A glimpse into the Military Semester at the National Defense and Security Education Center – Ho Chi Minh City National University through the eyes of a student from Cohort 49, Institute of Intelligent and Interactive Technologies – University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City

When it comes to the military semester, most of us probably think of it as a time when students will have to study in a strict, disciplined environment full of challenges. Here, all students are equal and there is no preferential treatment for anyone.

As a freshman who has just set foot in the city for less than 3 months, with a passion for learning and exploring new things in the university environment, I could not miss the military semester. The military semester has brought us – students of Cohort 49, Institute of Intelligent and Interactive Technologies – University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, many memorable memories with so many beautiful memories.

(Student Nguyen Viet Dai Nghia – Class RA0001 – Deputy Company Commander for Study C10 K430)


“Teeeeo teeee teeee teeee teeee teeee teeee teeee”

Surely anyone who has experienced a military semester will be “haunted” by the sound of this alarm clock, and I am no exception. Every day at exactly 5:15 am, at the National Defense and Security Education Center, that sound echoes across the sky, signaling the start of another day of study and work. The sound wakes me up with hazy thoughts because I’m still sleepy, but I still have to try to get up to take care of personal hygiene. I don’t know why, but maybe I’ve become “addicted” to this cheerful sound. After 2 exercises on the playground, we go back to the cafeteria for breakfast and then get ready to go to class. These rushed mornings happen every day, but for me it’s so much fun when everything happens so quickly.

(Deputy Company Commanders take photos with “Comrade Teachers”)

Here, everyone wears green uniforms like real soldiers. We are taught about the types of weapons, grenades, how to use them, as well as defensive and offensive strategies and tactics, analyzing enemies and ourselves, … there are many interesting things that I have never heard of before. The lessons in the training ground and practice field are always hot and dusty, but we are not discouraged, we still maintain a spirit of hard work and a burning patriotism. In addition to lessons on weapons and tactics, we are also taught about the Party and State’s policies, national defense and security work, and economic, political and social fields, … to better understand our tasks and responsibilities as Vietnamese citizens. The lessons in the lecture hall can be a bit boring and sleepy, but with the enthusiasm and passion of the “Comrade Teachers”, we seem to have more strength to complete our study tasks.

(Company 10 K430 during recess in the lecture hall)

The military lessons made me realize that my previous thoughts were probably wrong. The military semester is not difficult, not too restrictive, and not necessarily dry, the military environment is strict but also very warm. Here we are able to study and play to the fullest. Outside of school hours, we participate in many entertainment activities freely in the evenings until before 9:15 pm, we can go down to the lakeside canteen to buy snacks and drinks, we can sit and watch the scenery by the lake or chat and play games.


January 8, 2024 – the day I started a military semester, got used to a new environment and new friends. The first week, I felt like I was lost in this military zone, I was bored, lonely, to me this place was like a “cage” imprisoning freedom and wanting to leave as soon as possible.

By the second week, things were getting easier and I felt more love for this place. Maybe I got used to life and got used to the rules, although strict, they helped people live more responsibly and disciplined with themselves. And above all, here I have friends who are always ready to share, chat and encourage me when I’m down; there are enthusiastic and friendly teachers who always listen to me whenever I have difficulties; the comrades who are new but everyone is friendly and sociable.

(A fun evening with students from Cohort 49, 3ITech)

After 23 days of training and discipline in the military environment, I have truly matured beyond my former self. Here, I have been equipped with a multitude of life skills, serving as a valuable toolkit for my future endeavors. I have come to realize that to stand where no one else has stood, one must dare to do what no one else has done. From the initial feelings of restriction, imposition, and loss of freedom, my time in the military has instilled in me a heightened sense of self-reliance and responsibility for my actions. While I may not be the most exceptional performer, I am confident that I have given my all to this learning and training process, driven by a sense of responsibility towards myself and society. As I conclude my military training, I stand proud to proclaim, “I am a student of the Institute of Intelligent and Interactive Technologies – University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City.”

A Surprise Birthday to Remember in the Military Zone

January 31, 2024, marks the day I step out of the gates of the National Defense and Security Education Center. The thought of returning home leaves a void in my heart. Despite the brevity of my time here, it has been a catalyst for my daily growth. Within these walls, I have experienced emotions that transcend even love itself. I wish this month could have stretched into a much longer period…

“Forever our hearts will sing
The song of the soldier
Forever our hearts will beat
To the rhythm of the marching song…”

These lyrics resonate deeply within me, reminding me of those Monday evenings when we gathered for thematic activities and shared meaningful stories about Uncle Ho. In that atmosphere, each of us transformed into true soldiers.

Through this extraordinary semester of military training, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the hardships and sacrifices endured by soldiers, who tirelessly safeguard our nation, our independence, and the people’s freedom. This military training has ignited a renewed passion within me to embark on a journey filled with enthusiasm, courage, and dreams, embracing the unique experiences of student life.

(A Student from RA0001 Class – Institute of Intelligent and Interactive Technologies)

-Nguyen Viet Dai Nghia – Class RA0001 – Institute of Intelligent and Interactive Technologies-

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