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Study in Australia : Thy Huynh

Written by Your Story

   For an active girl like Thy Huynh, social networking is life and
volunteering is a joy.

Thy-Huynh is a very friendly and optimistic girl from Viet Nam. She graduated from University of Technology Sydney with a Bachelor of Nursing in 2014 and currently volunteers as a sale assistant  for Ted Noffs Op-shop (a charity shop with donated clothes/items to help homeless kids suffering from drugs and alcohol) and is a PR/Social Media team member of Ozduhoc.


Australia is a multicultural country with beautiful coastal views and warm weather, attracting many people as a destination to live and study in. Thy was also impressed by this beauty of Australia and decided move to Sydney in July 2007. After nearly 8 years of living, studying and working on her own, she has become more self-confident and self-motivated to turn her ideas into action.

“Step by step, one goes far.” – Proverb

As many international students, she still had many troubles in organising and time-management to do her assignments efficiently, especially when it came to group assignments. Thy shares her experience: “Each group member might have time conflict with each other, you have to initiate appropriate time for team meeting in order to get the most out of it each time.”12113276_10205531441505497_1377245656985129283_o

Talking about her major, Thy shows her dedication and warm heart in helping people to become aware of their lifestyle risk factors or make them feel better when being hospitalized. “You learnt causes of common chronic diseases as well as how to prevent or manage them pharmacologically and holistically. Health is such a complex issue and you need to prevent factors contributed
to the illness rather than curing it when it becomes severe.” Additionally, at the end of the nursing course, students will be given opportunities to apply for new-graduate positions in mostly public hospitals. Here they are able to rotate around the wards that they are interested in. Work as a registered nurse requires lots of training session and helpful assistance from senior nurses.

 “It is worth taking risk because you never know your golden opportunity is right there waiting for you.” – Thy Huynh

Unfortunately, Thy did not get her dream position in hospital and that disappointed her for a while. However, from this she realized that nursing is an open career with positions available other than the hospital. Nurses are needed to care for patients with chronic diseases in the community or family practice. This fact motivated her to start to applying to other settings and fortunately got a job 6 months after graduation.

Thy found working as a practice nurse in a medical practice was quite different to how she was trained in hospital settings. “Comparing to hospital where you meet a variety of patients and provide them acute treatment, you do more health care plans and follow up with national vaccination guidelines for a more preventive health and chronic health management,” she said.

“Even though you fail once, “there is always a light at the end of the tunnel”, you will slowly find you way back as long as you aim to live right.”

– Thy Huynh

When studying in another country, especially Study in Australia, to fail a subject is a nightmare. Thy suffered a dark time when she failed one subject in her nursing course. “I realised how neglectful I was toward that subject. It was such a difficult subject in which I hate and I neglected to catch up or ask questions that I am not sure about towards friends or tutorial teacher”, she told.

Thy Huynh 4

Being an independent girl, she decided to not ask her mother to repay the subject. So, in her last semester she needed to take 5 subjects while going on clinical placement and working part-time on weekend to earn the tuition fee. She is very positive about everything: “I guess you just have to think positively and trust your own ability to overcome the most difficult time”.

A change is as good as a rest.

Thy probably has a reason to be optimist about being failed one subject because of clinical placement (which is compulsory to her degree) is where she found her best experience: “I was able to learn how to interact and assess your patients in real which will enhance your practical judgement based on theory you have learnt”, Thy excitedly recalled.

Thy Huynh 2

Thy was also enthusiastic to share her future plan which is to temporarily stop her nursing career and start a new degree after she is successfully granted with Permanent Resident here.

“This could sound odd but I learnt that you might have many interests but doing what you are really passionate about would lead to a more meaningful life because you effortlessly contribute what you have best” – Thy is very passionate with her new plan.

To prepare for this, she made a portfolio to submit her ideas and show her creative work on multi-media platforms. If her application is successful, Thy will start over again by doing a degree of fashion marketing because fashion was always her passion and the greatest inspiration in her life. Rather than drawing and sketching, she would love to work closely with designers and promote fashionable trends to fashion lovers. She also became a fashion retail assistant to learn about customer satisfaction and store merchandising.

