Phuong Nguyen, 21, from Vietnam, was awarded ACG’s 2017 Foundation Pathway Top Achiever Award. Now she’s studying Nursing at the University of Auckland.
What made you decide to do a pathways course in New Zealand?
I finished high school in Vietnam and really wanted to do my tertiary study in New Zealand. I knew that a foundation course would provide me with entry to the University of Auckland and also prepare me for the new educational system here. It was the right choice for me.
How has ACG Pathways helped you on your journey?
I hadn’t done any science subjects in English so I took Chemistry, Biology and Physics to get used to the new words and terminologies. The knowledge I acquired not only helped me revise what I had learned back home, but also made me ready for university. Throughout my Nursing degree, I have felt confident on medical courses because I gained a good understanding of the essentials at ACG.
What was the highlight of your course?
The thing that impressed me most about ACG was that the teachers and staff were so supportive and friendly. They helped me get the best learning and social experience. I am very grateful for the friends I made because they still keep me company at university.
What is your favourite thing about New Zealand?
The wonderful scenery – I love the black sand beaches because they are very beautiful and unique. When I have free time, going to the beach for some fresh air is my number one choice. The people here are friendly and I am always greeted with lovely smiles.
Why did you choose a degree in Nursing at the University of Auckland?
My passion for science and medicine, as well as my wish to help people, has led me to this decision. Nursing is a flexible occupation; there are many areas to work in and numerous chances to work overseas. I also love the fact that nurses are the ones who directly take care of patients.
What do you most love about the subjects you’re studying?
I get a deep understanding of the human anatomy, which fascinates me. Nursing also gives me a chance to put what I learn in class into practice. I have clinical placements in Auckland hospitals and gain lots of insights into nurses’ roles there.
What are your career aspirations?
My lecturers constantly inspire me to become a good nurse. They often remind us of the values a competent nurse should have, which are my goals during and following my time at university. My preceptors at the hospital are an inspiration as well. They are very kind to patients and knowledgeable in many areas.
Any awards, achievements or initiatives that you’re proud of?
After my one-year foundation course at ACG, I was awarded the 2017 Foundation Pathway Top Achiever Award. I was really proud of myself and glad that my hard work paid off. I am grateful that the University of Auckland provides international students, like me, opportunities to prove ourselves and help us out with our tuition fees.
Where would you like to see yourself in ten years?
I would love to try as many areas as possible, such as practising nursing in GP clinics, in surgical wards in hospitals, in children hospitals and even in other countries.
What advice would you have to students thinking of a Pathways course?
Put 100% of your effort into studying. Focusing on learning for either nine months (fast-track course) or a full year (standard course) is totally worth it because it will benefit your study in the future. If you have difficulties adapting to the new environment and learning system, reach out for support. Staff and friends at ACG will be delighted to help you.
All in all, enjoy the ride and work hard; all of your efforts will pay off.
Phuong completed the University of Auckland Certificate in Foundation Studies at ACG Pathways.