When Ms. Dam Bich Thuy, President of Fulbright University Vietnam, invited me to give a keynote speech at Convocation this year, she asked me to talk about how to break down stereotypes and create the world the way you want it to be. I was perplexed. I did not know what to talk to you about. There is an inherent paradox: I, myself, am against empiricism. If the goal is to break down stereotypes, why should you listen to your predecessor? And who in their right mind would want to share their experience in not following experience? To break down stereotypes, the first thing you should do is doubt predecessors like us, not follow us. 

I did live like that – I asked questions and doubted all experience my predecessors tried to teach me – and now here I am, telling you to listen to me, hear all the right things I have to say; isn’t it silly? 

This paradox exists everywhere. For example, liberalism. At the end of the day, liberalism is a system full of rigid principles, and sometimes, throughout history, people acted on behalf of liberalism to oppress others using violence. Who would want to impose freedom, with violence, no less? It is as if we, out of the blue, punch someone in the face, saying: “Who allows you to think this way? You need to think freely.”

I took a while to think, and question what the most important thing I learned in life is so that I can share it with you today.

Please allow me to share with you a German concept called “Bildungsphilister”, a concept introduced by Friedrich Nietzsche. It means “intellectual philistine.”

When I was 19 years old, I read quite a bit about philosophy. Back then, we were not as lucky as you are; the Internet was very expensive. In my first year in college, I worked part-time for a communication company and usually spent the night there because, at the office, there was A/C, instant noodles, and computers connected to the Internet. At the place where I rented, there were not these three things, especially instant noodles. During those sleepless nights at the office, I ate my noodles and then read Marx’s Das Kapital, the Teachings of Buddha, Kant’s ethics, and Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra; of course, I could not understand a thing. I thought if I wanted to be an elite, I needed to read. If I were to read, I should read works from famous authors, the classics. But works of those like Kant, I could not make a word out of it. 

However, in those days, I was fortunate to learn one teaching from Nietzsche, and that is: to simply read in a petty-bourgeois-self-complacent manner will not make you better.

A bildungsphilister is someone who reads newspapers and reviews and imagines themselves to be cultured and educated but lacks genuine, introspective erudition. You will meet these people everywhere in the world, especially in a society like Vietnam, where the Internet and the open market provide everyone with a wealth of knowledge – something that everyone has the right to think it is their own. 

You can see it from all the fan pages that collect excerpts of famous works; the hot girls who share famous life quotes while showing off their bodies; speakers who don’t have practical projects but always talk about Western books; journalists, and scholars who depend on some famous people for quotes… And it does not just happen in the field of science. If you follow enough fan pages and Instagram accounts, you will receive tons of knowledge regarding life, compassion, and the way to live – all quoted from somewhere. We are living in an era of copying and pasting. 

You may turn out like one of them in the future. You may read something, resonate with it, and think that you know more than others. Tomorrow, you might ask your friends if they were to know why the real estate market and Wall Street in America crumbled in 2008, all because you just watched a Michael Moore movie. You would say: It’s very deep, let me explain it to you. My friends, that is how a bildungsphilister would talk. 

I, and perhaps many professors here, will say that even if you finish all the movies by Michael Moore, and Adam McKay, or read everything from Noam Chomsky, you still don’t know what happened in America. Only until you look into how the banking system and the real estate market in Vietnam operate – let me emphasize, in Vietnam, in 2022 – then you’d know what happened in America in 2008. I think that is how a real intellectual comes to be. 

Reading, memorizing, and restating knowledge you get from books are not wrong. But it will never be right. Knowledge can only be formed through a process of contemplation, experience, absorption, critical thinking, and self-reflection. You may think that if Noam Chomsky says something, it must be absolutely right. But it will only become your own knowledge if you observe and reflect on it with what is happening in our world. If it does not intrinsically materialize within you, it is not yours; and you only repeat someone else’s words. 

That is basically how Nietzsche described “bildungsphilister”. I was fortunate to read this when I was 19 so that I did not become an “intellectual philistine”. And one should not become a “bildungsphilister”, even though living like that is very posh. It may look as though there is nothing wrong with saying what you read, what you watched, what you remembered. If others don’t read, it’s their loss. If I spend time reading newspapers, and books, and watching documentaries on Netflix, I am allowed to repeat what was said in those things. That should be my knowledge.

The professors will tell you that knowledge, even the most basic, most cliché concept, can only be truly yours if you actually experience it and reflect on it. 

