“Have we just arrived at a foreign country? No way!” uttered my 12-year-old self excitedly to my parents, as our plane landed in Changi Airport of Singapore- beginning my first ever abroad holiday. Although the trip only lasted for 3 nights, it greatly inspired me to nurture my dreams of one day being able to study at a college in a foreign country. At that time, I had never imagined, one day walking across a US college campus to my class, or sharing the room with Americans and students from different corners of the world. Yet here I am!
I am Phuc Nguyen, a second-year international student from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Due to COVID, I had to study online for my whole first year and only came to UC in my second year. I had an option of staying off campus with my Vietnamese friends, but I asked myself: “Why not have some fun and live on-campus with people I don’t know?”. I ended up living with 7 other American students, as I learned about their lifestyle and culture, they learned about Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese language and culture, and Pho.
I am also actively engaging in campus activities. I serve as an International Student Ambassador, the Events Chair in the Undergraduate Research Society, a student in the University Honors Program, and a member of the International Partners and Leaders (IPALs). Every now and then you can also see me play some chess games on the 200 Level in the Tangeman University Center or do some badminton rallies in the Campus Recreation Center.
I have a lot of different hobbies and interests. I am a long-time chess player, having participated in regional and national competitions when I was in secondary school back in Vietnam. Arguably people can consider chess a sport; some will say chess is a type of game. I personally think chess is a sport for the mind, as it trains our mentality and strategic thinking, just like how physical workouts strengthen our muscles. Many smart friends of mine, who were top chess players back when I played competitive chess, are all now top students in their respective universities.
I also play badminton! I was, therefore, very happy when I was able to neatly pack my 6-year-old badminton racket and two packets of shuttlecocks in my suitcase and bring them all the way from Vietnam to Cincinnati.
I love travelling too, some places I have visited include: Melbourne (Australia), Seoul (South Korea), and Singapore!