Thy knows that some of the international students like her are trying their best to complete the degree which would gain them easier pathway to immigrate to Australia. From Thy’s experience, she advises: “You need to find a degree among the demanded list which is a likely relation to what you are interested in to prevent stressful and demotivated thoughts through the long run of a bachelor course.”

Thy Huynh 3

The last meaningful words Thy would love to send to students who are preparing to studying abroad are:

“You should never underestimate your true self and what you actually dream of. You will never discovered your real potential if you are afraid to change. Remember you can easily achieve anything if you have great will because “where there is a will, there is a way.”

– Thy Huynh


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Study in Australia: Yue Yu (Jasmine Yu)

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“Sometimes it’s hard to survive alone in a new environment.

But if you have a person to rely on, you two can keep the balance and survive.”

– Jasmine Yu

Good company makes good lives. Last year, Yue Yu (Jasmine) came to Australia with her flatmate to whom she was introduced by an agency. For this shy girl, she felt glad herself to have an awesome mate who is the same age as her and a more than competent cook.IMG_9774Without any relatives, Jasmine and her newly introduced friend took a long flight from Dalian, North China to Sydney in July, 2014. Jasmine decided to do a 4-year Bachelor of Social Work in University of Sydney. Despite knowing that this major is not chosen by many international students, Jasmine is passionate about social work. Not only was she inspired by her parents’ jobs in the community, but their encouragement to do what she loved gave her confidence more than anything.

Luck usually comes unexpectedly, doesn’t it?

11745454_10152975799636778_1750391201850328628_nBack in China, it is often said how challenging and competitive the national entrance exam is. Students study day and night to pass this exam and get a chance to enter a top university. As in Asian countries, studying in a university is very important and it is the only way to get a job or be successful. In short, without attending a university, you have no future. Although Jasmine failed to pass the exam for Beijing university, which is one of the best in China, her parents still gave her a chance to keep on studying in another country.

This is also because Jasmine already has a strong English foundation since she was 6 years old. Australia is a popular choice because it is easy to travel to and most of the universities in Australia accept the results from China.  


“In China, people only joke when you’re very close.” – Jasmine Yu.

Yes, this is called ‘culture shock’ – the period of time where you may struggle between Eastern and Western culture.

Jasmine was used to Asian culture, which focuses on the community and the collective. In high school, she was in a boarding school where it was compulsory to live in a campus with many friends.

“Back in high school, you go everywhere with a bunch of friends.”  Jasmine laughed out loud while saying this and we know that it is true in most Asian countries.10700614_10203252443777355_6067008899119173400_o

“(In Sydney) everyone is living in different places. And you know that it is hard to meet them after class” – Jasmine said.

In the beginning, she sometimes felt unaccepted and left out within a group of friends because she was not used to inside jokes. That feeling has almost faded away after Jasmine joined more society events, met more people and got encouragement from them. Her friends also told her that she does not have to be the same as other people to be sociable.

So, talk about culture, because “when you talk about the different culture, you’re different”, as Jasmine’s suggests from the way she did.

Social Work is a job of joy!

In a developed country, social work is totally different. That means the subjects about it will also be more practical in acknowledging sociology, NGOs, Public Welfare or Child Protection and professing the way you help a community.11703154_10152967325166778_190958831477026921_n

 The chances to practice are also more varied. In July 2015, Jasmine had her very first volunteer work abroad in Nepal for a month during the winter break. It was with an international charity – ‘Take on Nepal’ – created by Friends of Himalaya, a small, start-up company located in Cairns and whose founder and staff are all Nepalese. As her physical health did not allow her to help with the reconstruction, Jasmine took on the opportunity to teach English with the help of a Nepalese guideline. With The Friends of Himalaya, Jasmine was able to go on adventures and made it the most fantastic time of the year for her.12046863_1637079103229832_2142845161372989644_n

“In terms of career, I like to work in an organization like this. What they do is very meaningful and as it is not a very big organisation, everyone has one goal.” – Jasmine said.

