The admissions process for Fulbright University Vietnam Undergraduate Class of 2027 is now officially open at https://apply.fulbright.edu.vn.
This year, the admissions process will have 3 major updates:
1️⃣ This is the first year that Fulbright implements three Admissions Cycles instead of two, including Early Action, Fall Cycle and Spring Cycle.
🍀 Early Action: The Admissions and Financial Aid applications are open from September 10, 2022 to October 17, 2022. Applicants will receive their admissions results for Early Action in mid-December.
🍀 Fall Cycle: The Admissions application is open from September 10, 2022 to November 28, 2022 (the Financial Aid application will remain open until December 12, 2022). Applicants will receive their admissions results for Fall Cycle in mid-March.
🍀 Spring Cycle: The Admissions application is open from December 15, 2022 to April 10, 2023 (the Financial Aid application will remain open until April 17, 2023). Applicants will receive their admissions results for Spring Cycle in early July.
2️⃣ More flexible format and timeline for the Interview Round:
This year, applicants will have the option to join one out of two interview rounds with the same admissions weight:
🍀 Alpha Interview (α Interview):
+ The Alpha Interview takes place before the admissions application deadline of each cycle.
+ Applicants can register for the Alpha Interview round at bit.ly/FUVAlpha.
+ This interview can take place online OR in-person in Ho Chi Minh City or provinces where the Admissions Team visits.
🍀 Beta Interview (β Interview):
+ The Beta interview takes place after the admissions application deadline of each cycle.
+ Applicants shortlisted from the application round who have not participated in the Alpha Interview round will receive an invitation to participate in the Beta Interview round.
+ This interview will take place online.
3⃣ English requirement: Applicants of all three admissions cycles will have until May 31, 2023 to meet Fulbright’s English requirements.
📌 Read more at: https://admissions.fulbright.edu.vn
🔥 Start your application now at: https://apply.fulbright.edu.vn
👉 For further inquiries, please contact our Admissions office via 028 7303 7788 or email to email@example.com. You can follow the official Facebook page of the Admissions and Financial Aid Office at https://www.facebook.com/RoadtoFUV.
Fulbright Faculty Members share how Scientific Inquiry is a vital part of the university’s Core Curriculum for undergraduate students.
Here in Vietnam, there is no lack of public appreciation for science. Luminaries such as Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Galileo Galilei, among others, have long entered the country’s vernacular as names associated with genius. Whereas books by Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan are revered as classics, the steady stream of articles about Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk on mainstream media betrays zealous admiration for their paths to success, for stories so fascinating they might have reached mythical proportions in the popular psyche. Not to mention, Vietnam’s overwhelming pride for Professor Ngo Bao Chau, the first Vietnamese national to have received the Fields Medal in 2010.
And yet, the country’s young people are less inclined to pursue a career in science. According to statistics from the Ministry of Education and Training, in 2021, natural and life sciences received the fewest applications during Vietnam’s annual entrance exam for higher education. Although, information technology and computer science, engineering and technology still enjoyed reasonable interest as among the most popular majors for Vietnamese students; other popular majors include Defense and Security, Journalism and Information, Hospitality, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Business and Management.
“A majority of students are not interested in [the academic study of] science, some of them are excited to learn, but many are intimidated,” says Dr. Phan Vu Xuan Hung, Fulbright Faculty Member in Integrated Sciences, and one of the lecturers of the course Scientific Inquiry at Fulbright University Vietnam. That observation is echoed by his fellow faculty, Dr. KinHo Chan: “The main challenges inherent in the [Scientific Inquiry] course are two-fold. The first is motivational, which primarily stems from discouraging early life experiences with science education. The second is a bimodal distribution of students with vastly different interest levels and preparedness.”
Nonetheless, being part of the five courses that comprise Fulbright’s core curriculum as foundational prerequisites before undergraduates can declare their major, Scientific Inquiry – alongside Global Humanities and Social Change, Modern Vietnamese Culture and Society, Design and Systems Thinking, and Quantitative Reasoning for a Digital Age – is expressive of the liberal arts tradition faithfully observed and nurtured at Fulbright.
Scientific Inquiry as a fundamental life skill
As Vietnam’s first liberal art university, Fulbright University Vietnam recognizes the fact that an interdisciplinary study across fields of social and natural sciences is essential to students’ self-actualization. It’s about inspiring them with new ways of thinking, and how one looks at the world. The Scientific Inquiry course, thus, comes into play for its potentialities to cultivate in our young people “logical, evidence-based reasoning”, “objectiveness and open-mindedness”, according to Dr. Nguyen Thi Trang, Fulbright Faculty Member in Integrated Sciences. She elaborates: “These are crucial skills for everyone, not just in academia or any other workplace, but in everyday life, especially in today’s world of fake news, clickbait, and algorithm-powered confirmation bias.”
