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Thursday, 23 March 2017

CGI – ASEAN Foundation Scholarship: An Eye Opening and Memorable Experience

For Ha Nguyen Thu, being a recipient of the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute (CGI)-ASEAN Foundation scholarship was a huge milestone. She expressed her gratitude that not only has the scholarship helped her in her career orientation but it has also provided her a memorable and invaluable experience.

Ha Nguyen Thu who is familiarly called Nguyen obtained her Master of Science in Environmental Toxicology, Chulabhorn Graduate Institute in June 2016 through Chulabhorn Graduate Institute – ASEAN Foundation Joint Post-graduate Scholarship Programme.

During an interview, Nguyen mentioned what motivated her was her keenness in Environmental Toxicology despite there were no universities in Vietnam that specifically offered the programme. However, this did not stop her to pursue her field of interest. She first caught the opportunity on one local newspaper and embraced the opportunity.

“I am keen on Environmental Toxicology field since Vietnam is a developing country in which exploitation of industrial chemicals, additives in food and environmental pollution are hot potatoes. Through my knowledge and skills, I hope that I will be able to contribute to raising public awareness of environmental toxicology, particularly in my country, Vietnam,“ described Nguyen.

During her study, she also had a great opportunity to approach global health issues such as air pollution, arsenic contamination, contagious MER and Ebola infection through intensive courses. In October last year, she had a chance to participate “International Course on Laboratory Animal Science” organised at the Research Institute for Biotechnology and Environment, Nong Lam University, Vietnam in collaboration with Utrecht University , the Netherlands.

She also added “it was a wonderful experience. Not only an opportunity to explore new fascinating knowledge but during my two years, I also confronted many challenges which had made my time there were extremely rewarding. Obstacles in my research motivated me to make a great effort to thrive on myself”.

She further shared her memorable moment that during the CGI scholarship programme, she felt joy listening and grasping new knowledge from prestigious lecturers from multiple countries such as Netherland, Germany, Denmark, Canada, and the USA. It opened her eyes towards the world, especially in medical field. What impressed her the most was when she suffered from a serious health problem, her Ajarns (lecturers or professors in Thai language) visited her to comfort and encourage her. She was extremely astonished and grateful to receive advices from her Ajarn in overcoming her obstacles in her study.

Besides academic knowledge, Nguyen said that her two-year study in Thailand had broadened her cultural perspectives about Thailand and other countries that she learned from her classmates. “I had explored and assimilated a multitude of fascinating culture features from friends from a diversity of countries and through voluntary trips to remote villages in Thailand” said Nguyen. In addition to this, she also mentioned that her cooking skill had improved.

Her experience has shaped her to be more creative, more self-reliant in research and how to effectively cooperate with others. Nguyen admitted that her ability to analyse of a specific matter and lab skills are better off after two years of studying in CGI. She also would like to express her gratitude towards lecturers and staff in CGI as well as ASEAN Foundation for the precious chance.

“After coming back from Thailand, I can share my experience with my students and help people around me”, added her.

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