeding the target, particularly, Russian language, which was considered difficult to recruit, also reached 100%. Thanks to great attempts in admission consultancy and “favourable conditions” for lecturers and students of Russian language, the number of 200,000 Russian tourists coming to Vietnam for the first 6 months of 2016 shows the increasing demand for economic and cultural cooperation between Vietnam and Russia, which has gradually affected the recruitment rate for this language.
According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Long - Vice Rector of UFLS, the university has received constant support for the Russian language training from large enterprises such as Furama Resort, Nam Hai Resort, Ha Noi Tourist, Vung Tau Tourist, Pegas Travel Agency.
Evaluating the demand for human resources of Russian language, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Van Hoa, Former Rector of UFLS emphasized the social urgent need for this language. Despite this fact, according to him, there was a time when the enrolment for Russian language was interrupted due to a serious lack of learners. Nevertheless, during the admission season of the academic year 2012-2013, the Russian Faculty opened two classes, which laid a solid foundation for the upcoming admission seasons.
The students of Russian language are equipped with a reading room with more than 1,000 books, magazines, CDs and computers. As for Thai language, Thailand International Cooperation Agency - the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided facilities as well as materials to improve teaching and learning quality of this language and to help the students learn about Thai language and its culture.
The students of rare foreign languages like Russian and Thai have plenty of considerable opportunities to receive several types of grants. For example, provided that they can win a prize in the Russian Olympics held by the Center for Science and Russian Language in Hanoi, they will be offered a scholarship to study in Russia for five years.
As for students of Thai language, they can attend annually short-term field trips sponsored by TICA or take part in academic and cultural exchange programs in Thailand, for instance, Language and Culture Camping in 2015, International Youth Camp, Friendship Ambassador Program and so on.
Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Long once stated: “The students of Russian and Thai languages have always received numerous scholarships from both domestic and foreign businesses using human resources of these two languages”.
In addition to the Matrioska scholarship fund raised by former Russian lecturers and students and businesses, in the academic year 2015-2016, Sun Group Corporation offered scholarships worth 50 million VND to the students with outstanding performance in their study and youth activities and also to many other disadvantaged students.
Regarding Thai language, Thai Royal Embassy located in Ho Chi Minh, together with CP Group from Thailand, annually sponsors 20 scholarships for 20 students, 250 USD each. A number of students of this language have been offered jobs at Thai companies where they do their internships in HCMC, Da Nang, Quang Nam and many other provinces.