“Scientific knowledge and skills are not only necessary for survival, but they play key roles in the extent to which we are successful in life,” says Dr. KinHo Chan. “At Fulbright, we want our graduates to do much better than merely survive. This is why we want to equip them with these ideas and skill sets. Regardless of career path, the abilities to generate key questions, make testable predictions, collect data, make inferences, and critically evaluate information will be crucial for success.”
Therefore, Scientific Inquiry is a gateway for Fulbright students to rediscover the beauty, and true purpose of science under new light. Whereas the austere manner in which natural science subjects are often taught in high school can unnerve students of their ability to comprehend, apply, or succeed in science, to the point of stigmatize it as esoteric and abstruse, Scientific Inquiry is designed as an open book that invites students on a journey of enlightened discoveries which have served humanity since the dawn of civilization to the present day.
“The course gives you an eye-opening exposure to how scientific knowledge has been generated in the last 500 years or so. Without science, there wouldn’t be technology for us to enjoy using on a daily basis,” says Dr. Phan Vu Xuan Hung. “No computer, no phone, no car, no electricity. Being aware of and appreciating the work and methodology of scientists behind all the advanced technologies is an important part of being a whole citizen.”
“The boundaries between natural and social sciences are artificial”
On top of a walkthrough of the history of science and its philosophy, Scientific Inquiry also provides Fulbright students with foundational components of research methods that will prove to be useful for other courses at the university, or should students wish to pursue a career in academia, as well as other future career prospects. From critical review of a scientific article to a fully-fleshed out research proposal and report, Fulbright students are encouraged to come up with hands-on projects that tap into their personal interests.
“I assured students from the very beginning that they don’t have to have a strong foundation in natural science. The course is more about scientific thinking than the specific disciplines of natural sciences,” says Dr. Nguyen Thi Trang. “Since for me, scientific methods are the key to this course, I am flexible about the research areas students choose for their projects, as long as they can demonstrate understanding and application of the method.”
According to Dr. KinHo Chan, while the Integrated Sciences faculty members have their own fields of interests, from geology, biology, chemistry, physics to neuroscience, the overarching aim of Scientific Inquiry is to “challenge students not only to understand the world from a scientific perspective, but also to understand how our scientific perspective shapes and is shaped by the world around us.”
He also stresses: “I don’t believe natural giftedness plays an important role in learning. It is a misconception that we try to address early on in the course, with the help of scientific evidence. In my opinion, the boundaries between natural and social sciences are artificial. I try to address these challenges by partnering with students to create projects that appeal to their interests and allow them to engage with the materials at their own pace and depth. The goal is to provide different kinds of opportunities for all students to explore the same set of main themes and cultivate the same set of skills.”
Science as relatable and relevant
Although each faculty member of Fulbright’s Integrated Sciences has developed their respective syllabus for Scientific Inquiry, there runs a thread of relatable and relevant issues of discussion for students such as environmental sustainability, climate change, data privacy, disease prevention, economic and educational inequality, even those of arts and history.
Particularly, in Dr. Phan Vu Xuan Hung’s Scientific Inquiry class, students’ interests are extended to inquiry about how to make biodegradable containers from rice husk, assessing the quality of rainwater collected from their Fulbright dorm and campus, or the degree of bacterial contamination on everyday objects such as mobile phones.
“We often address current real-world events. For example, a lot of Covid-19-related research was discussed in my class,” says Dr. Nguyen Thi Trang. “We also went through the Human Genome Project within the same week when the largest Vietnamese genome database was completed [in December 2021].” By broaching the subject with familiar topics and real-life situations, she believes the course can transform students’ attitude from trepidation to actual enjoyment when it comes to science.
One such example is Hoang Thu Hang, Fulbright undergraduate, Class of 2024. “I used to think science subjects were not my forte. But this course has given me so much confidence, by dispelling this fear, or burden, that I’d carried before,” she says. “I fell in love with reading about the fascinating history and philosophy of science, not to mention Ms. Trang’s guidance, and her very straightforward examples to help us discuss and understand things better in class. For my research proposal, she encouraged me with my topic about teenage pregnancy, which is not a natural science project at all. For the first time, I saw in myself the desire to learn science, the fun of learning science, and the confidence in my own ability to persevere, and be patient, with trying to figure out solutions to any problem I don’t have an answer to before, here onwards.”
It is a strategic decision that a “engineering-oriented” subject has been chosen as one of the core courses at Fulbright University Vietnam. Design and Systems Thinking’s ultimate goal is not to train students specialized in technology, but to inspire the young generation to empathize with others, think creatively, understand the process and come up with solutions to tackle complex and interdisciplinary challenges of the impatient future.
