Hien Tran ’13
Ever since she was a little girl in Vietnam, education has meant a lot to Hien Tran, a means to a richer life than what she would have back in My Tho City, where her family still lives.
A junior chemistry major, Hien followed a long, looping route before she finally came to Guilford College in 2010. Her story is one of perseverance and opportunity, and she’ll graduate in 2013.
Tran had already finished three years of college in Vietnam with a major in food chemistry, when she came to America in 2007. She arrived in Greensboro, where she studied English through a university Interlink program for the first year in the States; once her English was good enough, she transferred to a local community college for the next two years. Then she transferred to Guilford.
It’s a long journey, no doubt, but the journey isn’t over. Her goal is to get a good education, and Guilford College is exceeding every expectation. “It is such a great environment to go to college,” Hien said. “I love to study in a challenging, diverse environment in America. I was happy to find out that Guilford College has all these elements.”
Among her course activities, she has been a teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry 1, and she’s working as a teaching assistant for the Chemistry of Food and Cooking class this semester. She made the Dean’s list for the spring 2011 semester. The practical experience is good and is preparing her for what she hopes will be a career in a chemistry-related field, and maybe graduate school later on.
Hein also has experience firsthand with Guilford’s small classes and the interaction they provide. “With just 15 to 25 students in a classroom, I feel good when instructors can know me by my name. Small classes are great to help me learn and interact with others easily. I know that sitting in a big auditorium for a lecture is not fun for anyone.”
Although Hien came to Guilford knowing what major she wanted to pursue, she appreciates the spread in its academic offerings. “There is a great variety of majors such as business, education, many fields of science, and lots of other areas. The Career Center and advisors are available to help you choose your major if you are not sure, and even help you decide what classes to take every semester to help you graduate on time. Even though college is a great experience, everyone wants to graduate!”
Outside the classroom, she has learned that students can have a whole world of new experiences. “Guilford College has such a pretty campus with green grass, nice pathways and a lake. There are lots of activities around campus every week for you to join and make new friends. I have enjoyed game night, dance and yoga. Workshops happen quite regularly and are helpful for students. Some great workshops from last semester were ‘How to Become a Good Writer,’ ‘How to Have a Great Memory’ and ‘Don’t Panic before Test Time.’
Most of all she is glad that Guilford is the sort of campus that welcomes students from around the globe and values their cultures. “It is very nice to go to a place where you know you will be respected and valued. Here, we are encouraged to share our cultures in many ways, and making new friends and learning about different cultures from each other is fun. I am so happy to have found such a great college that is my home.
“I want to share with all of you how much I love to be a student at Guilford College. I am sure that you will find that Guilford gives you not just a good education in classes, but also you experience interesting fun and activities on campus.”