Let me tell you a funny story. I previously told you that I read Buddha’s teaching when I was young. In those teachings that Buddha said to the bhikkhus – Buddhist monks or priests, there was one thing I strongly resonated with.

That saying goes: “The mind of the world cannot be understood. If you try, you may end up in insanity and agony.” (Roughly translated)

If the goal is just to interpret it, then the young me could easily do it. For instance, we, the world around us, and what is happening around us are unenlightened. We do not need to try and define its true nature. If we try to understand the mind of everything, we will go insane.

Of course, it is. This is wonderful. Excellent. You should definitely remember this.

And here is another story. There was this phase in my life when I dated two girls at the same time and could not choose between them. I did not actually cheat since I told one of the two that the other was my girlfriend. This “third-person” in my relationship also had a boyfriend then. When you have feelings for someone, you tend to hang out together with common friends; that’s what I did. But then my feelings for this “third person” grew day by day, to the point that the two girls could not take it anymore. They decided to meet and talked it out.

I did not know how the meeting went. But afterward, I met the “third person” first. She told me: “We should not meet anymore. You should go.”

Do you know what I told her – me, a 20-year-old “intellectual philistine”, who read philosophy every night and thought that the girls loved me because I was “intellectual”? I told her: “The mind of the world cannot be understood. If you try, you may end up in insanity and agony.” I quoted Buddha to fix my love problems. I swear. 

Then she said: “I don’t understand. You should go.” And that love of mine did not materialize because I could not go back to my official girlfriend either. 

15 years later, we met by chance. What’s left were only feelings between two old friends. We talked about life, and of course, about what we should try to care less about life. I suddenly realized that only then, we understood that saying. It is true that “The mind of the world cannot be understood. If you try, you may end up in insanity and agony.” Only then I understood, as did she. We were in our middle-age years. 

And even those quotes about love or life, we sometimes need a while, 15-20 years or so, to actually understand what they are about. 

Knowledge about love is very important. But anyway, today is a convocation ceremony of a university. Let’s talk about professional knowledge. To me, no matter what their profession is, one’s biggest tragedy is to “borrow knowledge.”

I have friends who are “intellectual philistines”. They have social status; money is not even an issue. This problem exists because access to knowledge is not equal in Vietnamese society. It may be more equal in your generation; but people in the rural areas, don’t even have Netflix to watch, 4G, or a bookstore. In my generation, the gap is even wider. I was lucky to find a part-time job with free Internet. But in the 2000s, most of my friends went to bed early (because even if they didn’t, there weren’t any instant noodles to soothe their hunger).

This gap enabled some to read more than others, to have better English, to have better Google skills – and they continue using that advantage to compete in life. 20 years ago, the publishing market was dominated by translated foreign books and publications. People did not know how to search for information – and there existed a group of journalists and experts who were good at paraphrasing what they learned from the Internet and made good money doing that. A lot of money.  In my first job interview 16 years ago, the only question that I still remember was: “Which Internet site do you use for information?” Back then, knowing where to read was a desirable skill. Reading in English was much cooler.  These “intellectual philistines” still have a place in today’s society. 

On the contrary, I also have friends who only write original works – what they think, reflect on, collect, or are enlightened. They may be slow in making money because they cannot mass-produce original works. Sometimes, they are only known for one life-work. Being original is much harder than borrowing from someone else.

In my life, I only respect the latter type – those who are original. The first type, even though they can drive an S-class Mercedes, quote Immanuel Kant in German, I still feel sorry for them. I genuinely do.

You probably recognized those belonging to the second type, the originals. Besides doctors, musicians, and researchers, there are mechanics, farmers, and snail sellers. They are the experts in their field because they observe and reflect on it.

Imagine two scenarios: one in which you are squatting in an automotive repair shop. You watch on as the mechanic takes apart your Kawasaki, inspects it, diagnoses it, and tries to find out why there is a weird sound in the engine. The second scenario is one in which you are sitting in a class taught by a professor with a Ph.D. However, you know for certain that the slides are just the Vietnamese version of something foreign and that your teacher only translated it and is parroting it. Imagine these two scenarios and you will understand what I meant when I said I respect one and feel sorry for the other.

But why do we need original knowledge if borrowing it helps us make money faster with less effort? I think there are two reasons for that: one is the sustainability of original knowledge, and two is the legacy you wish to leave behind.

