The achievements of 13 international students from countries including Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran and the United States were celebrated during a farewell ceremony for them at the University of New England last Friday.
Dr Vernon Crew, the Director of English Language and International Services at UNE, told the students that the ceremony was “to honour you and thank you for everything you’ve brought to our community . . . to mark the end of your studies, and to wish you well for the future”.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow students, Tien Hai Nguyen thanked the University “for organising this wonderful and significant event”.
Mr Nguyen (pictured here), who has completed a two-year Master of Agriculture degree program at UNE, will return to Vietnam, where he works as an agricultural scientist for the Vietnamese Government.
Another Vietnamese student, Nam Le Huu, has completed his Master of Economics degree program, but will remain in Armidale until his wife, Phuong Nguyen, finishes her PhD studies at UNE around the end of the year. Mr Huu, who has a legal background, said the combination of law and economics would be useful for his career in the parliamentary office of the Vietnamese Government.
“You represent success for us,” said the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber, addressing the students before presenting each of them with a Certificate of Completion. “You’re joining tens of thousands of UNE alumni all over the world.”
“We pride ourselves on getting to know our students,” Professor Barber said, “and hope you’ve felt welcome here.” Mr Tien and Mr Huu confirmed that the friendliness and helpfulness of people within the University and Armidale communities had contributed to making their time at UNE both enjoyable and academically rewarding.
Katrina Dry, a student of early childhood education in Pennsylvania, USA, who has just completed a four-month exchange program at UNE, said she had “loved it”. “It was a great experience,” Katrina said, “and gave me a wonderful insight into different methods of teaching. I’ll definitely come back one day.”
There are currently 805 international students – 682 in degree programs and 123 in English Language programs – at UNE. They come from 58 countries.
THE PHOTOGRAPH of Tien Hai Nguyen displayed above expands to show him speaking at the farewell celebration.