Design and Systems Thinking evolved from the “Creating and Making” course which was introduced in the co-design year. Initially, it mainly focused on design theories and technical practices. Since the 2020-2021 academic year, the course has undertaken a lot of adjustments in curriculum and its name also changed to Design and Systems Thinking. According to Dr. Trương Trung Kiên, Chair of Engineering at Fulbright, this course was inspired by the academic model of Olin College of Engineering: “Students not only learn technical skills, but they also acquire broader knowledge. They must have entrepreneurial mindsets to understand the needs of users and make impacts on society.”
The course’s name clearly states two modules taught in the course: design thinking focusing on human-centered needs analysis & problem identification, ideation, prototype making & testing; and systems thinking focusing on connections and interactions among components of a product and between the product and its working environment. At present, design thinking still takes up a greater proportion of the course content. Nevertheless, our two lecturers Dr. Nguyễn Hợp Minh and Dr. Trương Trung Kiên are putting more efforts to cultivate and apply systems thinking in lectures and term projects in upcoming semesters.
This course requires students to create and make physical engineering products in the Makerspace. As an essential component, the space offers a diverse selection of equipment ranging from handy tools such as hammers, saws, sewing machines,… to those for manufacturing purposes such as a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) cutting machine, 3-dimensional (3D) printers,….It enables students to turn design ideas into actual products. Managing this space since the early days of its establishment, Mr. Trần Thanh Thái, Associate Director of Design & Fabrication Operations at Makerspace, never loses his excitement: “Graduated from Bach Khoa University and spending years in manufacturing corporations, I used to work with many technicians. At Fulbright, the interesting thing is that I’ve been teaching technology to complete novices but dare to explore and experiment. Their fresh minds openly absorb everything”.
The “happy moments”
The interweaving and sequencing of theoretical and practical lessons, one of the distinctive features of this course, offers students opportunities to immediately apply knowledge in production. Given that, the curriculum is designed based on the process of the project’s implementation: learning the techniques, understanding the users, ideation, design & proposal pitching, prototyping, testing, and reporting. It is such a challenging yet exciting process since the difficulties lead the learners to wholesome happiness in the end. “I’m glad to be a companion of students on their quest to find those “happy moments”. For example, a group produced a hand-free trash bin which was operated using eye command. They stumbled over a lot of obstacles. They eventually overcame those difficulties, and found their “happy moment” and shared it with everyone, ” Dr. Trương Trung Kiên observed.
Coaching students even in the smallest details, Mr. Thái can’t hide his emotions when recalling his students’ failed experiences. “It’s compulsory to design before making it. Designing a practical model is not easy. I tend to ask them to begin with simple technical drawings, rectangles, for instance, then encourage them to improve on those basic shapes. It’s exhilarating.” There are some groups in which members are completely new to handy tools, let alone large machines. Mr. Thái patiently demonstrated different levels of efficiency of the equipment. In one tutorial, he sawed a wooden panel and “acted” as if it took a lot of effort, then switched to a knife to easily cut and break it into two pieces with his hands. His demonstration boosted students’ confidence to become more comfortable with those machines. “Once, a group proposed a design that required electric welding. Initially, they were afraid of heat and smoke. After I demonstrated the process to show them that it was simpler than they thought, they tried and gradually got used to it. They mastered the skill and were so proud of their products, which made me also very proud.”
Equal opportunities in education
The experience of “amateur” technicians is not only fascinating for the students themselves but it also inspires the faculty to bring engineering lessons to life and for everyone. “Today, anyone can produce videos and become a YouTuber, just like how anyone can design and make products in the Makerspace,” said Dr. Nguyễn Hợp Minh.
As an inclusive course, Design and Systems Thinking welcomes participation from people with disabilities. Trần Việt Hoàng, a visually-impaired student, was also a student in Dr. Nguyễn Hợp Minh’s class. Having concerns that technical lessons would make Hoàng’s learning experience difficult, Dr. Minh asked Hoàng in a respectful manner whether or not he needed help. Yet, every time, Hoàng confidently answered “no” because a computer application can help him “read” his lectures and his classmates were always there supporting him. “Disability is still with him, but with assistive technology, Hoàng is capable of doing what he wants. I support him with all of my respect since probably I cannot do what he can do,” Dr. Minh affirmed. Those supporting devices are the very products of human-centered design and systems thinking, those that the course tries to convey to the students.
