Quynh Giang Van spent the 2018 Fall Term attending three first-year USask classes through a study abroad opportunity with the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.
If all goes well, the USask credit the International student receives will go toward the environmental science degree she’s working on at the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry in Vietnam.
“My opinions about life, my experiences and my knowledge are wider,” said Van. “I know more about my major and I’m thinking of finding another chance to come back here to study. My confidence has improved a lot. I’m not shy anymore and I think I am getting more fluent when I talk.”
To help fund her trip here, Van received an international student scholarship made available by Global Affairs Canada. She said she appreciated the teaching style of her USask professors, and enjoyed using TopHat, an online assessment tool to help instructors gauge students’ understanding.
Van had the chance to visit Regina, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal while studying in Canada.
“I liked Ottawa the best,” said Van. “I had the chance to see the capital of Canada in the last days of autumn before the weather got so cold and snowy. I liked walking along the streets and seeing people decorating for Christmas, and I also went to a park with many trees and got to pick some maple leaves.”
Van said her biggest challenges were her limited English vocabulary and how fast people spoke. She also missed eating her dad’s home-cooked meals with her family.
Her roommate in Athabasca Hall, Kathleen, helped her work through those challenges, and Van is very grateful for that.
“Kathleen is so nice and kind,” said Van. “Before we go to sleep, we often share what happened that day and how we’re feeling. She has the same class as me and helped me a lot since I came here. Sometimes it is so difficult because I don’t know how to describe what I’m thinking, but she helps me.”
Van hopes to study abroad again and encourages other students to consider it, too.
“There will be a lot of difficulties and challenges, but they will overcome it, and I would suggest they study at the University of Saskatchewan because I did, and I feel so proud of it.”