Talking about people who do activities in helping people suffering Ebola, AIDS and so on, Jasmine showed her respect to them: “I don’t think I can do it. I highly admired them. They are the most respectful people in the world!”

Do what you love or don’t do it at all!

“I kinda really know who I am by now. Studying in Australia made me more independent. I make my own decision, with people manipulating me”, said Jasmine. That was what Jasmine wanted and she got it.

 As an international student in Australia, everyone takes the chance to earn money by a part-time job. Jasmine luckily got a job at a Chinese traveling agency, booking flight tickets for customers and planning trips based on their needs. “I thought it will be cool but then think it’s boring. I hate talking to people who do not want to spend a lot of money but always asking for the luxury ones”, Jasmine said.11265053_834848386602195_3352980891200566800_n

After that, Jasmine asked to change her responsibility in the office to do advertising on We Chat. She started posting blogs and Ads about the agency but in personal writings because she thought the followers would love to read those. However, the managers asked her to follow a technical formula which made her unhappy. And then she quit.

 So, at that time, she began looking for another part-time job. She went to an employment website but ended up with volunteer position in VOIS Magazine on March 2015. She uses We Chat as a platform to bring Vois Magazine to the Chinese international student community in Australia. Jasmine’s work is to interview people who love to cook and have a positive life, use their recipes and pictures of what they cook to write articles about them. And Jasmine loves what she is doing at the moment.

“There’s no point focusing too much on studying.

Look further in social life. It’s a waste if you don’t!”

– Jasmine Yu




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International Student Story: Thanh Tung Le

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Thanh Tung Le is freestyle photographer and a Vietnamese international student in Sydney, Australia. You can recognize him by his nice and impressive style of dressing. Not only does he have photography skills, but Tung also has a Bachelor of Engineering with Second Class Honours from University of Technology (UTS), Sydney since 2014.

Tung went to Australia in 2009 with an open mind and optimism about the high educational system. The reason why he chose Australia as his studying destination is quite simply because he has relatives already living in Sydney, it is a short-distance from Viet Nam and has global qualified educational systems.

Thanh Tung Le 2

You can recognize Tung by his impressive style of dressing. (Photo by Justin Le)

When Tung first came here, he was taking an Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering in TAFE for 2 years. He did it because of his passions in physics, math and technology back in high school years. After finishing the diploma, he still felt unsatisfied and wanted to learn more, which pushed him to apply to a Bachelor of Engineering at UTS.


Why Engineering and why the University of Technology?

Answering this question, he becomes a serious and passionate person, explaining the important role of engineering to human life. “Engineering is very interesting and essential in developing civilisation. Everything needs to be created, developed, fixed and innovated all the time to be better. For example, hearing aids was invented a long time ago, but it is always developed to be more convenient and cheaper for everyone to be able to buy it,” Tung said with enthusiasm.

Thanh Tung Le 3

When Tung knew a story about a mind-controlled smart wheelchair invented by a Vietnamese student in UTS, he was more encouraged to accept the challenge of the major. This decision may also be a good chance for Tung to move closer to his dream which is inventing things to help more people.

Tung predicted that engineering was not an easy way, but it was more challenging when he was already in it. To him, teamwork skills and new study methods are what he has improved the most. The amount of work such as assignments and projects escalated before he noticed.


To those doing engineering, Tung’s advice would be:

“Choose your team members wisely for a group assignments.”

Tung explained more about the challenges in teamwork. For every project, everyone has to pick up a new team, and therefore has to get used to all members quite quickly. Moreover, each project requires a different solution, so the methods, environments and roles are constantly changing.

To complete the assignments, Tung believed that communication is the key element of success. Communication, he defined, is to know the contact of every member so that any problems can be immediately fixed as a group. This is very important because “it will save more time and efforts to correct the mistake at the beginning than last minutes” – Tung said.

