Vietnamese customs are similar to those of China, often being passed on from Confucianism. Vietnam is a collective society where people put the group before the individual. This can lead students to feel uneasy in the individualistic society of the United States.
Another social value for Vietnamese students is hierarchy, as they often treat people of better status and age with more respect. This can be the male of the house, or elderly people. They also have very close ties with family as three generations living in the same household is often a norm.
Vietnamese students may also be conscious about face, which is essentially their honor or reputation. Being publicly humiliated can cause a loss of face, while being complimented can be seen as saving face. This can often come across as being shy or nervous, but they simply do not want to take face from anyone or offend them.
Relationships are also valued in Vietnamese culture. However, they may take longer to develop due to the importance of trust between people. Academics are also often a priority with students focusing primarily on schoolwork and learning.
Fun Fact: School children are summoned by traditional gongs instead of bells.