Fulbright liberates the boundaries of my thinking

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With an insatiable passion for music, art and media accompanied by long-term efforts, Nguyen Dac Hoang has been chosen to be one of the two Fulbright students participating in the exchange program at Bard College, USA in the upcoming Spring semester of 2024. 

 Nguyen Dac Hoang is currently a third-year student majoring in Art and Media Studies at Fulbright University Vietnam. With 5 years of experience in the field of Communication and Journalism, Hoang is a pioneer in founding the Communication Club (COMEDIA) at Fulbright. Here, Hoang and his friends have been striving to create either internships, work opportunities, or sharing sessions of knowledge and experience for students passionate about Communication. 

 Hoang’s journey is one of self-reflection and aggressively exploring one’s own yet-to-be-discovered abilities with the knowledge he obtained at Fulbright. 

Nguyen Dac Hoang - a third-year student majoring in Art and Media Studies at Fulbright University Vietnam

Nguyen Dac Hoang – a third-year student majoring in Art and Media Studies at Fulbright University Vietnam

“The Arts and Media Studies Major at Fulbright helps me be more open-minded” 

By the end of my first year, I realized that the Art and Media Studies program at Fulbright is not solely focused on providing practical skills in communication, entertainment, marketing, and so on. In addition to that, we gain knowledge of independent thinking, social critique, and multidimensional analysis through theoretical topics and challenging philosophical questions. In the context of the rapid development of science and technology, I believe that these skills equips me with the ability to self-learn and keep up with the new demands of the profession in the future. 

For example, I’ve always thought that processing spatial and visual information was not my strong suit because I struggled with geometry and had difficulty memorizing images. 

However, after taking the Introduction to Visual Studies course instructed by Dr. Tram Luong, it was as if a switch was turned on in my visual thinking. Through theoretical lessons on visual culture, the gaze, reproduction, and so on, I was given powerful “tools” to perceive, analyze, and evaluate the visual world with critical thinking and a multidimensional perspective. In the final exhibition, I even took part in ideating the exhibition space and creating visual products with my group. 

Final exhibition of Dac Hoang and his teammates in the Introduction to Visual Studies class.

Final exhibition of Dac Hoang and his teammates in the Introduction to Visual Studies class.

Expanding further, as an Entertainment journalist, I always proactively apply the knowledge instructed by professors and lecturers to examine popular cultural products from various perspectives such as history and tradition. As a result, my music critiques are more profound and persuasive to readers. 

Dac Hoang's music critique was published in Hoa Hoc Tro newspaper - issue 1410.

Dac Hoang’s music critique was published in Hoa Hoc Tro newspaper – issue 1410.

Utilizing knowledge and the community at Fulbright to proactively create opportunities for myself.
 At Fulbright, I actively create opportunities for myself. My primary goal when I develop COMEDIA is for it to be a place that provides Fulbright’s students opportunities to apply academic knowledge, share their experiences, as well as internship and career possibilities for students passionate about Communication. Moreover, COMEDIA aims to promote a pay-it-forward spirit. We have had opportunities to collaborate with individuals, organizations, and programs to disseminate the message of communication, such as the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Fulbright University Vietnam, the TECx event – Technology Entrepreneurs Creative Arts Mix 2023, and the Mekong Water Challenge. Additionally, COMEDIA often organizes internal training sessions and knowledge sharing to enhance the professional skills of our members.

Dac Hoang and COMEDIA’s members

Dac Hoang and COMEDIA’s members

Similarly, during my upcoming exchange semester at Bard College in the United States, I plan to take classes in in-depth music research and its applications in socio-cultural life. I hope that the knowledge I gain at Bard College will enrich my theoretical understanding, critical thinking, and knowledge of music, which will enable me to write valuable and insightful analytical articles for readers. 

Furthermore, I also have aspirations to connect COMEDIA with student clubs and media organizations at Bard College. I aim to create more opportunities for exchange and development between students from both institutions to enhance their experiences and skills.

“There is not any school that can fully define who I am. But it can create an environment that helps me find my own definition.” 

I believe that there is not any school that can fully define who we are. Schools should only provide resources, a safe environment for trial and error, and a platform for students to explore their strengths, weaknesses, and desired development in the future. Most importantly, you should keep an open heart and a proactive learning spirit. 

The knowledge gained from classes at Fulbright has liberated the limitations in my thinking and mindset. From someone who solely enjoyed pure art, I now pursue majors in Social Studies and Vietnamese Studies alongside Arts and Media Studies. To undergo these “shocks”, I believe that an open heart, and a willingness to learn and change while maintaining a critical spirit, is an essential asset for every Fulbright student. 

Personally, I believe that university is not the sole place that provides us with knowledge and opportunities. Instead, I value the spirit of proactive learning, creating opportunities for ourselves, and utilizing the available resources at university to enhance our individual learning journeys. 

Dac Hoang and Fulbright’s student in an extracurricular activity

Dac Hoang and Fulbright’s student in an extracurricular activity

Learn more about Arts and Media Studies at Fulbright at: https://fulbright.edu.vn/vi/major/nghien-cuu-nghe-thuat-va-truyen-thong/   

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