As an international student, like many others, Tung had a part-time job. There was one semester that he had to take 4.5 subjects (with one compulsory half-credit “half subject” unit) while working as an Internet café operator. This temporary job not only brought him an adequate amount of money, but it was also a chance for him to meet different types of customers and improve his skills in solving situational problems. To relax and stimulate himself during other stressful times, Tung listened to speeches and videos of inspiring people.

Everything can be done. It is just about yourself if you want to make time for it. Well, an engineer can still be a photographer, isn’t it, Tung?

“Being a photographer means you have to be ready for criticisms besides compliments. It is nothing but helping you to be more patient and determined.” – Thanh Tung Le

Thanh Tung Le 1

With Tung, photography is more than just a hobby. It is a passion that made him into the person he is today. When he wasn’t studying, he loved to shoot photos for his friends.

In his experience, the main difference between working as a professional event photographer and a casual photographer is flexibility. Tung explained that as an event photographer, he was more relaxed due to the team’s encouragement and stimulation. When directing a photo shoot, however, he was very strict.

Striving to learn more, Tung is now volunteering for Ozduhoc, a project founded in 2014 by Infinity Connect Pty Ltd. It is a multi-media channel aimed at helping the Vietnamese students community in Australia to get the most out of their education, networks and resources. Tung has been involved in some successful events as a poster designer and photographer since September 2015. So far he finds the volunteer work to be very enjoyable.


Tung was studying and working harder than ever, and everything paid off on his graduation ceremony day.

For Tung, it is one of the gravest and most memorable days of his life. He excitedly said: “At the same time you know all your efforts worth it, you feel worried before the ceremony but when you are on the stage, smiling big is the natural thing you will do.”

Tung is now working full time as an Assistant Directorfor a small company about lighting wholesaler and project specialisation. Although his dream is a technical position at CISCO, he is still happy with this job as it applies techniques and skills learnt in his Bachelors. Tung believes that it will give him the necessary professionalism and practical knowledge required for business management. He is also considering a Master degree, majoring in Project Management as a first step to his goal of opening a business about technology.


Thanh Tung Le 4


“Do not work hard, work smart!” – Thanh Tung Le


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International Student Story: Irine Tania

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“Try to get involve in organization. Don’t be shy, take action to be brave.” – Irine Tania.

Not many people would guess that this shy girl is the president of an Indonesian student association of more than 1000 members in Sydney. Irine Tania is a third-year international student of UTS, doing Bachelor of Finance and Accounting. Arriving in Australia on September 2013, she has just one more semester to go until she receives her final recognition.


While still in Indonesia, a lot of her friends and other youngsters chose Melbourne to study, but Irine decided to study in Australia. This choice is simply because she has an elder brother living and studying in Sydney already, and she saw studying abroad as an opportunity to improve her English skills. However, this long trip has exceeded Irine’s expectations. In a country where there is the mixture of religions and freedom of speech, Irine feels more respected. She loves Sydney, and the multi-cultural environment has also allowed her to grow to be a more open-minded and sociable person.

This change is a huge movement in Irine’s life. Before getting used to the international student life, she was very quiet and was scared to make friends or communicate. Language has always been a common disadvantage for international students. To beat this difficulty, Irine joined The Activity Club in UTS: Insearch in which she met many people and practiced her English skills by communicating with all members.

A calm and soft girl can be a good President – why not?

Since early May, Irine becomes the president of Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia Australia (PPIA) – Indonesian Students Association of UTS. PPIA UTS is a non-profit organisation customized mainly for all Indonesian students studying at UTS but is open to all students. Her success as a president includes the steady increase in people joining PPIA UTS. According to Irine, she runs one event per month and at every event there are more than 50 people attending. Just recently, their ‘Help Indonesia Breathe’ campaign, created to help people in Sumatra and Kalimantan from the burning forests disaster, has had a successful end.


