How VJU helped me to discover myself

Friday, July 31, 2020

My name is Dang Thi Bich Thao – a fresh graduate of Master in Public Policy (MPP). So far, I have got Mext scholarship for a PhD position in Tsukuba University, Japan and I am wrapping up to head for a new journey.

Graduated from the Diplomatic Academy in 2008, I had over 6 years working in development projects of the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Finance and Budget Committee of the National Assembly funded by United Nations. In 2015, I moved to Viet Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) and continued to work in development area, focusing on advocacy. At VERP, I was exposed to a good learning and research environment. My colleagues took turns to gain higher education, doing Master and PhD courses at home and abroad. I myself thought that I had to further study as well. In 2017, with a strong determination, I enrolled for Master of Public Policy - Viet Nam Japan University (VJU) to begin my study route.

At the beginning, I didn't think that those two years studying at VJU revealed myself in such an interesting and new me that I had never thought of before. VJU provided an honest and liberal learning environment, where enabled students study and research on their favorite fields proactively with support from dedicated and experienced lecturers. On the first day, I talked with one classmate who shared about his interest in research on environment issues. Now after two years, he has successfully defended his master's thesis on water management issues of the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river system. Or another guy who was interested in Bitcoin from the first day of enrollment. He’s now graduated with a research which applies an exciting game on Bitcoin. My class composed of 17 students, each of whom has their own personality and passion. We were all facilitated to discover ourselves and pursue research interests at VJU.

I remember our internship in Tsukuba for around 3 months before the final semester. Every day I went to school, I was going through a path between two lines of trees. Sometimes I stopped watching small fish swimming in the clear stream, I felt very happy. I loved the small corner of the 4th floor of Tsukuba library, from where I could have an overview of the schoolyard with green lawn and a green lake. After hours at the library, I often took a break by strolling along the side streets nearby. In that autumn, every street were covered in brilliant red and yellow leaves. I felt happiness and peace every single day in which could learn and research, as if this is the world I belong to. From my heart, I have a deep feeling that I was born to devote to research and the academic environment.

Fortunately, my intention to pursue an academic career, starting with application to PhD has been enthusiastically supported by VJU and Tsukuba lecturers. I was extremely grateful to Professor Morito Tsutsumi for being the supervisor, Ms. Yoko Matsuzawa and Mr. Masashi Yamaguchi for correcting every word of my scholarship application. I was also very thankful to Ms. Thuy Anh and Mr. Naohisa Okamoto for their support during the application process. I have perhaps not got Mext scholarship approval without such dedication.

To me, the 2-year study at VJU was as beautiful as a dream with happy days, where I studied, researched and discovered myself to the best. I was lucky to live in such an honest academic environment full of affection. I hope that after my PhD achievement, I am going to continue with my research and to give lecture to students. I want to contribute to a liberal academic environment, where students can learn and make their dreams like the way VJU and Tsukuba have done to mine.



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