Borrowed knowledge is not sustainable, even in making money. If you only parrot what other people say, it will quickly become outdated. I said before that when the country was first opened, making money from translating foreign content dominated the publishing market. But here comes your generation, those who can read English, and acquire information from free platforms like Reddit. You don’t even have to read newspapers. These “experts” will soon be out of work. You cannot imagine, that when I was 21 years old, I made the equivalent of today’s VND 70 million a month just by reading and translating foreign newspapers. You can’t imagine because who would need that profession now? Today, if you only know how to read newspapers in English, then you have no skill at all.

And right now, I am witnessing how these “intellectual philistines,” “borrowing experts”, or “Googling gods” are losing their ground. 

Architects parroted “Scandinavian style”, minimalism, or “Indochine style” because other people said so, not because they understood the foundations of these cultures. They still make good money in certain provinces but will gradually lose in markets where the quality of life is improving. Writers, copying Hollywood’s or Korean motifs and putting them in the Vietnamese context without a real understanding of the people and their situations, will lose to even foreign writers – those who spent their whole lives researching one specific topic.  

Communication experts, preaching Western models, quoting Philip Kotler or David Ogilvy, without understanding Asian or Vietnamese psychology, will lose to the self-learned mechanic I previously mentioned: If he ever decides to open a series of shops, he will, more than anyone, fully understand how the Vietnamese people behave and expect from their motorbikes. He will understand Philip Kotler better than those who read Philip Kotler in English and can devise an excellent marketing strategy all by himself.

We are not talking about how we can get a job after graduation. We are talking about a 30- to 40-year career. Google cannot sustain this career for you.

Your career can only be sustainable if everything you say is what you realized for yourself. It is sustainable because when you believe in what you say and what you do when it is part of you, it is your thinking, then making a lot of money or just a bit of money won’t determine the value of your career. Your career now is part of whom you are as a person, embedded in your heart, not the ladder of money. Super sustainable.

And believe me when I say our society will come to respect original knowledge more. And it will reward you.

The second reason why you need original knowledge is that it is the legacy you leave behind. It is also the theme of this year’s convocation: to create the world the way you want it to be. Legacy is not something so great as a statue; it is any good deed you do for the world. The world only needs to be a bit better when you leave than when you come in; that means you already leave behind a legacy.

How to acquire original knowledge? You have to read. A lot. You have to remember, but not to parrot, to live like an “intellectual philistine,” or to show off with your peers. You carve it in your brain, and life will provide you with more pieces, from which knowledge will be formed. Don’t allow yourself to say something, or parrot some particular knowledge if you are not confident that it is what you realize for yourself.

Copying and pasting are not wrong. It is only wrong when you don’t understand what you are “pasting.” I only realize what an “intellectual philistine” means after years of carving it in my head.

It is a more painful journey than going on Wikipedia or Pinterest to copy so you can meet your deadlines. But the professors here will tell you that knowledge, more than often, will form through loss, pain, and even regrets.

The journey to pursue original knowledge is also an unfair one. Sometimes you suddenly realized that those who copy knowledge are making more money and getting rich faster. You may wonder: “But my goal of getting a bachelor’s degree is to have a good job and make money. Is self-actualization or creating a better world that important?”

I would say that how much you understand and what you believe in depend on you. Because: “The mind of the world cannot be understood. If you try, you may end up in insanity and agony.”

Thank you.

Dinh Duc Hoang,

Author, Journalist

Welcome, everyone, to Fulbright University Vietnam’s Convocation 2022! 

To our distinguished guests, members of the board, graduate and undergraduate faculty and staff, friends, family, and most importantly, our students – it is an honor for me to speak with you today and mark the beginning of Fulbright’s academic year.

I have had this great honor to speak at Convocation since our very first undergraduate intake in 2018. 

This year marks a special milestone in Fulbright’s history: It is our fifth intake of undergraduate students, and it is our first year with a graduating class of students. 

For many, this is the moment we have all been waiting for. Fulbright will finally have a graduating class, and Fulbright will be continually building, broadening, and championing a liberal arts education in Vietnam.

This fifth intake and the first graduating class — and all of the years before and in between to make it possible — comes at a time when your generation — “Gen Z” — is in the “Age of Now.”

