Nguyen Hoang Thu Phuong, Master’s degree in Aquatic Pathobiology, University of Stirling 

Nguyen Hoang Thu Phuong graduted from Department of Biotechnology, International University, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City with a major in Fisheries Resource Management. She was awarded a British Council Scholarship for Women in STEM in 2021–22 and completed MSc Aquatic Pathobiology at the University of Stirling.

Why did you choose the UK as a study destination? 

Through research, I really enjoyed studying in the UK because the UK is a country that converges many cultures as well as trains many good students. The quality of UK schools also ensures very good outcomes, and degrees from UK universities are recognized globally. In addition, universities in the UK have a variety of subjects, which are suitable for many young people in different countries. Therefore, I decided to apply to study in the UK. 

Studying in the UK through the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM programme must have been a valuable experience. What were your motivations to apply for this scholarship among many other prestigious scholarship programmes? 

Initially, I did not intend to study a Master's program nor did I intend to choose to study in the UK. However, just as I was about to graduate, I found the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM information. After researching, I found out that this is a completely new scholarship for women in the scientific world. This scholarship really sparked my desire to delve deeper into my scientific professions, as well as many other female friends, a profession that people often think is only suitable for men. So, I decided to boldly try to apply for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM. 

What is your best experience in the UK? 

It's the first time I study in a far-away country like this, so there are many things that make me feel nervous. However, the most memorable memory for me is definitely meeting a lot of new friends from many different countries. Everyone is willing to help each other even if we don't say it. In addition, I get to learn more cultures from you guys. In addition, people in the UK are very friendly, polite, sophisticated, always saying hello and smiling even if we only meet on the road. I also have the opportunity to travel around the UK, see many of the UK's majestic natural landscapes with my own eyes, and feel that I am very fortunate to be able to study here. 

How did you feel to have been one of five Vietnamese students who received British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM 2021? What would you say to Vietnamese female students who are considering studying or entering STEM career? 

When I received the news that I had received the scholarship for Women in STEM  from the British Council, I really couldn't believe my eyes and felt very happy to be chosen among hundreds of applications for the scholarship. I really feel honored and sincerely thank the British Council for giving me the opportunity to study in the UK. I just want to tell the girls to confidently try yourself in this field, don't be afraid to face difficulties because there are new difficulties and obstacles that make you mature. 

What advice would you give to Vietnamese students who wish to apply for British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM 2022? 

I have advice for women in Vietnam that confidently follow your dreams, boldly apply for scholarships. At the same time, try to improve yourself as well as your profile, show others that you are worthy of your talent. In addition, do not be afraid of difficulties and challenges, try to experience academic and extra-curricular activities to beautify your CV and impress the scholarship review board. All your efforts will be rewarded, keep trying and never give up. 

I have the opportunity to travel around the UK and see many of the UK's majestic natural landscapes with my own eyes.