To Đồng Thị Hải Yến, another visually impaired student in Dr. Trương Trung Kiên’s class, this Design and Systems Thinking course has special meanings – a sense of accomplishment and being recognized. “I don’t think I’m ever able to learn such technology-related courses. There would be no opportunity for people like me to practice with industrial machines,” she shared. During her first and second years of high school, due to her condition, Yen was “excused” from works that involved drawing and making in arts and technology classes. “I felt isolated and bored. When my classmates drew and discussed their art pieces, I wished I had joined them. Although I was bad at drawing, I still wanted to try, but even if I tried, no one would guide or evaluate my drawings,” Yến recollected. The enthusiasm and wholehearted support of Mr. Thái, Dr. Kiên, Makerspace’s student assistants and her classmates gave Yến such courage to take part in the learning process.
“Mr. Thái told me to come to the Makerspace every Tuesday. There, he would help me practice with the machines, from the simplest work to complicated ones. It might take me more time and my products didn’t look as good as others’, but at least I could do it when being given proper guidance. Once, my teammates asked me to try the wood-cutting machine, I actually tried it and it was really fun.”
According to Mr. Trần Thanh Thái, another feature that makes teaching technology at Fulbright special is gender equality. “Currently, it’s critical to build favorable conditions for women to participate in STEM. However, at Fulbright, we achieve it effortlessly. Over the years, as I observed, many female students are interested in technology. The first two student assistants of the Makerspace are also female.”
A sense of belonging and community
Although Design and Systems Thinking is still a new course, it has been attracting and nurturing a community interested in technology at Fulbright. “I know the word “community”, yet never see it from an insider’s point of view. The course started from scratch and has been through rounds of renovation. Yet, today, we have a fully-functioning Makerspace with a manager and nearly 20 assistants responsible for different duties. There are even projects that go beyond the limitation of the course, where teachers and students collaborate as partners,” Dr. Minh shared.
A sense of belonging is fostered through collaborations among students with diverse characteristics and strengths. On the teamwork spirit, Nguyễn Tuấn Minh (Class of 2024) from FulbrightTeeth, a team designing an automatic toothpaste dispensing device assisting children and visually-impaired people to get a sufficient amount of toothpaste for proper dental care, shared: “We never put pressure on each other and try to have fun together. It is important to pay attention to and care for each member of the team. When the group is too tense, we stop immediately, and open wheelofnames.com to randomly assign team members the rest of the workload.”
The Hearty Plant project initiated by students, faculty, and staff at Fulbright is also a product of the “community” that Dr. Nguyễn Hợp Minh mentioned. The project incorporates Internet of Things (IoT) technology and agriculture to develop a vertical garden model, which enables urban dwellers to produce their own safe and sustainable food. Prior to the implementation of this project, lecturers took students on a field trip to Tuấn Ngọc farm – a hydroponic model that grows plants originated from Da Lat City under the weather condition of Ho Chi Minh City.
The Design and Systems Thinking course does not test students with easy questions. It offers them an environment to seek human-centered challenges that they desire to solve. To sustain that educational environment, we need to build a community of like-minded, compassionate and creative people. Those are the values that Design and Systems Thinking pursues – a core course related to engineering that is enshrined in the vision and mission of the liberal education at Fulbright University Vietnam.
We are living in an era that highly values the power of big data and STEM, and we cannot counter-argue how significant these subjects matter to our daily life. Traits that are often linked to STEM such as curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and pioneering are desirable and praised.
However, our world has evolved from a wealth of knowledge across disciplines to become what it is today and is still constantly changing. We do not know how long this era will last or how it will transform because, for example, just two decades ago, big data was still very much unheard of, and those said traits were once identified with philosophers, though they are always desirable.
It is inadequate to favor one subject over another at any point in our human development. It is even more important today to have a more interdisciplinary education to tackle the grand challenges the human race is facing because our problems are increasingly intertwined, and so are our lives. And only when we fully delve into ourselves – humanities, can we instill changes for a better future.
As a Vietnamese university that is inspired by the American liberal arts and engineering model, Fulbright University Vietnam understood the importance of interdisciplinary education. During the first and second years at Fulbright, students are required to complete five different core courses, which provide them with a multi-faceted knowledge of the world we are living in; Global Humanities and Social Change is one of these five core courses*.
The Concept of Change
Global Humanities and Social Change is designed to help students examine key moments in the global history of thought through the lens of textual analysis. The course looks at key texts in five core periods and epistemic traditions: (1) classical epistemologies and origin myths; (2) major transitions of the post-classical era; (3) Renaissance, Enlightenment, Revolution and transitions to modernity; (4) Modern Era; and (5) (Post) Colonialism.
By exploring through the texts, students are able to not only analyze and grapple with complex ideas, which influence social policy and shape perception in the contemporary world but also understand the evolution of change. “The goal of Global Humanities is to introduce students to historical changes concerning different people’s approaches to education, politics, ethics, and culture, and to consider how these historical changes have shaped our world today,” says Dr. Kevin Hart, the core coordinator for the course and a faculty member in Literature.
