Trang Lan Anh Thu is from Vietnam and studied a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.
She majored in Marketing and Management and completed her degree in 2005. Here she talks about her experiences and about the choices she made.
Choosing a Uni
When I did my homework to decide where to go and study abroad, I was looking for a university with a good reputation, that was safe, peaceful and had a good environment. Victoria University Wellington matched this wish-list.
As with all foreign students, I had some challenges to deal with when I first arrived.
I was confident with my English but living in a foreign country using a different language from my mother tongue was not easy during the first few months. However, after coping with the initial assimilation, language was no longer a barrier; in fact, this experience became an advantage, improving my English and proving to myself my ability to adapt to the new environment.
The weather was actually more difficult; I come from a tropical country and landed in Wellington in July – winter time – so I was quite shocked with the weather, especially in that windy city. Other issues were the living cost (even McDonalds seemed expensive!) and the initial homesickness: the first month I spent trying to adapt to the new culture but I quickly made new friends and joined many communities at the university so my life soon became more interesting.
The course and the learning method was completely different from what I experienced in my first year at a university in Vietnam. It was more practical, exciting and challenging. I was required to spend more time self-studying and at the library for researching. I also learnt more from group study and how to perform the best using team-work.
The practicality of the course became clear when I was back working in Vietnam: lots of the knowledge and skills that I obtained in my course were applicable in my job. And when I applied for the master at UNSW, my course was helpful in supporting that application.