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A UC International Student Is Diving Into A World of Education

As an international UC student, Anh Tran is already studying abroad from her home country, but took another study abroad experience her freshman year at UC.

Date: 10/2/2012
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
Anh Tran says the University of Cincinnati has the most diverse community that she has ever seen, and even though she’s just 19 years old, she has certainly done some world traveling for comparison.
Anh Tran
Anh Tran

Tran is a second-year architecture major from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and serves as a UC student ambassador in many areas across the university, including in International Admissions, where she shares with other prospective international students what it’s like to study at UC.

Tran is also a student in the University Honors Program for academically talented students, and studied in Paris her freshman year at UC as part of a University Honors seminar that explored contemporary Paris. “I had always dreamed of studying in Paris, but I never imagined that during my first year at UC, my dream would come true,” Tran says. “In that one week of studying in Paris, our class became like a family.”

The University Honors Program encompasses the top 7 percent of UC undergraduate students from across colleges and disciplines. University Honors focuses on unique and challenging academic and hands-on experiences that reflect the themes of community engagement, global study, leadership, research and the creative arts. The program serves students from every undergraduate college on campus.

Anh Tran

Tran serves as a student ambassador on the University Honors Council, represented by administrators, staff and faculty who review and continually build on the strengths of the program.

She was still a high school student when she first pursued her studies outside her home country. She was just 14 years old when she started earning her high school diploma in Singapore. As she considered college, Tran says a high school counselor told her about UC’s top-ranked architecture program. Cooperative education, which was founded at UC, was also appealing as she considered study in the United States.

Tran is a member of Alpha Rho Chi, the professional fraternity for architecture students. She is also vice president of the UC French Club.

As a freshman, Tran first got involved with international student leadership at the university as she took part in a first-year leadership program internship in Student Government. Her student mentor for that program, civil engineering major Zach Hawke, recruited her into the UC International Leadership Collaboration, a student organization Hawke was involved in creating in 2010.

The UC International Leadership Collaboration is an organization that works to connect students with educational service opportunities around the world.  The organization has worked with a high school in Sri Lanka and is planning a trip to Vietnam over the winter break.

Vietnam is an emerging market for international student recruitment, where UC is leading national recruitment trends.  Since 2011, UC International Admissions representatives have taken three trips to Vietnam, one was to participate in educational trade missions sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Department of Commerce. UC’s International Admissions also established a full-time position in Vietnam – Vietnam Country Coordinator – to expand the university’s reputation in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

There were 14,888 Vietnamese students enrolled in American colleges and universities in the 2010-2011 academic year, the most recent year for which there is data. This represented a 13.5 percent increase in Vietnamese students from the previous year.

UC is expanding international recruitment as part of the goals of the 2019 Academic Master Plan to educate students for the global workforce.

“I felt that I would be more successful getting my education in other countries, and then like other Vietnamese students who are studying abroad, I’ll be going back to Vietnam to contribute to the economy,” says Tran.

As a student ambassador in UC International Admissions, Tran says she gets asked about academic programs and what the campus is like.

Tran was also selected to be one of 30 Student Orientation Leaders to guide first-year students through Orientation last summer. “I wanted to meet new people and make new connections, and I knew it was going to be my last summer where I had some free time, because my future summers will involve co-op and taking summer classes.”

Since one of her talents involves the ability to sketch people in one minute, Tran did a lot of sketching during small group meetings in Orientation.

She says she has also enjoyed exploring the city of Cincinnati. “It’s quiet and nice. I love Findlay Market, and I love eating at the Vietnamese restaurant in Findlay Market.”

Tran adds that she strongly advises other international students not to just immerse themselves in their studies, but to make the effort to explore their new environment and get to know the culture. “I was intimidated at first, but then I decided to open up and hang out with new people. Getting involved in student activities can help you grow more confident in speaking English and making friends.

“Don’t be afraid of the language barrier. Other students know we’re international students, and if you ask questions, they’re happy to help you out.”

UC International Admissions

International Student Services

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