In our second Vietnamese webinar on Tuesday 10th November 2020, we had a special guest: Ms. Nguyen Le – a Vietnamese alumnus. Nguyen graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) and a Master’s degree in Marketing from Hanken School of Economics. After living in Finland for 7 years, Nguyen is currently working as a data analyst for Unilever Vietnam. She is also a part-time Maths teacher. Very cool, right?
During the webinar, together with Ms. Helen Phi, country coordinator at Edunation, Nguyen gave her own advice to some previously-selected enquiries from the audience from Vietnam.
“I am looking for either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in International Business in Finland. My biggest fear would have to be my English skills which is not at a good level. How should I start?” (V., Vietnamese, 36 years old).
- It is always good to recognize your own weaknesses and obstacles. Don’t let your fear stop you. If you are unconfident with your English, get ready to work on it right away. Start practising your English, for example by going to classes, and really putting effort in it. Once your English gets better, your confidence will improve. Then, there’s nothing holding you back from going to Finland to study.
Edunation Pathway Diploma study courses include English classes that focus on improving your English language ability in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
“I’m interested in having my Bachelor’s in Hospitality or Social Services so I’m looking into those two study fields. I am also concerned about the Covid-19 situation in Finland (H., Vietnamese, 17 years old).
- The Covid-19 is an unexpected event for everyone, but I don’t think the fear of the pandemic should be a barrier that prevents you from going abroad to study. If it’s not the pandemic, there’s always something: fear of being away from family and friends, fear of entering a new place… Prepare your best mentality and focus on what you really want in life.
Currently, for Hospitality and Tourism, Edunation has Bachelor of Hospitality Management in International Tourism Management at SAMK and Bachelor of Hospitality Management in Tourism at KAMK.
You can read FAQ About Covid-19 by Edunation to know more about relating issues.
“I am in search for a suitable studying-abroad program for my eldest daughter and Finland is one of the destinations in my mind. However, I’m worried about my daughter as this will be the first time she is away from parents. Should I still let her go now?” (S., Vietnamese, father of a senior highschooler).
- Although I was already 20 when I moved from Vietnam to Finland, I have to say that I have grown a lot from living on my own. Being independent at young age has made me become the person I am today: much more confident and active. Everything has its first time. I believe your daughter will be fine too, although things can be difficult at first, but she will learn a lot along the journey. You can start supporting her by teaching her necessary ‘survival’ skills and preparing her mentality for a new independent life in Finland. Finnish people are very helpful and she will be having nice international friends too, I’m sure they will support her.
“I failed SAT 3 times, but I still want to go to Finland to study.” (a Vietnamese student).
- Maybe you should try another direction: taking entrance exams? I didn’t get good mark for my TOEFL so I decided to try IELTS. My IELTS was much better as I figured I perform better writing things down on paper. So for you, I don’t think SAT is the only way. Think out of the box and give yourself opportunities with different approaches.
With Edunation Pathway Diploma, you will be given guaranteed access to a university in Europe upon completion of the diploma, without having to take English exams.
After answering audience enquiries, Nguyen also shared with us her thoughts on Edunation Pathway Diploma program.
“I used to be a student in Vietnam, so I totally understand the common concern which Vietnamese students have. Unless attending international schools, mostly, Vietnamese students are used to using just Vietnamese at school, and except for English lessons, all the subjects are conducted in Vietnamese. Therefore, coming to a new country, a new education system where they have to use English at all time, it can be scary. This is why a program like Edunation Pathway Diploma is needed.”
“Intercultural Communication sounds like an interesting module. In Finland, groupwork is a compulsory activity while studying. Finnish education system encourages group discussion, and students learn by listening to each other and practising critical thinking. Although Finnish people are often described to be quiet and introverted, group participation plays an important role in Finnish higher education. Coming from a far land such as Vietnam, foreign students may often feel distant from this kind of discussion culture, or they may not know how to communicate effectively in a multicultural context. A study module like Intercultural Communication at Edunation Pathway will help them a lot with performance in class by enhancing their communication skills and of course, the English module would improve their language skills. This way, international students doing Pathway will be much more confidence when entering a Finnish or European university.”
“In Vietnam, there is this saying: ‘Học tài thi phận’. This saying represents a common belief in Vietnam that some people are simply not ‘meant’ for exams – they can perform really well in school, but when they take exams, there is always this lack of luck, an anxious mental state or something that holds them back from achieving good grades. Edunation Pathway Diploma is definitely ‘the one’ for this type of students, as the program is highly based on your performance throughout the course, and after completion, students are guaranteed a place in a Finnish or European university of their dreams without having to take the entrance exam!”.
“The Pathway Diploma can act as a trial for students who don’t know what they want yet. Enrolling to a 4-year Bachelor’s degree can be a risk: an international student moves to Finland and may find out that the program is not really for them. Dropping out might be a problem. The Pathway then gives the students an opportunity to experience the Finnish way of teaching and learning and see if it’s suitable for them.”
Nguyen is going to be on two other upcoming blog posts with Edunation, where she shares about here experience at SAMK and Hanken. So stay tuned!
Written by Sophie Nguyen, coordinator at Edunation.