What position do you hold at Student Exchange Vietnam? What has been your career path so far?
Mo: I am the Founder and Director of SE Vietnam, with a strong desire to change the brand name of Vietnam in international education map. My experience is based on education and training, NGO and international cooperation.
Before graduation, I dreamt to go abroad for international exposure but could not afford. I also know many Vietnamese young people who have the same dream but cannot find the way out. I know that I must do something, both to create a more international environment inside Vietnam and to bring more chances for Vietnamese students to go overseas.
Later on, as the Director of International Cooperation, I visited 8 top universities in Thailand and recognized that they were not really better than Vietnamese ones, but they had a country brand-name, which encourages students of other nationalities to come to Thailand for short-term learning. Vietnam, the neighbor country, does not have that. This urges my ambition to promote education and training opportunities in Vietnam and nurtures my determination to finally start up with Student Exchange Vietnam.
Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Mo: I have studied in Japan and the US via the government scholarship, one is AOTS, and another is the US State fund for the professional fellows. The inspiration to go just comes naturally from my inside. I am outgoing and adventurous. The other reason derives from my network with international friends during my time working in NGOs, which amazed me of the world diversity and encouraged me to get exposed more. I also believe that there are a lot of opportunities out there, overseas.
What about the future of the industry? How do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?
Mo: Let’s say, doing business in education is not the new term but it is somehow strange in Vietnam because of the traditional concept about education. Many educators keep thinking of education as a prestigious grant, not a service, which diverts the needed attention for the market (both students and industry) and keeps themselves behind in the international ground. But it will be changed soon since there is increasing competition among education providers nationally while the government has been more open and slowly started to push policies for encouraging internationalization.
In the next 10 years, students from Asia, Europe, America, Australia and Africa will travel cross and study at each other universities. There will be a circle of universities in the continents offering interchangeable credit programs which let students experience at different campuses during their student life.
What does the future hold for Student Exchange Vietnam - any exciting new programs to share?
Mo: In the long term, Student Exchange Vietnam is expected to become the office for the Vietnam Ministry of Education to support in internationalization for higher education and guide universities in opening and broadening their international network. For short term, we will conduct study tours, internship opportunities and programs to mix international and local students in sustainable projects, including, but not limited to heath care for minority group children, environmental protection at production firms, reforming soil and cleaning river. We offer the full package of service with affordable fees and local excursion included so as to create more chances for more young people to go in safety and satisfaction.