If you want food or milk tea now, you open Baemin or Grab or GoJek. If you want entertainment now, you open Instagram or Netflix or TikTok. If you want to chat with friends and family now, you open Facebook or FaceTime or Zalo or Zoom. And for the brave few — Microsoft Teams! If you want basically anything else now, you open Lazada or Shopee or Tiki. 

So many things in life you want can happen now. 

But what we want  in life is not always what we need. 

The world is changing rapidly. There’s an acronym to describe this phenomenon: VUCA. Our world is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. At the same time, the world is facing a series of looming and existential threats: climate change, labor market automation from the 4th Industrial Revolution.

We all are experiencing this rapid change and these looming threats ourselves: A global pandemic taking the lives of millions. A military conflict in Europe. Catastrophic flooding in South Korea and Pakistan. Wildfires raging in California. What next?

In a world where everything seems to go sideways, how can we maintain the energy and optimism to do something about it? How can we curtail the impending doom and gloom we see across the news? How can we address these massive, world changing problems that just feel so far off? 

What we need in this “VUCA world” is not “life-on-demand”. Not everything at our fingertips now. 

What we need are critical and creative thinkers, ready to take on the “Grand Challenges” of Vietnam, the region, and the world.

What we need are pioneering spirits, ready to embrace the uncertainty and define it for others.

What we need are community minded leaders, ready to create the broadest social impact for as many people as possible.

What we need  is you.

If you will indulge me for the next 10 minutes, I want us to explore this question which our world is so at odds with: How can we create lasting social impact in the “Age of Now”?

In these next ten minutes, I want to share with you my perspective on answering this question, a case study demonstrating said perspective, and — as always — a distillation of what I shared into actionable advice. 

I began my sharing with the significance of this year’s convocation — the fifth intake

Your year, the Class of 2026 — the fifth intake — is the answer to how we can create a lasting social impact in the “Age of Now.”

The fifth intake represents a steadfast commitment to the future — to longtermism. This commitment comes despite all unforeseen changes. Despite all the uncertainty. Despite the critics.

Longtermism is the sincere belief that future people count. Longtermism is understanding that we here today must take seriously our role in shaping the future and the lives that will live in it. Longtermism — especially in our VUCA world with existential threats coinciding with the “Age of Now” — is to accept that we are living in a time of both exceptional opportunity and profound responsibility.

At Fulbright, we fully understand that progress takes time. It happens slowly. And, it rarely — if ever — goes in a straight line. Pushing for our better society, therefore, requires not only a high degree of patience and flexibility, but also a tolerance for contradictions, disruptions, and side steps along the way. 

At Fulbright, we have become comfortable with this fact. We need to stay comfortable with this fact. And most importantly — we must ensure that those who walk through our doors will be prepared to embrace this fact.

Now, onto our case study . Fulbright University Vietnam is longtermism par excellence.

As Vietnam emerged from centuries of colonization and decades of war, this young nation was starting over again, having the chance to define its own future — this time, on its own terms. 

Nearly 30 years ago — at least a decade before most of you were born — there came an idea from an unlikely pairing: former adversaries. 

This uncanny relationship between Vietnam and the United States is longtermism. It is quite literally the belief that future people count — that you here today mattered, even before you were born.

The path forward 30 years ago was not always easy, or clear, or straightforward. Fulbright started small, as an ambitious Economics Teaching Program to equip and train Vietnam’s current and future leaders with the world’s most forward thinking economics and public policy practices. 

As these leaders came of age with our young nation, year after year, decade after decade, it soon became apparent that we — Vietnam and the United States — must lay an even stronger foundation. To really cement this impact was to extend the reach to even more future people.

And so came Fulbright University Vietnam

It was with the courage of their convictions — now our convictions — that if we can build a strong enough foundation, we can continue to determine our own future. And that to do so is to accept and recognize and invest in future people. Because they count. Because Vietnam’s future — our future — is you.

This might feel like a lot to take in.

Many of you, fresh out of high school, may not have signed up for a lecture to be told that our future rests in your hands! 

I may be a few decades ahead of you all here today, but I am still playing my role in shaping our future — you matter

So, as is the best way to approach such large and complex concepts and problems, let me breakdown longtermism for you all today: university student edition.

First, before you set off focusing on future people, focus on your future self. Making the most out of Fulbright means fully immersing yourself in the experiences and resources we have to offer. 

This means approaching all of our activities, courses, events, opportunities, and people with an open mind. Some would argue that the purpose of college is to find out what you like, but I would argue that the purpose of college is to find out what you do not like. By being here today, I hope that you have come mentally prepared to challenge your own assumptions and, maybe, even change your mind on a thing or two.

