Statesman Scholar Thuy Linh
Thuy Linh Tran Vu is on a professional journey to provide students with learning opportunities, and it is one she is beginning as she works on her own education at Richard Bland College of William & Mary.
Born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, Linh, as she is known to her friends at RBC, discovered the school in 2017 while taking a gap year following her high school graduation.
“During that time I had a chance to meet a lot of people from different countries, and I did volunteer work to help people. I realized it is really cool when you can know what is going on outside of Vietnam and listen to people talk about different countries,” Linh remembers. “I wanted to go to another country to study, and I always wanted to go to the USA. I joined a workshop and met Nimra Khan who works with international students. She talked to me about representation and Richard Bland College, and I think that school is great.”
Average class sizes of 15 to 20 appealed to Linh so she would have more interaction with her professors and new friends in the United States, a country she had never even visited before.
Linh quickly found RBC offers a positive environment for international students like herself.
“I think we have a lot of support,” Linh says. “There are not many international students here, so for example on the campus the first day, everyone was really supportive on the tours and about asking if we needed help. If we have any difficulty, they are always ready to support us. We get along very well with American students here.”
Linh continues to build strong relationships on campus as President of the International Club and was an orientation leader for the Global Student Success Program.
As a member of the ASPIRE program focusing on academic excellence, Linh serves as a Resident Assistant in Patriot Hall.
She hopes to combine the leadership skills she is strengthening at Richard Bland with her business major to work for a nonprofit organization targeted towards children’s education.
“They come from different backgrounds, and there’s difficulty for every kid to have a chance to get a good education,” she describes the reasoning behind her career path. “I want all the kids to have equal conditions and opportunities to study and help them explore what they really want, find their identity.”
Linh did not have to wait to complete her schooling to begin giving back. She participated in an alternative spring break offered by RBC to Hobcaw Barony, South Carolina last year.
“On that trip I went with 20 students and four staff members, and we were very close,” Linh shares. “We helped the people there, did community service, cleaning and gardening for conservation and got to go around to see nature there.”
At RBC, some of Linh’s favorite classes are in Psychology and English. After graduating in December 2019, she hopes to transfer to William & Mary or another institution with a business program.
While she does miss her family and Vietnam, Linh plans to stay in the United States to pursue her career and continue experiencing a life she thanks Richard Bland for giving her.
“Many people really enjoy hearing about Vietnam,” Linh describes the welcoming nature of people she has met since arriving at RBC. “They are open-minded, and many friends of mine want to learn about the Asian culture, where I’m from. That’s the warmness and being open-minded about other people.”