The biggest part of Fulbright’s community is undergraduate students, the generation of dynamic, progressive, and empathetic young people who wholeheartedly pursue what they believe in and have passion for. The vibrant and diverse colors of more than 21 booths from 16 Fulbright Student Clubs have made Fulbright Giving Week 2022 all the more unique and remarkable. 

Attracting more than 300 attendees, the Giving Fair, initiated and organized by students, successfully raised 1,300 “tamarind leaves” with each leaf equivalent from VND 10,000 to VND 50,000 (approx. US$2). This fund will support student social projects.

21 Booths: collection of distinctive pieces

One of the most exciting activities at the Giving Fair is a trilogy of Wheels of Fortune, Tarot Reading, and Bingo (Lô Tô), held by Fulbright Event Hub with the support from Fulbright Student Engagement staff. 

Wheel of Fortune

Lô Tô performers stir up the atmosphere at the Giving Fair

“We call it ‘Event Hub’ because we wanted it to be a space where everyone can be their own childish selves, freely play like when we were kids and we can grow up together,” shared Lê Thảo Tường Vy, President of Fulbright Event Hub. 

The recreational format was also chosen by other clubs with various types of challenges, such as Google Developer Student Club with programming games, FulPride & Alliance with quizzes on LGBTQ+ topics, Fulbright Basketball Club with a mini playground, Fulbright Philosophy Society with board games, while TEDx FUV and Running Club presented interactive activities and fun trivias.

TEDx FUV’s booth

FulPride & Alliance’s booth

Mini playground at the Fulbright Basketball Club’s booth

With a more academic theme, Fulbright STEM Club, Fulbright Consulting Club, and Fulbright Historical Society took this opportunity to introduce their recent activities. The participants were invited to listen to The Keen Podcast, experience business case solving, and explore the new research projects, all of which were engaging activities to expand the clubs’ popularity.

Fulbright Historical Society’s booth

Fulbright Consulting Club’s booth

Staying true to the “giving fair” concept, many clubs were selling items related to their clubs’ activities or handmade products. There were books at LIT Magazine’s booth besides poetry reading activity; artworks from the Fulbright Art Lab along with art exhibitions; or “pre-ordered” products specially crafted by talents from Fulbright CIDO. And Fulbright Business Club, with their  entrepreneurial mindset, could not miss this opportunity to sell ready-to-eat foods and souvenirs, which no one would refuse to buy. 

A member of the Fulbright Business Club is decorating the “signage” of their food stall

Fulbright CIDO’s booth

Fundraising artworks at the Fulbright Art Lab’s booth

Taking advantage of costumes and decoration, Fulbright Theater offered Polaroid photography with one-of-a-kind accessories and backdrop. Meanwhile, the Fulbright Debate Club invited participants to contribute in two ways: cash or hair to the Vietnam Breast Cancer Network. With the pure expectation is to create engaging activities and bring laughters to the Fair, Nguyễn Đỗ Nguyễn (President of Fulbright Theater) shared that the donation were the unexpected response which made the club members over the moon.

 “At first, our photography service was completely for free because we were afraid that no one would be willing to pay just to dress up and take pictures. But surprisingly, people loved it, some even came back 4 times. We are very happy because the donation shows that our passion for theater has spread to many people!”.

Get creative with Fulbright Theater’s costumes

Besides the Clubs, two student projects also joined the Fair, namely Hearty Plant Project (project to develop urban gardening model) and ICPC Project (programming project). They introduced their projects to the wider student community with presentations and hands-on experiences.

Members of Hearty Plant project

Fulbright Student Clubs – where passions are ignited and nurtured 

University life at Fulbright presents opportunities for students to participate and thrive in a dynamic, welcoming environment, where they can make discoveries and find their own voices. As a division of the Office of Student Life, Student Engagement aims to promote students’ campus-wide involvement in learning opportunities, programs, and events outside the classroom.

Student Engagement staff and volunteers accompany with Student Clubs’ activities

With guidance from staff and faculty advisors, students can come together to fully explore, develop and pursue lifelong passions, actively planning and participating in projects close to their heart.

The passion for theater has always been in Đỗ Nguyễn’s heart, yet it was not until he entered Fulbright where Nguyễn has truly lived with the desire to cultivate this art in the community. “For me, Fulbright Theater is a passion, a dream, and a voice for arts. Being a part of the club, I can perform on stage or stay behind it to prepare for magnificent performances – it is freeing to me.”

Another art club that is newly established at Fulbright is Blue Period, the club that collaborated with Fulbright Art Lab to organize the Exhibition in Giving Week 2022. Not just a space for art practitioners, Blue Period’s vision is greater than that, “In Blue Period, this is what we really want to focus on: to help students to have hands-on experience with painting specifically, while also having an environment that is inclusive for all, not just the art majors,” shared Phạm Bá Hoan, a Blue Period member.