Second, you do not have to be good at everything you do, but you should at least be interested in it. 

We have worked diligently to build a student body that is diverse in the broadest sense: academically, geographically, economically. You will meet people from backgrounds that you have never met before, from places you have not yet been. You will meet people who are going to be better than you. 

This is not to stoke competition. It is to remind ourselves that the world is so much bigger than us, and that we should be continually amazed and in wonder of what — and who — is out there. If you all here today can shift your expectations to not be the best at what you do, but the most interested at what you do — you will bring your own magic to this world. And that’s what we need. A little bit of everyone’s magic.

Third, go through your time at Fulbright in good company. Surround yourself with friends, mentors, faculty, and staff who care about you.

It’s going to be these people — these transformative connections — that can make or break your experience at Fulbright. 

Your Fulbright community will be filled with some of the most interesting people in your lives five, 10, 15 years from now. Don’t miss out on the opportunity for when you see them in the future where you can say “Remember that time when…?”

The one thing that you can — and should — do now is Invest building meaningful relationships, they are our future people, too. 

And, fourth — a bonus tip: Remember to call home. They miss you. More than you think. You’ll make their day — trust me.

So, 10 minutes have come and gone — hopefully no one is falling asleep.

How might you all capture the spirit of longtermism by making the most of your time at Fulbright? To recap: 

Explore what is out there, and be prepared to change your mind — hopefully more than once.

Be immensely interested in what you do. Being the best is overrated.

Surround yourself with good company. There is nothing like a good adventure with even greater friends.

Finally — remember to call home. Maybe after Convocation is over.

When you do all the above. When that’s all said and done, perhaps at that point, four years from now, you will look to your friends and recall: “Remember that time when that lady told us how to make the most out of Fulbright?”

Class of 2026, to our future artists, creators, leaders, shapers, and visionaries. 

To our champions of longtermism. 

To our future

Welcome to Fulbright University Vietnam, and welcome to the next best four years of your lives!

Dam Bich Thuy,

President, Fulbright University Vietnam

As summer recedes into fall, the new semester at Fulbright University Vietnam is just around the corner with hundreds of new and returning students start filling our multicultural campus at District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. After scaling back to an online solution because of the pandemic last year, we are excited to bring back our traditional Orientation Weeks on campus, with occasional hybrid options to welcome 250 students of the Class of 2026.

The two-week orientation is a robust lineup of events that will warmly welcome new students and familiarize them with university life. The initiative is expected to equip Fulbright newbies with essential competencies and human+ skills, enabling a smooth transition from high school to university. The freshmen will also be able to develop a sense of belonging at Fulbright, get to know the campus and the multitude of student services, and form meaningful connections with new friends, lecturers, and staff. As an extra perk, a special orientation kit and merchandise for every active engagement will be sent out as a means of recognition.

Fulbright's new students receive orientation kit

The Class of 2026 will be split into groups of 10-15 students led by a volunteer senior, also known as Student Orientation Leaders, and kickstart their Flamee Journey together. Inspired by a little flame – Flamee, who constantly takes on challenges to acquire a wealth of intriguing knowledge and skills to fulfill its lifelong dream of becoming the most sparkling Firework, each Fulbright newcomer will set their upcoming 4-year Flamee journey in motion, starting with Orientation Weeks 2022.

After much buzz and anticipation, the program finally kicks off today, September 5, and is guaranteed to bring joy to every Fulbright new faces. They will have a chance to explore the campus, get to know the student services, collect their Student ID and Orientation Kit, and take part in important information sessions including Service Fair and OneStop introduction.

Fulbright freshmen recieve orientation kit

In the next couple of days, the worth-waiting #FulReady Workshops will take place, introducing the youth to 11 Co-Curricular Activity Competencies ranging from innovative and creative thinking, and reasoning, to effective communications and collaborations, just to name a few. While embarking on their uniquely dynamic growth, newbies will also get hands-on knowledge and be critical of Fulbright’s academic expectations and social norms, in and out-of-class programs, student services, and relevant resources, along with many other learning and development opportunities available.

Laden with numerous workshops is a variety of physical and recreational activities that encourage newcomers to be aware of a healthy lifestyle and social connection, hence, enriching their upcoming university experience. During the next two weeks, multiple physical activities will be hosted both on and off campus, among them the First Fulbright Project, which will foster self-reflection and emotional awareness at the end of the orientation program. Even though transitioning from high school to university may span more than merely a fortnight, being mindful of changes and the roller coaster ride of emotions is a great start for any freshman.

