Nguyễn Minh Anh: Defining Independence Through Study Abroad | Vietcetera
Billboard banner
Dec 06, 2023
CultureStudy Abroad

Nguyễn Minh Anh: Defining Independence Through Study Abroad

Nguyễn Minh Anh’s study abroad journey broadened her outlook, emphasizing connections, career opportunities, and a deep sense of community – an evolving narrative of open-minded growth.
Nguyễn Minh Anh: Defining Independence Through Study Abroad

Source: Minh Anh

Take a ride into Nguyễn Minh Anh’s journey – a story of ambition and cultural shift from Hanoi to Geneva, New York. Minh Anh dreamt big, not just about changing her location but blending her creativity with the analytical world of Economics and Media & Society. Her journey was filled with challenges, but a scholarship and her family’s support paved the way for her success.

In classrooms and beyond, Minh Anh isn’t just studying; she’s gearing up to make a splash in the marketing world, getting closer to the vibrant pulse of New York City’s famous industry. Her story is a guide for dreamers, proving that with dedication, even the most significant goals are achievable.

Source: Minh Anh

Join us in this Study Abroad episode as we dive into Minh Anh’s inspiring adventure. Her tale speaks to the strength of hope and hard work – a young visionary boldly stepping into a world of opportunities armed with knowledge, ambition, and an unbreakable spirit.

On her preparation before leaving Vietnam

Before diving into my study abroad journey, a surge of excitement swept over me as I envisioned exploring a new country and embracing the independence of solo living. However, I was keenly aware of potential challenges without a familiar support system. To get ready, I turned to YouTube, immersing myself in a world of shared stories from those who had trod this path. Their experiences, a mix of challenges and triumphs, offered a glimpse into what awaited me, providing valuable insights and a sense of preparedness. Amidst this preparation, I treasured every moment with friends and family, creating a collection of memories to carry with me across the seas to America.

On her daily routine

Every day, I follow a tight schedule that kicks off at 8:30 am, starting with morning preparations before jumping into classes at 9:30 am. After lunch at noon, I switch to work and then move on to consecutive meetings for my internships in the afternoon. Around 5:00 pm, I take a short break to recharge before heading into another internship meeting. Dinner slots in at 7:30 pm before I settle for an evening study session. My lengthy day concludes at 1:00 am when I finally get some rest.

On what keeps her going

Source: Minh Anh

My motivation traces back to my younger self and the childhood dream that began to materialize upon my arrival in America. Now, deeply engrossed in my studies and immersed in my passion-driven work, I find myself edging closer to the realization of that dream. The sacrifices made by my family serve as a powerful catalyst for my determination. Reflecting on their hard work to afford me this chance to study abroad, I’m committed to redoubling my efforts, honoring their dedication by seizing this opportunity to its fullest.

On staying connected to her family and friends in Vietnam

Family plays a crucial role in my life. I treasure my leisure time, dedicating it to calling my grandparents and parents every 2-3 days. Our talks, lasting 1-2 hours, cover updates about my studies and life in the US, as well as insights into life back in Vietnam. These calls are a vital connection, bridging the miles between us. With close friends, social networks keep us linked, sharing updates and stories. We make it a habit to sync our schedules weekly for a call, a moment I deeply appreciate. By exchanging stories from my life and hearing about their college experiences, I feel connected to them despite the distance. These conversations ensure that I’m part of their lives, never feeling out of the loop.

On building relationships abroad

Source: Minh Anh

Studying abroad presents a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in diverse cultures and form friendships across borders. Embracing this requires an open mind. When I first arrived, I encountered people from various nations, including Muslims and Christians. Coming from a non-religious background, my understanding of different cultures and beliefs was initially limited. However, as I forged closer bonds with these friends, they enriched my perspective on their cultures. This expansion of knowledge, a gift from my study abroad experience, is something I deeply treasure. I encourage you to also embrace this diversity and maintain an open-minded approach when interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds.

On having an English name

Initially, I believed having an English name was crucial while living abroad. My Vietnamese name, Minh Anh, with its two syllables, seemed challenging for others to pronounce. So, I pondered over adopting an English name for simplicity. After researching popular choices, I settled on ‘Joy,’ a name that resonated with my personality and was easy to pronounce. However, upon moving to America, I realized this wasn’t necessary. My friends found ‘Minh Anh’ easy to pronounce and even preferred it over ‘Joy.’ This experience taught me that if you’re fond of your Vietnamese name, there’s no need to adopt an alternative. Embrace your identity as it is.

On the importance of nurturing creativity

Source: Minh Anh

Creativity is a cornerstone of my major, and cultivating it requires a dedicated space for expression. My interest lies in marketing and advertising, leading me to frequently explore social media. This exploration is twofold: it’s a source of entertainment and provides a valuable window into the strategies of other content creators. Outside the classroom, I actively participate in various clubs and on-campus jobs. These aren’t just extracurricular activities; they’re vital for networking with peers who share similar interests and can contribute to my self-development. Embracing these unique opportunities is key to fostering creativity and expanding my professional horizons.

On what she learned from studying abroad and how her outlook on life has evolved

I’m forever grateful for the priceless lessons I learned while studying abroad. It’s a common sentiment, but the experience has truly broadened my horizons in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Building connections and keeping an open mindset are key takeaways. Studying abroad not only introduces you to new social circles but also unlocks doors to potential career opportunities. I’ve understood that networking is crucial in the US job market, and US universities offer extensive alumni networks eager to guide new graduates. I’ve learned that reaching out first can lead to valuable advice and should be considered.

Moreover, my time abroad has expanded my perspective. The sense of community here is profound, especially around the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). I’ve observed that institutions here earnestly strive to provide opportunities for communities like LGBTQ+, people of color, and the disabled, nurturing their growth. This has enriched my understanding and allowed me to form meaningful friendships. To embrace such opportunities, an open mind is essential.

On dealing with challenges

Since arriving in America, I’ve rarely felt homesick, likely because I regularly connect with my family. Sharing my life updates and receiving their unwavering support keeps me grounded. Similarly, I’d suggest immersing yourself in friendships and engaging in various activities to cultivate a sense of belonging. I spend my days with friends, exchanging everyday stories, reinforcing my sense of community. Bonding with those who share your interests can significantly alleviate feelings of isolation abroad. Remember to maintain a positive outlook. The opportunity to study abroad is a privilege, a testament to my family’s immense sacrifices. Honor their efforts by embracing this experience with enthusiasm and making the most of my time here.

On her hopes for the future

Source: Minh Anh

I’m captivated by the culture and work ethic here. Despite the current volatility in the U.S. job market, I’m determined to seize this chance to enrich my professional experience. My ambition is to rise as a marketing executive within a leading agency or renowned brand. The creativity of marketing campaigns here is truly inspiring, and I’m eager to absorb and contribute to this dynamic professional landscape. Looking ahead, I envision sustaining the cherished friendships I’ve formed, achieving success in my chosen agency, and finding joy in travel and quality time with loved ones.

This or That

Movies or books?


Cats or dogs?


Fresh juice or smoothie?

Fresh juice

Shopping in-store or online?

Both because I can’t decide

Instagram or Twitter?