What makes the course even more enticing is that students are not boxed into just theoretical texts such as Plato’s The Republic or Rousseau’s The Social Contract but can re-evaluate famous literary pieces such as The One Thousand and One Nights to identify the similarities and differences of “change” across concepts and texts, time and places.
Course lecturers, depending on their background and perspective, have the flexibility to tailor reading materials to fit the subject matter. “The range of materials allows us to step outside our comfort zones … to tackle new subject matter and texts. … I may naturally lean towards providing my students with a more historical way to think about the texts we encounter, but it has been gratifying to engage with anthropology and literary analysis as well,” explains Dr. Andrew Bellisari, a faculty member in History and one of the main instructors of this course.
Ultimately, Global Humanities and Social Change hope to provide students a foundation to analyze how “change” has changed historically, how it will affect our lives in modern times, and how we should prepare for and cope with “change” in the future. With this foundation, students will be more equipped to respond to the greatest challenges of our times such as discrimination, inequality, radicalism, etc…
An Understanding of the World
Changes are inherent, yet not all changes are desirable. At Fulbright, we aspire to create the next generation of positive change-makers in Vietnam for a rapidly evolving world. And it is our responsibility to build an educational experience that can instill positive impacts so that our students can create a better world in the future. To achieve this, we first need to help students understand the global pasts and learn from all they offer.
“One of the aims of Global Humanities and Social Change is to de-exceptionalize the Vietnamese experience by showing our students how similar the experiences of very different people have been around the world and throughout time. Our students can build empathy with other cultures and see the shared human experience of change,” adds Dr. Bellisari.
Within the texts in this course, students can engage in the thinking processes practiced in different cultures and historical periods, and be exposed to various ways of thinking, analyzing, and questioning. The experiences gained from studying these texts may be qualitatively different, but they are all vital pieces of re-evaluation and self-reflection, which will help Fulbright students become better citizens of the world.
“This course helps me re-evaluate ideas which I thought were true, or ethical values that I unquestionably follow. It propels me to question why my society considers this is right and this is wrong, or whether these things hold absolute truth. It teaches me how to think critically about matters in life, equality in our society, and even my own set of ethical values,” shares Hoang Phuong Mai, a Class of 2024 student.
By comparing and contrasting historical and modern texts, students can find their answers to urgent epistemological and ethical problems for the present and future: how to empathize with other people beyond the physical territories, and how to cope with different intellectual, religious, social, and cultural points of views.
“Through different stories from different civilizations across places and time, I learn to be more open and become a more well-rounded person. I learn to care more than just my own life. I am eager to solve societal grand challenges such as feminism, systematic racism, the East-West divide, etc… I have never been more mature,” says Quach Thi Xuan Trang, a Class of 2023 student.
Setting up for Success
Besides knowledge, the Global Humanities and Social Change course also nurtures different habits of mind that allow students to mature into successful, productive citizens of the world who can appreciate others, experience and embrace the notion of empathy, and seek lifelong learning.
“This course serves as one of several foundations for developing the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that students will take into every aspect of their studies and professional lives after Fulbright,” Dr. Ian Kalman, a faculty member in Social Science and the course’s instructor, emphasizes.
Not only required to familiarize themselves with all reading materials but students are also asked to analyze texts in ways that are applicable in the classroom and the professional world beyond the classroom. Such ability to process information and to deal with difficult situations is important to everyone personally and professionally.
It is especially important for helping to deal with contemporary global issues at local, national, and international levels. That is why our future change-makers must continue honing the skills to “connect ideas, sourcing, scrutinizing and evaluating information to solve complex problems,” adds Dr. Matthew McDonald, a faculty member in Psychology and this course’s instructor.
To Vu Ha Vy, a Class of 2024 student, the Global Humanities and Social Change course opens her eyes to new ways of viewing issues and encourages her to consider diverse opinions and ideas.
But to Vo Linh Dan, another Co24 student, the course is more than just tangible skills. “It is not the easiest core course, but it is very intellectually rewarding. … I appreciate how it re-shapes my perception of society and humanity. Such experience affirms my plan to pursue History and Social Studies as majors,” she concludes.
Thach Thao – Thuy Hang
* Following the American tradition, students begin their studies at Fulbright by building a breadth of knowledge and skills through a set of core courses of the liberal arts and science. These courses incorporate the key competencies of critical, innovative, and creative thinking, effective communication, reasoning, civic engagement, collaboration, ethical reasoning, and lifelong learning. These courses also illustrate the power of interdisciplinary study to solve modern problems.
