Trang Lan Anh Thu is from Vietnam.

After gaining a Bachelor degree in Commerce and Administration in 2005, she went on to do a Masters in Commerce, majoring in Marketing, in 2006, at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Here she talks about her experiences and some of the challenges she faced.

Why I chose UNSW

International Education is a big investment, not just in money but also time and energy. Therefore, I always carefully research the university I want to go to: reputation must come first. A university that has a good reputation always wins my trust and that is what I found with UNSW. Another factor that made me choose UNSW was the opportunity to do it with my best friends from Victoria University, Wellington and New Zealand.

Challenges moving from NZ to Australia

I took it for granted that it did not take long to adapt to the new studying and living environment before, in New Zealand, but it actually took me longer to adapt to my new life in Australia. Although I had some friends, I still had to make an effort to build my community where I live. Master studies also required higher academic performance than the bachelor degree.

My Course

The Master of Commerce Degree was a great course and very suitable for a fresh graduate like me. I specialised in marketing. I am still in touch with some of the international friends I made at UNSW.

Student Life and the Community

While I was studying, I worked part-time at several places: a parking lot at a stadium, a Vietnamese restaurant, an Italian restaurant and an Australian Post Office.

I joined the Mentor Programme to support new international comers to the university and also the Vietnamese Student Association at UNSW. I also became a blood donor!

My Achievements

  • Good qualification from a highly recognised university
  • Awesome experience and exposure
  • Confidence and independence
  • Amazing networks, after graduation

Finding a job after graduation was not difficult at all for me, with the qualifications and level of English I obtained from NZ and Australia.

Top 5 things I loved about UNSW

  • Campus and its location
  • Activities and communities at UNSW
  • Professional networks
  • Reputation of the university
  • Alumni engagement

Top 5 things I loved about Sydney

  • Active and vivid city
  • Nice weather compared to Melbourne and Wellington
  • Many opportunities
  • Culture and cultural activities
  • International cuisine

What my learning experience will contribute to my jobs, on returning to Vietnam

  • Critical thinking

How my experience as an overseas student has helped make me a global citizen

I am more confident and easily step out of my comfort zone to take on challenges. I’ve been through several roles at different industries and at each position I have accomplished certain achievements and been recognised by either my bosses or the company: I know how to deal with people from different cultural backgrounds and have no problem in making new friends: I love travelling and on some of my trips I was a solo-traveller: Since coming back from Australia, I have travelled to 30 countries and more than 100 cities across many continents, from Asia to Europe, America to Oceania.

Where I am now

I’ve moved, to settle down in the Netherlands, and have found that my adaptation skills, which my time studying overseas has equipped me with, helped me a lot, to integrate with the new country and culture.

Enjoyed this article? Check out our other alumni stories.

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