Thompson Rivers University

New country, new language, new future

May 29, 2019

Anh Colddy Nguyen is valedictorian for the Faculty of Education and Social Work.


When Anh (Colddy) Nguyen decided he wanted to study at a university outside of his home country of Vietnam, Canada quickly came to mind. The country has a good international reputation for education and multicultural diversity.

Nguyen had heard about TRU from other Vietnamese students in Canada. He liked that he could take English as a Second Language, then move into a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. And he’d be living in a smaller city, which also appealed to him.

One year after arriving in Kamloops, Nguyen has completed his ESL program and was chosen as valedictorian for his class. And he has learned more than just a new language.

“English plays the most important role when you study abroad. I had to improve my English when I live here and spend my student life here. I am nominated valedictorian for the faculty and I am very honoured for that,” he said.

“The ESL program is a great place for international students to not only improve English, but also to learn and understand about the life in Canada, Kamloops and TRU. And I think that is one of the most important things that international students are looking for at any university in the world.”

When he was in Vietnam, Nguyen volunteered with a group that helped out at several orphanages. He didn’t get involved in volunteering in his first year at TRU, but it’s something he definitely wants to do as he continues his university studies in Kamloops.

He was honoured to be nominated by his ESL instructor for the Yoshie Ozawa and Ron Watson International Award, which goes to an academically-strong English as a Second Language student.

“This was a big honour for me. This was the first time I became nominated by a teacher. That was also the first time I got awarded in the university. It was a great moment,” said Nguyen.

Now that his ESL is complete, he is looking forward to getting started on his Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He plans to follow that up with an MBA.

Nguyen’s family runs a restaurant in Vietnam. His long-term plan is to take over that business, but he wants to stay in Canada for a three-year internship after getting his master’s so he can gain experience.

He is really in it for the long haul. Nguyen said he’s read research that said entrepreneurs should begin their businesses when they’re in their 40s—by then, they’ve got a wealth of experience and knowledge under their belts. He expects he’ll take over the family restaurant when he’s 45.

On campus, he has observed enthusiasm, teamwork and optimism among the students, faculty and staff. He commended TRU for the support he has received, from IT to student advisors to the writing centre to counselling services.

“I never feel alone at TRU. There’s always somebody to help me out. And improve myself. And I love TRU.”

Anh Colddy Nguyen

Anh ‘Colddy’ Nguyen is valedictorian for the Faculty of Education and Social Work.

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