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Postcard from Vietnam – Week 1

Postcard from Vietnam – Week 1

Each week we will be introducing you to our newest teachers at BVIS. This week it’s Mr Routledge in EAL, and Ms Penner in English!


Name: Jonathan Routledge

Subject teaching: EAL

Form class: 7I

City:  St. Andrews , Scotland

Vietnam is very different compared to Scotland or any other countries that I have been to, and perhaps this is the reason why this beautiful country has kept me for over 13 years instead of 3 weeks as I had first planned.

The city just felt so vibrant and alive, and I was enticed by the smell of the food wafting from the numerous street stalls. Also, when I first arrived there were only bicycles and motorbikes and you didn’t have to wear a helmet. There were also very few cars, but now there are cars everywhere and almost everyone wears a helmet. This country is developing quickly!

Vietnamese people can be more direct at times, but in general I find them friendlier than in the UK. Queuing culture is another striking difference. British people tend to be more patient to wait in line or at the traffic lights, whereas Vietnamese people may find their way onto the pavement, or constantly beep their horns particularly at rush hour. I also notice how Vietnamese people are so much more photogenic. They always look so good in pictures. This along with the amazing vibrant colours of the countryside makes Vietnam a photographer’s dream.

Maybe I’ll stay here forever and continue to “đi phượt” (travel by motorbike) to explore more beautiful places in Vietnam.

My top five adjectives about Vietnam are: vibrant, bustling, colourful, noisy, friendly


Name: Eliesa Penner

Subject: English

Form class: 10I

City: Reading, UK

My first impression of Vietnam: completely enthralling, crazy but also energetic.

To me, the three most significant differences between Vietnamese and English are: they are extremely friendly, welcoming and not as sarcastic as English people.
For now, I would love to learn Vietnamese terms for directions and signs to communicate with Vietnamese drivers. The Vietnamese Teaching program is exceptionally brilliant in helping me to achieve this target.

My first priority in Vietnam is to inspire as many students as possible. Secondly, I want to explore more beautiful places such as HaLong Bay and Hanoi.

Vietnam in 5 adjectives: beautiful, crazy, scorching, mesmerising, fun

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