Art exhibition co-organized by Fulbright Art Hub and Blue Period

Beyond the financial and professional support from Fulbright faculty and staff, there is the inner strength of the student community itself. The financial resources to promote students’ initiatives partly come from community funding activities, which solidifies and sustains the community.  That is the spirit that Fulbright recognizes behind the impressive numbers which the students have achieved during the Giving Week 2022.

An Bình

07/05/2022 – A beautiful Saturday that marked the beginning of Fulbright’s Giving Week 2022 with the Fun Run event. 

After a year without out-door activities, Fun Run is a special occasion for the Fulbright community and allies to get together, join the run, enjoy fun activities, attend the exhibition and exchange their stories of changes. 

Beyond the organizers’ expectation, Fulbright Fun Run 2022 welcomed the participation and generous support from those who are not only within the Fulbright community, but also from broader society. It gave us such courage and confidence to pursue our mission further, as our President Đàm Bích Thủy affirmed in her speech at the event “I wish this event will become an annual tradition for Fulbright to join hands with other communities to build an educational environment that nurtures a generation of change-makers to contribute towards the development of Vietnam, people of Vietnam and the world beyond our nation.”

Let numbers and pictures help Fulbright speak about the event:

More than 600 participants

256 people joining the run or walk

Nearly 1,000 kilometers achieved

30 art pieces, out of which 9 pieces sold at the auction and many prints and postcards purchased

7 stories exchanged at the “Human Library”

15 students’ initiatives at the “Giving Fair”

 

A good start promises more exciting activities with immense support from society during the rest of Giving Week 2022! 

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Giving Week is an initiative at Fulbright to bring our community closer, to appreciate each other’s passion and dedication for education, as well as to create a tradition of unity. Throughout the week, Fulbright community members join hands to contribute in various ways, from non-material forms, such as volunteering, writing a note of gratitude to one another, exchanging encouragement and support via all forms – hugs, handshakes, fist bumps – and spreading positivity all around campus to donating to Students’ Development Fund or Campus Construction.

As per tradition, this year’s Giving Week will span from May 5 to 15. Fulbright Giving Week 2022 wishes to Empower Change-makers through many exciting events, to name a few: Giving Fair which displays different student-led community activities, varying from different fields; Human Library where students share their experience centered around making positive changes; Art Exhibition which features our students’ creativity; Music Show by our very own Fulbright home-grown talents.

Dear Fulbright community, friends and supporters,

There’s a beautiful proverb in Vietnamese: “Bán anh em xa mua láng giềng gần” (A neighbor nearby is better than a relative far away). Yet, during this fourth wave of COVID-19, the love Fulbright University Vietnam received proved to me that in hardship, everyone is our neighbor.

On August 01, 2021, Fulbright University Vietnam called for support from our community to buy 3-5 ambulances to help transport COVID-19 patients to hospitals. To my astonishment, our community responded immediately to meet the predicament we are in. In just two weeks, we successfully raised enough to buy three (03) Hyundai Solatis, two (02) Ford Transits, and one (01) general ambulance for COVID hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong.

I’d like to thank all organizations, individuals and groups from all around the globe who donated for this meaningful cause. I cannot stress enough how your gift will help strengthen HCMC’s capacity to transform COVID-19 patient care and improve the health of our community.

My dear friends,

Many people asked me why such a University as Fulbright is trying to do too many things besides teaching; why an academic institution is calling for donations on behalf of Ho Chi Minh City, first with #SupportSaigon, and now with this call for more ambulances. And I told them: Why not?

These are unusual times, to say the least, as Ho Chi Minh City and the rest of Vietnam are facing significant disruptions and suffering. That is the reason why at Fulbright, we believe this is a unique juncture for us to lead – not only in how we adjust our activities as a university, but also in how we can contribute to the society, to make a difference, and to simply do good. Only by being aggressively proactive, we can help protect this city that we call home, heal our community, spread the love and kindness, and contribute to the national effort to cease the proliferation of COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

In this difficult time, Fulbright University Vietnam believes that we cannot just do what is expected of us; we must do what is right. And the right thing to do is to give. But don’t get me wrong, giving is never just about the money. I have seen members from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management working day and night to advise HCMC’s administration. I have seen Fulbright members working around the clock to fundraise for our initiatives to help Ho Chi Minh City. I have seen our students sparing their last bits of monthly allowance to help.

And I have seen YOU. Thank you for assisting us in our quest of making a difference, of doing the right thing. From our #SupportSaigon initiative to this call for ambulances, time after time, you have shown me that action speaks louder than words; that compassion and empathy will be our strength to carry us through this challenging period. That is the exact quality and spirit we would love Fulbright students to continue honing throughout their lifetime.

My dear friends,

Although these past several months have been difficult, and there will likely be more challenging days ahead, please keep a cool head to deal with the hardships, but a warm heart to care for others. Let’s be “neighbors” of not just the people around you, but also to those in need. In this day and age, help can be just a phone call away.

Please acknowledge my deepest gratitude.

Be well and stay safe,

Dam Bich Thuy

President, Fulbright University Vietnam