Being a president of an association has taught Irine many lessons in having a good presentation or talk to the sponsors. (Photo by Irine Tania)

“Don’t be afraid if you don’t have experience, when you have commitment, you can do it. Everytime you do, try your best!” – Irine Tania

Being a president of an association has taught Irine many lessons in how to manage time and balance work, create an event, have a good presentation, talk to the sponsors as well as defining the committee and organising the team. She has proved to everyone that being soft and calm is another way to lead an organisation.


A campaign named Help Indonesia Breathe has just ended successfully. (Photo by Irine Tania)

One of her regrets so far is that she did not try to do this earlier. So, if there is one thing she could do to make a difference, is to be to be more sociable and join PPIA at the first days she had been to Australia.

Love what you are doing, Finance and Accounting will be easier!

Not only is her time management effective, but the passion towards her major is a reason Irine keeps up with lessons and exams. A good foundation in her hometown and her love of Math helped her get high grades in Finance and Accounting in Diploma of Business at UTS: Insearch. Her marks helped her believe more in herself that she can do Finance and Accounting. She said: “You have to like the subject and be patient with Finance and Accounting. Also, you should try to review every lecture even there is no exam or if it’s easy, and practice as much as you can. You will get a better result.”  Not everyone doing Finance and Accounting likes Math, but definitely everyone can do it if you try hard.

What is the secret tip of a young president?

Irine is a typical busy international student with studying, a part-time job, social works and hanging out with friends. The amount of work you can imagine is super high and very hard to manage to do them well. However, this hardworking international student is really living with it and trying to balance them all.


Irine is a typical busy international student with studying, part-time job, social works, hanging out with friends. (Photo by Irine Tania)

Her routine is to wake up at 6 or 7 o’clock and study until to 9 o’clock in the morning, spend the rest of the day on other tasks and then back to homework at night. Irine also knows that it is important to keep good health is also important, and has started to do yoga. Although it will be hard in the beginning, thinking about long-term effects gives her more motivation.

Will you stay or go back to your country after graduated from Australia?


“A broad social network and communication are important to help develop a business” – Irine thinks. (Photo by Irine Tania)

Irine does not hesitate in saying that she will go back to Indonesia. She has a strong love for her nation and hopes that she can develop it one day. Her current ambition is to create a business and has already begun coordinating with a friend in her hometown. They hope to bring the online store, selling dresses with traditional Indonesian batik patterns, live by March 2016. She cannot wait to build up a brand of Indonesian culture and hopes to see people from other nations wearing her nation’s traditional pattern.

She also shared her tips:

“If you want to make your business last longer, try to make it step by step. Meeting a lot of people may help you promote and innovate the ideas.”

So, if you are also interested in this project, stay tuned for her product next year!

If you could give advice for international students, what would it be?

“Make a lot of friends, as much as you can, not only from your country but with different countries and backgrounds.”

What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?

“Try to get involve in the different student organizations. Don’t be shy, take an action to be brave.”


“Don’t be shy, take an action to be brave.” – said Irine (Photo by Irine Tania)

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Study in Australia of a Vietnamese International Student – Khoa Tran

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Khoa Tran is a sociable and funny guy from Viet Nam and is currently studying a Master’s of Information of Technology at Queensland University of Technology. He first came to Australia in July 2012. At that time, when having to select between Australia or America as a study destination, Australia “was a no-brainer” due to its ideal forex rates of the currency.

7How challenging is Australia?

Language is always a disadvantage for many international students, especially for those who have not prepared a fair amount of English training before hand. Khoa expressed: “It was quite painful as communication is the main way to make new friends. For about 6 months I didn’t really have any friend. In every conversation I always felt left out because I couldn’t catch up with the topics”. To improve his language skills in a year, Khoa tried hard to communicate with both native and international students everyday and started picking up a little bit of the Aussie accent, learning new phrases and understanding certain ways of expressing ideas in Australia. Now, he is confident in a conversation and that is what he was striving for.

