Contrary to the common misconception that all international students are financially privileged, the reality is that many rely on scholarships to pursue their dreams of studying abroad. Being the recipient of such scholarships is complex, requiring dedication, perseverance, and strategic planning.
In our inspiring encounter, we met four Vietnamese international students who have achieved the remarkable feat of securing scholarships for their education abroad. Exploring their journeys reveals invaluable tips and strategies they employ to overcome challenges.
Their experiences serve as a guiding source, empowering aspiring scholars to navigate the complex world of overseas scholarships confidently. Here we unlock their valuable advice, equipping you to embark on your path toward educational excellence.
Honesty and willingness as pathways to success
Nguyen Viet Anh is a Communications Coordinator at ARU (Anglia Ruskin University) in London, UK. With a wealth of experience as a Vietnamese international student, Viet Anh has generously shared invaluable advice for young individuals in Vietnam.
Viet Anh emphasizes the importance of finding mentors to learn from their experiences and targeting scholarships that align well with one's profile. Additionally, dedicating a fixed amount of time to search for and apply for scholarships is crucial. He treats it as a part-time job, breaking each task into manageable parts and putting forth the utmost effort until hitting the submit button. “After all that, each time, try not to dwell too much on the outcome and allow yourself some relaxation,” he said.
Throughout his journey, Viet Anh shared four keywords that have consistently guided him in winning scholarships: specificity, honesty, dedication, and willingness. Based on his experiences, he emphasizes the significance of providing clear and honest evidence of accomplishments and demonstrating a genuine desire to contribute to organizations or communities.
“Gather all your outstanding achievements that align with the scholarship’s requirements and be prepared to tailor your application to each organization,” he told Vietcetera. “Above all, be honest, showcase your aspirations for the future, and provide concrete evidence of your capabilities.”
Furthermore, he encourages young Vietnamese students to embrace an open mindset and be prepared for challenges. He pointed out that everything happens for a reason and that success does not come without effort, so it is crucial to remain welcoming and well-prepared.
The power of research and good preparation
Studying abroad had always been Khánh Linh's dream since high school. However, her father thought she was too young for such a big trip, so the dream was put on hold. But Linh didn't give up. Despite facing numerous challenges, she held onto her dream of studying abroad and finally made it happen after graduating from the Academy of Journalism and Communication.
Linh's hard work paid off when she secured two full scholarships: the YSEALI Academic Fellowships and the Erasmus Mundus Journalism for her Master's degree. Being in Journalism, which has limited scholarship opportunities compared to other majors, Linh realized the importance of researching and gathering information about scholarships.
“If you want to succeed, one of the first things you should do is research suitable scholarships and build up your profile,” Linh said. “The better the fit, the higher your chances of winning.” She added that while maintaining good grades is the priority, getting involved in social activities to gain valuable experiences makes a difference.
Linh also emphasized the significance of improving communication skills and carefully studying the scholarship information, including the previous year's questions and requirements. According to her, the questions tend to be similar each year, so it's crucial to analyze and study them beforehand for the best results.
Linh has completed her first trip with the YSEALI program and is now getting ready for her next two years of studying in Europe with the Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
Proactive engagement and academic excellence
Hadrian Le, also known as Hoàng Quân, is currently a second-year student majoring in Marketing and Media at Macquarie University in Australia. Looking back at his journey, Quân expresses deep gratitude for the incredible opportunities his family provided, allowing him to explore various countries and expand his worldview. These experiences ignited his desire to embark on an international study adventure. Speaking with Vietcetera, Quân candidly shared, “From that moment, I knew I wanted to immerse myself in a whole new world beyond Vietnam.”
Through unwavering determination, Quân secured the prestigious ASEAN scholarship in 2021, granting him the privilege to study Marketing and Media at Macquarie University with an annual value of 10,000 AUD.
Quân humbly acknowledges that one of the most formidable challenges for himself and aspiring scholars eyeing Australian universities is maintaining an exemplary academic track record during high school. Given the scholarship's merit-based nature, no elaborate assignments or projects are required — only outstanding grades hold the key.
Consequently, securing such scholarships demands immense dedication and the ability to cope with the pressures of sustaining stellar academic performance throughout the three years of high school. To Quân, once the window of opportunity closes, there are no second chances to rectify or improve.
Having poured his heart and soul into achieving a remarkable academic transcript that secured him the scholarship, Quân passionately encourages fellow dreamers considering an educational journey abroad, particularly in Australia, to proactively explore scholarship opportunities from the early years of high school and place the utmost importance on enhancing their academic achievements besides other projects.
Unleashing your full potential and going beyond the path
Born and raised in Hanoi, Khánh Chi embarked on her international educational journey in Sydney in 2019. After graduating with distinction in the Higher School Certificate (HSC), she set her sights on securing scholarships to support her academic pursuits further.
Until now, Khánh Chi has successfully received many valuable university scholarships, such as the Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship from Macquarie University, the Academic Excellence International Scholarship from the University of Technology Sydney, and the Sydney International Student Award Scholarship from the University of Sydney.
With determination and thoroughness, Khanh Chi extensively researched scholarship opportunities, seeking guidance from university websites and previous recipients and consulting with SET Education agents.
Demonstrating her commitment to excellence, Chi always exceeded the minimum requirements by submitting additional statements and supporting documents, even when they were not required. “I highlighted my strengths as an innate leader, an internationally recognized achiever, and a diligent scholar,” she said. “Additionally, I provided reference letters to validate my exceptional abilities.”
Chi urges Vietnamese students to embrace involvement, maximize their potential, and explore scholarship opportunities. By discovering themselves, connecting with the community, and expanding their networks, they can unlock a world of possibilities and seize incredible opportunities that come their way. “You never know where life will take you; opportunities might await you to grasp.”