Ben Lippen Stories

International Student Profiles: Sarah Nguyen and Bill Truong

Sarah Nguyen (9th grade) and Bill Truong (10th grade) are two very special international students at Ben Lippen School.  They both braved international travel and came to a new school in the midst of a global pandemic.  Sarah and Bill arrived from Vietnam during the first week of January and they are our only two new international students for the spring semester.  We want to make them both feel very welcome in their new school and their “home away from home” in Columbia, South Carolina!

Sarah comes from the central part of Vietnam in Nghê An Province.  She has a younger brother in the fourth grade named Henry and a poodle named Candy. Her school schedule was very different from Ben Lippen’s back in Vietnam.  She went to school from 7 a.m. until 11:20 a.m. from Monday to Saturday after which she normally went to her grandparents’ home for lunch. She also had a lot of private lessons for English, Math, and more every Sunday.  Sarah’s parents work in the medical field and Sarah is interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacist.

Bill comes from Dông Nai Province, just adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City which is in the southern part of Vietnam.  Bill has a younger brother and his parents have their own company in the silver export industry.  Bill studied in an Australian-run international school in Vietnam before coming to Ben Lippen.  He enjoys chess, having played since second grade, and was instrumental in getting our new Chess Club started.  Bill hopes to go into the Information Technology field after he graduates from college.

Some of the challenges for Sarah and Bill coming to Ben Lippen have been the weather (“too cold”) as well as understanding everyone’s spoken English (“everyone speaks very fast”).

Both Bill and Sarah enjoy shopping, they miss their favorite snack foods back in Vietnam and they say that there is no good pho (Vietnamese noodles) in Columbia. Please take the opportunity to make Sarah and Bill feel welcome if you see them!

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