Everyone’s life can take a turn all of a sudden with the incredible privilege of getting a full-scholarship to pursue their masters in the UK. Indeed, Chevening has given me a life-changing opportunity to attend the University of Southampton, to get a taste of world-class academia, to explore a beautiful island and to make lovely cosmopolitan friends. Everything here is just as fantastic! I could not ask for more when offered the most convenient accommodation, green campuses, fabulous learning facilities, a brilliant well-equipped sport centre, as well as numerous social activities and wonderful fieldtrips. All-inclusive at the University of Southampton.
Figure 1 City Gateway Hall
Photo Credit: QuynhNhu Phan
The university itself is a real melting pot of brilliant and creative ideas continuously sprouting up from its diverse staff and students. In fact, seizing an opportunity to study here is such a blessing that I could not resist exploiting the UK Education to its fullest extent, urging me to step out of my comfort zone to discover a whole new horizon and widen my eyes. Along my Chevening journey, I have understood more about cultural diversity, and experienced cross-cultural connections ranging from my amazing classmates, to my flatmates, event–mates, or whatever-mate I have met. Privilegedly joining a big exclusive Chevening Family with outstanding students from over the world is obviously the best part ever as each and every Chevener is like a living book bringing their unique interesting stories and achievements to the UK. Volunteer at Oxfam, visits to Stonehenge, Giant Causway, Fountain Abbey, Whitby adventure on a steam train, and so on with them have left me with lifelong memories. I owe my globally extensive network, profound marketing insights, and other out-of-the-box knowledge to the University of Southampton and the Chevening Community.
Figure 2 Visit to Stonehenge and Old Sarum on 11th May 2016 with Cheveners
I am about to leave Southampton in a short while with a tinge of sadness. Time flies so amazingly fast that I cannot believe I am now heading toward the end of my course: writing my dissertation! Parting is such sweet sorrow, yet I know the university has well equipped me to have enough competence to excel in my career path. Thank you for transforming me right from the start to be who I am now: a very different and mature girl, who has fine-tuned her critical and analytical thinking skills; a ready-to-work person whose knowledge of the internet, social media as well as data analysis is more enhanced; an internationally-qualified marketer who is capable of taking advantage of the digital initiatives as methods to expand and drive business opportunities. Inevitably, I feel more confident about my teamwork and interpersonal skills which have been further honed to adapt to different cultures, studying and working styles. More importantly, being assertive and thinking positively to be strong and to stand unflinching at all times is a powerful lesson – perhaps the most powerful force on earth that I have learnt from precious one-year studying here. Thank you for helping me discover my hidden writing talent, making me fully aware of my potential, and what can be done to make myself even better – not perfect, just better.
Figure 3 Southampton Cheveners with the blue baton
Credit photo: Ling Yeo
Last but not least, I am also grateful for Chevening scholarship for granting me this once-in-a-life-time study opportunity to move my life forward to a brighter future where my family, friends and country should be proud of me. Though homesick and unexpected things, the joy and excitement that surrounds a scholar like me is second to none. No one imagines the best/worst thing that could happen in the future but whenever I think about what I have overcome, how I have grown up from the difficulties, what I have gained from studying in this prestigious institute over the last year and from enjoying the charming beauty of the unpredictable-weather-forcast country, the whole thing is quite brilliant. I am treasuring and making the most of each and every single second left in Southampton and the UK.
‘Scholar for year, Chevener for life’ – The University of Southampton and the Chevening Scholarship program is undoubtedly a perfect combination in my life.
If you are thinking about where you can grow both academically and personally, where you are trained by the best professors and learning facilities, where your heart can always be inspired, and where impossible becomes I am possible, Southampton University is definitely your ultimate destination. It is only for those who plan to do a degree in the top 1% of universities worldwide, for those whose aspiration is to contribute for a better world, for those who dare to make changes to the community, and for those who deserve one of the most excellent education quality in the world.
Figure 4 The Chevening lecture series at Oxford (27th June 2016)
Credit photo: Gabriela (PO)
Figure 5 Lavender trip with Vietnamese Cheveners (12th July 2016)
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”. (Mark Twain)
Chevening Scholar 2015/2016
MSc Marketing Management