May the upcoming four years at Fulbright bring each Flamee a breadth of knowledge, a light of wisdom, and a solid bedrock to an intentional, fulfilling life. Welcome to the family!

Orientation Week 2022 schedule

View the detailed schedule of Orientation Weeks 2022 HERE.

Due to the complex situations of COVID-19 in different provinces, many students have been and still are affected tremendously in terms of physical health, mental health, and of course their studying. Fulbright University Vietnam has received many inquiries on whether the school can extend the application period for Class of 2026 Spring Cycle. Understanding that the circumstance is beyond the students’ control, the Admissions and Financial Aid office has decided to extend the application deadline until 14:00 on April 25, 2022.

We sincerely advise you to spend this time learning more about Fulbright through the below channels:

☀️ If you’re currently residing in or near Ho Chi Minh city, you can register for our Campus Tour: Sunset by the Lake – a program where you can come for a leisure walk around our campus and the Crescent Lake, enjoying boba milk tea with our Fulbrighters. Due to limited capacity, please register asap: https://bit.ly/campustour22.

☀️ If you’re currently residing in other provinces, you can follow the Facebook page of the Admissions team (Road to Fulbright University Vietnam) to know where our Admissions Officers and Fulbright Buddies will host our coffee chats. The first series of coffee chats in the Central region has been kick-started: https://bit.ly/SpringCentralCoffeeChat.

☀️ If you’ve just opened an application and need some advice, stay tuned for our webinars, organized by the Admissions Office, our Tamarind Team, or Fulbright Buddies. Finally, don’t forget our FACT program (Fulbright Admissions Companion Team), where we pair an applicant with a Fulbright student for 1-on-1 consultation. Register by March 20: https://bit.ly/FACT-registration.

Fulbright University Vietnam has officially launched our application portal for the Spring Cycle of the Undergraduate Class of 2026 at https://apply.fulbright.edu.vn. Following the Priority Cycle, Fulbright University Vietnam starts receiving applications for the second admissions cycle this year – the Spring Cycle. This cycle starts at 12:00 on November 30, 2021 and will close at 14:00 on April 8, 2022.

Unlike previous years, prospective applicants have more than four months to prepare their applications for the Spring Cycle this year. The Spring Cycle is your second chance to apply to become a Class of 2026 student, so do not miss this opportunity! Those who did not apply in the Priority Cycle or are not lucky enough to be selected in the first round should try again in the Spring Cycle (after the results of the Priority Cycle are announced next January).

Applications for Financial Aid will be assessed simultaneously. Instead of merit-based scholarships, Fulbright offers need-based financial aid, for which the students’ financial capability is the sole determinant in offering aid to cover up to 100 percent of the tuition as well as room and board fees.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Admissions office via our office number (+84) 28 7303 7788 or our office email at apply@fulbright.edu.vn.

As a tradition, Fulbright University Vietnam opens its Crescent campus every fall to welcome those interested in Fulbright to Open House, a series of events organized by the Admissions office. The event to showcase Fulbright’s admissions and financial aid processes, student life, and the academic experience usually attracts hundreds of visitors each year.

This year, given the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fulbright will organize the Open House for the Priority Cycle of the Undergraduate Class of 2026 virtually for a week from November 1 to November 7, 2021.

If you’re a fan of Fulbright University Vietnam, you’ve probably watched webinars in which prospective applicants engaged in live chat with personal essay authors, heard about student life and the diversity at Fulbright, and even saw the original pieces of work that applicants submitted in previous admission cycles.

So, what’s special about this year’s Open House Week that you have never experienced before? It is seven quality demo classes delivered by Fulbright lecturers, namely World History, Vietnamese History, Literature, Chemistry & Physics, Anthropology, Psychology and Vietnam Studies.

📍 Registered here for the demo classes: https://bit.ly/FulbrightOpenHouse21

You will receive the class description and a Zoom link to attend the class one week before the class.

👉 Below are profiles of the lecturers who will be teaching in this virtual Open House:

💥Dr. Vu Minh Hoang – World History class:

Vu Minh Hoang is a diplomatic historian of 20th century Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific, studying national and regional security, economics, interests and identity formation, and genocide. His Ph.D. dissertation at Cornell University argued that the Third Indochina War is the key formative event of the present-day regional order in Southeast Asia, most notably by elevating the principle of non-interference above the protection of human rights.

