Studying in the US is the golden key to help students open the way to success and development in the future. Helpful information from Mr. David Armstrong – President of St. Nicholas in this article will help students have a better overview of the study and career opportunities in this country with a leading education system in the world.
What skills do students need to develop in an American learning environment?
As a Principal of a university and college in the US, I see that many international students come to the US to study. If students want to come to America to study at university, the first thing they have to do is improve their English ability. Although English is a challenging and popular language in the world, it is quite difficult and not easy. However, I believe students will make it through. Many students from schools in Vietnam and students of St. Nicolas have an excellent command of English.
When coming to the US to study, students will have the opportunity to practice and improve their foreign language skills through studying with American teachers and international friends in the classroom. Besides, students can also use applications that support English learning such as Duolingo, Elsa to improve their level.
In addition, subjects such as Math and Science are both very important; they will provide students with great opportunities for future career development. If students have the opportunity to go to the US, the United Kingdom in the UK to Europe, Australia, and other English-speaking countries like Singapore, you can see the university will focus on English first. Therefore, students should focus on practicing English as much as possible. Students can learn English through movies; I have seen many students learn English very well by watching many typical British or American sitcoms such as Friend. Alternatively, if you can find other interesting content on TV to learn English, that is also very good.
How important is participation in extracurricular activities when applying to prestigious universities?
In universities of the natural sciences such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and many in the UK such as Oxford and Cambridge, excellent grades are not eligible for admission. The schools here already have too many students who are good at Math and Science in English. They will have to compete with many friends from all over the world such as India, China, UK, and US. Most of these students are excellent in natural subjects. So they will be interested in what skills you have; Have you joined any clubs, Have you been a leader of an organization, or participated in any volunteer activities?
How will Vietnamese students in particular and international students, in general, have the opportunity to develop their careers in the US?
We all know that there are many career opportunities for you not only in the US and around the world. The most important thing is that you should see what skills and interests you have. You may not know precisely that now. It may happen later or even not until you enter college.
Recently, I have heard many 6th graders talk about Coding, Engineering, Computer-related careers. I am delighted that there are so many career opportunities in these fields. Alternatively, if you are interested in Information Technology and Cybersecurity, now corporations and governments worldwide are in dire need of experienced people. So if you want to be an engineer or something like that, you have many opportunities. In addition, we also need great teachers like the teachers at St. Nicholas.
What message do you have for young Vietnamese people?
America always welcomes students from Vietnam, especially now that our country is in dire need of human resources. I know many students come back home and are very successful in their careers. So I hope more talented, successful Vietnamese students will come back to help Vietnam develop. I think the US, Vietnam, and other parts of the world will have many career development opportunities for them.