Vu Dinh Hung was the winner of the top IELTS award for East Asia presented by the British Council in 2015. Now the young academic is in his 3rd year of university, majoring in Psychology and Sociology at Nottingham Trent University (UK). He has been very much involved in various social activities at the university, including introducing Vietnamese culture to international friends, taking on an internship at the college’s Training and Governance Department, and assisting young startups.
Vu Dinh Hung sat for the IELTS exam at the British Council in May 2015 at the age of 25, when he had just graduated as a General Physician from Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University in Ho Chi Minh City. In the same year, Hung applied for the IELTS Prize scholarship. Hung’s presentation at the competition on the working class neighborhood in HCMC where he was born and raised, a place where city-dwellers see one another as family, earned him the top IELTS prize for Southeast Asia.
Only in contact with the British Council for a short time, Hung was quickly impressed with its friendly, professional and community-oriented environment. At the IELTS award presentation, one of the judges told Hung that she loved his presentation on his neighborhood and hoped that Hung would continue to work in the spirit of always looking toward the community in everything he does. The judge’s comment was encouraging and set an expectation that deeply affected Hung. Indeed, to this day, he always tries to find the connections between what he is learning and contemporary change in Vietnam, the UK and elsewhere. For this reason, Hung chose academic disciplines associated with community and sustainable development.
With the IELTS Prize his, study in the UK – something Hung had often imagined through the pages of the famed Harry Potter novels, now became a dream he could live out in real life.
After three years at Nottingham, and the constant stream of new impressions that came with it, Hung feels that his knowledge has become more comprehensive. He has also had the chance to meet and work with talented individuals from all corners of the world, inspiring him both in life and in his studies. This has opened up many new opportunities.
“Taking a study trip overseas is no simple decision, especially when it comes to finances. The British Council’s IELTS Prize helped my dream come true, as I could go to another country to study and explore the world and myself,” Hung said.
“The British Council provides opportunities for young people to get to know what is like to study in a multicultural environment and in an advanced education system like that in the UK. Through English classes and competitions, you are offered the chance to reach out to the world and network with international friends. I believe that this is highly influential, not just for individuals, but for the country as a whole as Vietnam is on a path of increasing regional and international integration. A younger generation that is dynamic, proficient in the English language and equipped to work for transnational companies in multicultural environments is an absolute necessity if the country is to continue to develop rapidly.”
Now a member of the Nottingham based Vietcentric entrepreneurship organisation, Hung has a keen interest in projects focused on supporting and growing social enterprises like those that the British Council is taking the lead on promoting in Vietnam. Hung is hopeful that these efforts will increase in scale and impact overtime, achieving strong outcomes that will help to create positive change for the community. He is confident this will happen because these projects are driven by the same community-focused, sustainable development aspirations underlying all of the British Council’s activities in Vietnam.
“If I can describe the British Council Vietnam in a few words, I would say that it is committed to creating positive change for the community.”