His works have been presented at international conferences like the annual meetings of the Association of Asian Studies, the American Historical Association, and Engaging with Vietnam; and has appeared in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, various edited volumes, and a documentary.

💥Dr. Andrew Bellisari – Vietnamese History class:

Dr. Andrew Bellisari received his Ph.D. in Modern European History at Harvard University. While studying at Harvard, he was also an affiliate of the Center for European Studies and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Dr. Bellisari’s first experience with Fulbright came when he was elected to be a U.S. State Department Fulbright scholarship recipient at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences) in Paris.

In France, he was an affiliated Masters’ student in the History of Colonialism and Imperialism seminar organized by Myriam Cottias.

💥Dr. Kevin Hart – Literature class:

He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego, his M.A. in English Literature at Fordham University, and his B.A. in English Literature at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh.

Kevin has taught courses on rhetoric and narrative theory, the history of the humanities, and U.S. and European literature.

His research focuses on the modern novel in Europe and North America, popular and experimental fiction, and the political implications of theoretical discourses ranging from language studies to architectural, biological, and psychological theory.  He also works in translation theory and explores the auto-translation of authors writing in Russian, English, and French.

💥Dr. Phan Vu Xuan Hung – Chemistry & Physics class:

Hung has conducted scientific research since 2005 on a variety of topics ranging from analytical chemistry to environmental engineering and materials science.

During his PhD (2011-2016) and postdoc (2016-2018) at University of California Santa Barbara, his most current research aims to understand the nanoscale properties and device physics of organic electronic materials and devices.

In 2016, Hung established and led an independent volunteer research group to assess the pollution level in seawater, oceanic sediments and seafood along the central coast of Vietnam after the mass fish death caused by Formosa’s discharge.

Over the years, Hung has advised and mentored many high-school students, undergraduate students and PhD students.

💥Dr. Ian Kalman – Anthropology class:

Ian Kalman comes to Fulbright University Vietnam from the Department of Political Science at Western University, where he holds a postdoctoral fellowship in Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Relations.

He has a PhD in Anthropology from McGill University and is an affiliated member of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology’s Department of Law and Anthropology.

Ian’s work looks at interactions between state officers and indigenous peoples, with special attention to law, governance, and borders.

He is especially interested in the ways in which law and rights are experienced and framed in face to face interactions.

💥Dr. Jill Sirikantraporn – Psychology class:

Dr. Skultip (Jill) Sirikantraporn is a licensed clinical psychologist in California and New York with research interests in trauma, resilience, and positive psychology in the context of cross-cultural and international psychology.

In the U.S. and Thailand, she has taught multicultural competence development, qualitative methods of research, and intellectual assessment. She has a passion in working with individuals from various cultural groups, honoring their unique ways of healing and growing, especially after trauma and major life crises (post-traumatic growth).

She has published articles and book chapters on the topics of resilience among marginalized and underrepresented populations, including injection drug users, patients with co-occurring disorders, new immigrants, and Southeast Asian immigrants.

💥Dr. Nguyen Nam – Vietnamese Studies class:

Dr. Nguyen Nam is a lecturer at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH), Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City since 1986, and the USSH’s former Chairperson of the Division of East Asian Studies (1993-1994), and Division of Chinese Studies (2010-2012).

Between 1986 and 1994, he worked as a lecturer in pre-modern Vietnamese literature and Vietnamese language at the Ho Chi Minh City University.

He has also taught courses in Vietnamese pre-modern writing systems, including  classical Chinese (read with Sino-Vietnamese pronunciation) and the Vietnamese demotic script Nôm.

After earning his M.A. (Regional Studies – East Asia) and Ph.D. (East Asian Languages and Civilizations, or EALC) from Harvard in 1996 and 2005 respectively, he worked as the manager of the Academic Program of the Harvard-Yenching Institute (HYI) from 2004 to 2010.


Fulbright University Vietnam is calling for applications for the Undergraduate Class of 2026 with the recruitment target of 300-350 students. On October 6, 2021, the Priority Cycle of the recruitment has officially opened. Our admissions application portal for the Spring Cycle will open on November 30, 2021.

📍 The application portal for the Priority Cycle can be found at www.apply.fulbright.edu.vn.