The core curriculum includes: Global Humanities and Social Change, Modern Vietnamese Culture & Society, Quantitative Reasoning for a Digital Age, Scientific Inquiry, and Design and Systems Thinking.
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.
The admissions office at Fulbright University Vietnam is pleased to launch Fulbright Admissions Companion Team (FACT) program with the aim of helping highschool students across the country in the process of preparing applications for the Spring Cycle of the Undergraduate Class of 2026.
Each applicant can book one-to-one mentoring session with a Fulbright student to seek for advice on constructing an impressive application and ask any question relating to academic and student life at Fulbright. Each session will last from 30 to 60 minutes.
During the session, applicants can ask in-depth questions about the application, such as should they submit a Personal Essay or an Original Piece of Work, and seek advice on every of their concerns. They can also learn more about the student life and the academic environment at Fulbright, or simply can seek a companion who could motivate and inspire them in the application process.
“Been there, done that” Fulbright students are willing to chat and wholeheartedly support applicants. They will help applicants better understand what the Fulbright school is looking for and improve the quality of their applications.
Please note that the mentors will not directly interfere with the mentees’ applications; it’s the applicants who can tell their own story in the best way.
👉 Please complete the registration form at: https://bit.ly/FACT-registration in either Vietnamese or English to register for the program. We will match you with an Admissions Companion and contact you by email after Tet holiday to specify the date and time.
Registration: Jan 24 to March 20, 2022
Mentoring sessions: Feb 10 to March 30, 2022
👉 More information can be found at: https://bit.ly/FulbrightFACTeam.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (+84) 28 7303 7788.
“Ethics” is a familiar subject that most of Vietnamese student has studied in the foundation years at their primary schools. However, “ethics” should not only be the early lessons of childhood, but also the accumulation of lifelong learning and practice. And most importantly, “Ethics” are not rigid disciplines forcing learners to follow, rather, “ethics” need to be nurtured in empathy, mutual understanding through critical analysis and flexibility in real-life contexts. The “Ethics in Practice” course was designed and taught with such spirit by Dr. Nguyen Nam, currently overseeing the Vietnam Studies Major at Fulbright University Vietnam. The course inspires a generation of whole-person learners to not only acquire Knowledge and Skills but also strengthen Morality – built on Asian philosophy (Buddhism, in this course) associated with Vietnamese identity.
In recent years, especially during the uncertain time of the global pandemic, the concept of mindfulness, loving kindness or Vipassana meditation (Vipassana is Buddhist term meaning “seeing things as they really are”) has been gaining a lot of traction. The popularity of these Buddhist-derived practices indicates a positive tendency that the Vietnamese have paid more attention to their mental, spiritual health and the circulation of energy inside the physical bodies. However, when assessed critically, the normalization of these practices has blurred foundational philosophy, losing the original ethical values and even, in some cases, going against what the Buddha taught. Given that, the course “Ethics in practice: Buddhist Philosophical Ethics in Vietnam and Beyond “ – Fall 2021 invited learners to return the roots of Buddhism, explained practices related to moral philosophy, and encouraged them to reflect on contemporary practices from the Buddhism perspective. In addition to reading assignments and lectures like many other courses, a special feature of this course is a series of guest lectures from a diverse pool of Vietnamese and international scholars, as well as Buddhist and mindfulness practitioners, which gives students a multi-dimensional view of Buddhist Philosophical Ethics through both academic and religious perspectives.
No-self and Interbeing
One of the fundamental theories in the course is the Engaged Buddhism movement initiated by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. “Engaged Buddhism” means acting completely voluntarily in order to apply the Buddhist ethics, insights acquired from meditation practice, and the teachings of the Buddhist dharma to contemporary situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering, and injustice. While Vietnam’s tradition of incarnation dates back thousands of years, Engaged Buddhism emergence and widespread as a social practice in the mid-twentieth century has been perpetually embraced and is still relevant in today society. The basis of this practice is “no-self” and “interbeing”.
When the poem “Call me by my true names” by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was introduced in the class, it perhaps raised emotional and rational conflicts inside each student. Acknowledging that there is no “self/ ego” that exists independently, but always exists interdependently, formed by many factors, influenced by diverse relationships, which makes us aware of the “immutable ego” illusion constructed with nuanced complexities of things when talking about “the self”. Breaking out of the illusion “I am the one and only” is the first step to realize that “self” is a part of society and nature; and that is also where the spirit of forgiveness begins. Such transformative change is not easy to perceive, especially for those who were nurtured to embrace their unique selves and compete to assert themselves. Challenging yet possible, after 12 weeks, students gradually realized that “no-self” and “interbeing” were the foundation of empathy, togetherness and the path leading to effective social intervention, family harmony, and even the World’s Peace.