Another challenge for international students are financial concerns. Most find it a challenge because some students want to be dependent. Since their parents are covering their tuition fee, they decide to earn their daily living. Khoa Tran is one of them. One memorable incident was when he realised he had no money left in his pocket after visiting the nearby community health clinic. “The week after that was hard”, he shared. He was constantly looking for jobs, but unlike many people, he dared to skip many jobs to find his permanent one now. “The key, I guess, is to be bold enough to quit a job when it no longer feels right”. Not being dare-to-do but Khoa is also humble and witty to add: “Oh, please don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean I’m bold. I guess I’m just crazy enough to do it”.


 IDEA Network – ideal meetup


Khoa’s craziness led him to be the President of IDEA Network, an inter-university society of young, creative and audacious students with great entrepreneurial ideas. Along with making many new friends within the community, he also learnt how to think outside the box, to always look for problems and devise solutions and developed the courage to be different – aiming for a career not a job.

Inspired by the previous president of IDEA Network, Khoa served as the Vice President from October 2012 to October 2013 before running for presidency and serving as the President from October 2013 to July 2014. Ambitious in growing IDEA Network, Khoa spent a lot of time coordinating different portfolios of the club, as well as having a lot of people reporting to him. From what Khoa is doing as a president, he concludes that a key responsibility of a leader of such an organisation is to make people feel that their work is appreciated, and that their contribution matters tremendously to the community.

Currently, Khoa is working hard on his Master’s degree in Technology, which is his true passion.

“I would dump my bachelor degree straight after semester 1 and went straight to a duel degree in IT+Business or IT+Finance or IT+Law”.

“I would dump my bachelor degree straight after semester 1 and instead pursue a dual degree in IT and Business or IT and Finance”.

I would dump my bachelor of psychology straight after semester 1 and instead pursue a dual degree in IT and Business, or IT and Finance

He found that technology is very innovative, daring and entrepreneurial. Talking about what he is doing, he seems to be very inspiring: “There is no right or wrong answer. You have to find the answer for yourself and be brave enough to follow up with it”. Moreover, IT is fascinating to Khoa because it may allow him to create new things that can create a huge impact on society.

He answered the question, “If you could go back in years attending uni, is there anything you wish to make it different?” without hesitation: “I would dump my bachelor of psychology straight after semester 1 and instead pursue a dual degree in IT and Business, or IT and Finance”.


Don’t ever think Psychology including Behavioural Economics!

He confused Behavioural Economics and Psychology, only realising his mistake 2/3 of the way into the degree. He admitted to this big wrong decision that he made. From this, his advice in choosing a major is: “Do your research very carefully before committing to anything!”. Khoa corrected his mistake by pursuing a Master degree in IT and he is really happy with that. He proves that it is never too late to start doing something.

“It is never too late to start doing something again” – Khoa Tran said.

At the moment, Khoa is working casually for Cohort Solutions, a startup company. Reflecting on his professional experience, there is a thing or two that Khoa has learnt about a university environment and a workplace:

  1. You’re always being judged. Everything you do leaves an impression about you and your professionalism on other people.
  2. Good isn’t good enough. In university, you give reasons for mistakes. In a corporation, everything needs to be done with 100% effort. You have to give every task your best, regardless of any external or internal hindrance you may encounter.
  3. “Specialization is key”. In a nutshell, in a company everyone has a niche role. Everyone has some special contribution to a company. This requires us to know what our strengths are and focus on them. The sooner we figure this out, the better kick start we will have in a workplace.



“Everything you do leaves an impression about you and your professionalism on other people”. – Khoa Tran suggested.

If you could give an advice for international students what would it be?
“Be bold, be audacious, be adventurous, and above all, be yourself.”

In the future, this active guy has a spreadsheet listing his goals and things to do. All of them is contributing to his key goal:  solve big problems and build a great career. Khoa is young and energetic. His motto is “I make sure I work hard and learn one or two new things every day”.

Studying in another country is often defined as a chance to learn new things in life. It is also right to Khoa when he said that it gave him a great opportunity to learn how to study, work and live independently; how to work with people from many cultures and understand different perspectives.

What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?
“Welcome to the land down under, mate!” – said Khoa Tran.


“Welcome to the land down under, mate!” – Khoa Tran.

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