The “service-learning” is the unique assignment of this course which requires students to practice what they’ve learned from classroom in their daily lives. With the topic “Teaching English to disadvantaged students” of Group 2, Nguyen Thi Thuong (Class of 2024), who served the community engagement role, had an epiphany when reflected on her pursuit of ego.
“When we promoted our workshop, there were more than 70 sign-up. However, the actual turnout of the event were only 20, which was really disappointing to my ambitious self. When I reflected on what I had learned, I realized I was wrong to put my personal desire above the needs of the students and I let go of that frustration. I thought it was great that I helped as much as I could and even sent the workshop materials to those who did not participate. This may sound minute and insignificant, but for a perfectionist like me, this is a huge step.”
Another group practiced “the beginner’s mind” (Shoshin according to Zen Buddhism) to design a programming crash course for the visually impaired students. “In Computer Science classes, the teachers usually give students coding examples and describe them with pictures, but that does not work for visually impaired students. So we [our group] converted all [text and pictures] into voice, which was not easy. Therefore, a very simple coding lesson took a whole day to be delivered,” shared Ly Minh Tu (Class of 2023). Despite the limitation of time and technical aspect, the six-week virtual learning course had planted the seeds of confidence and passion inside the visually impaired students of the class, as a participant shared: “I used to think Programming is something that is just beyond our [the blinds’] reach, but thanks to you [the team], I now know that I can learn it by just trying a little harder.”
Understanding and loving in mindfulness
In Vietnam, one of the causes that create gaps between parents and children and among diverse communities is the fact that they are living with or practicing different ethical values. That gap can generates suffering in the form of torture, in the name of love. “Every parent wants their child to be happy, but not everyone knows how to raise their child to be happy, because they usually raise their children in the way they were raised, which might not have turned out well, and so unconsciously, the vicious cycle ensues” shared Ms. My Yen, Mindfulness Coach, guest lecturer of the sharing session “Understanding and Loving, Parents and Children”. “As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh once said ‘Without understanding, love will make you suffocated’. Instead of being a free and unconditional gift, love becomes a conditioned relationship of attachment, grasping and process of existence, and that causes us great pain.” The love that comes from a clear comprehension is the foundation for each of us to be fully present in the present, accepting everything with a calm, compassionate attitude towards others and to ourselves. And that is the mindful practice of understanding and loving-kindness.
Managing our instinctive reactions constructed in the environment that we grew up is easy to say but extremely difficult to do. It requires the practitioner to slow down, take a step back and mindfully observe the thoughts, feelings and the structurization of behaviors, to hold themselves from releasing the tempering expression and action. Being “mindful” does not mean denying the state of emotions that are often viewed as negative, namely anger or grief, but recognizing the arising of those emotions, observing the train of thoughts inside our physical body, thus, foster a calm and proper attitude in the spirit of Four Immeasurables. Being kind and compassionate to yourself is the beginning of a transformative journey of mind and action in the interaction with other beings.
One of the most memorable experiences in the lecture by Ms. My Yen was “The gift of 1 minute – 3 steps of self-compassion”: acknowledge your feelings, give yourself a pat on the back, and say kind words to yourself. “At first I thought it would be nothing if I hug myself, but then I was able to sense warmth, I felt calmer, a calmness of tired days, I shuddered,” Nguyen Thi Thanh Lam (Class of 2024) recalled.
“Thank you for helping me connect with my parents” – a few words of a student at the end of the lesson on Understanding and Loving opened a promising journey of loving in mindfulness, not only in relationships with parents, but also with other social relationships, to be able to empathize and connect with each other more effectively.
Great questions of “human life”
Besides understanding theory and its application in life’s context, the course also allowed students to observe and analyze contemporary practices that are considered to be derived from or related to Buddhist teachings through the research-intensive final team projects. In place of traditional exams, students were split into eight groups to approach different aspects of life, which presented a feast of knowledge, in-depth discussion, and foundation for further research. The topics of the groups varied from Vietnamese people’s perception of Buddhist concepts such as Karma, Reincarnation; to the views on gender equality in Buddhism, the “Le Hang Thuan” ceremony at the temple, the release of living beings and the relationship between other socio-religious practices, such as Buddhism and vegetarianism or tolerance of Buddhism towards the LGBTIQ+ community. There were monks, nuns, and experts in mindfulness joining students’ presentations, therefore, the constructive discussion and in-depth multi-dimensional explanations were effectively monitored.
Accompanying Mr. Nguyen Nam and the students during the 12-week course, Ms. My Yen proudly said “I really admire the class: under the guidance of Mr. Nam, young students were brave to raise such great questions, the questions of human life, not just small problems.”. Encouraging students to raise great questions, to challenge established norms, to analyze and discuss issues together under an interdisciplinary and academically liberal approach, is one of the main pillars in educational practices that Fulbright University Vietnam pursues.
The “Ethics in Practice” course expanded the students’ understanding on themselves and social ethics from a Buddhist perspective, inspired them to practice “mindfulness” in managing emotions and behaviors, and above all, contributed to shaping the pillar of “Morality” in young minds, so that “our students not only come to know important things, we want them also to be able to do important things, learn to empathize and work with others, all while living purposeful, fulfilling lives,” Ms. Dam Bich Thuy, President of Fulbright University Vietnam affirmed.
On December 5, 2021, Fulbright University Vietnam junior Dang Nguyen Huong Duong (Class of 2023) along with her teammates Nguyen Cao Nam Anh (Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland), Hoang Dieu Khanh (Foreign Trade University, Ho Chi Minh City) and Nguyen Le Minh Thy (DePauw University, USA) won the first prize of VinUniversity Global Case Competition 2021 organized by VinUniversity. The team EVA competed head-to-head in three rounds against 1,085 teams with 4,000 students from 200 prestigious universities in 30 countries before becoming the First Prize Winner of the competition.
The theme of VGCC 2021 is “VinFast – Go Global”: How can VinFast – a young Vietnamese business – lead the “green” movement and establish a permanent presence in the US market with its electric vehicle models. The competition’s methodology and case were designed with the consultation of Cornell University. The competition got increasingly selective after each round as teams were required to propose 2 solutions, conduct a compelling 20-page case analysis to expand business globally, and deliver a 20-minute live presentation for the judging panel, in which gathered many notorious professors from distinguished universities all over the US alongside VinFast senior managers. After 7 weeks of pursuing the strategy to position VinFast as the best choice for the Wait-and-See segment – customers who are careful with their finances and make purchasing decisions based on a car’s features and ease of use, the team EVA was officially named the Champion.
“As soon as I signed up for the competition, I spent a lot of time reading the requirements of it because I did not have much experience in dealing with real challenges of real businesses,” says Dang Nguyen Huong Duong, the Fulbright student. “Each time we were informed to be selected for the next round, we were taken by surprise since there were a lot of participating teams, many of which were comprised of graduate students who were enrolled in the MBA programs and from globally renowned universities such as Duke University, Cornell University, Oxford University, Yonsei University, National University of Singapore, etc.”
Talking about the contributing factors of their victory, Huong Duong praises her team’s solidarity and the ability to work online despite the differences in time zones and university backgrounds. “Since I have already been familiar with the teamwork culture at Fulbright, I got along with other members quickly and hardly had any communication difficulty despite the fact that it was the first time we worked online as a team.”
Huong Duong also attributes the success to the lessons she learnt from the Principle of Economics I and II courses instructed by Dr. Nguyen Chi Hieu – an adjunct faculty member in Economics, Fulbright University Vietnam. “Thanks to Dr. Hieu’s courses, I honed the skills such as researching, analyzing, compiling, and presenting information. Especially, I learnt a lot from the consulting project for a corporation’s economic strategy, which was the final assignment in place of traditional exams in his Principle of Economics II course,” she says.
Huong Duong is a familiar face in both the organizing committees and contestants of many entrepreneurship competitions initiated by Fulbright University Vietnam including Hult Prize at Fulbright, Mini Challenge by Infinity Blockchain Ventures, and EntreCamp Asia Summer by Reactor School – a partner of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Fulbright. According to Huong Duong, the process of learning and accumulating these valuable experiences has somewhat matured her mindset, attitude, and skills when facing challenges and made her the best version of herself to be a fourth of an extraordinary win at the VinUniversity Global Case Competition 2021.
As the First Prize winner, the team EVA will receive a total prize of 10,000 USD and the opportunity to directly implement their solution with VinFast over the summer internship.
For the convenience of prospect parents and students who are interested in learning more about applying to the Undergraduate program at Fulbright University Vietnam, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is pleased to announce the launching of our new landing page at https://admissions.fulbright.edu.vn.
Those who are interested in general information or other programs at Fulbright University Vietnam (the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, the YSEALI program, etc.) can find what you are looking for on the university’s website. But those who want to be updated on the most recent activities and events for undergraduate admissions (the Road to Fulbright Language Club, the Road to Fulbright Podcast, contests for high school students, detailed Q&A about different scholarships, etc.) may also check out our new landing page.
The Admissions and Financial Aid Office is looking forward to seeing you at our new bulletin board!
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 started receiving applications for the second admissions cycle this year – the Spring Cycle. This cycle started at 12:00 on November 30, 2021 and will close at 14:00 on April 8, 2022.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.