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European International School Ho Chi Minh City (EIS) offers a rich and diverse programme of After School Activities (ASAs) for all students from Early Years to Grade 12, most of which are included within the tuition fee. Students are given space and time to develop their artistic talents, social competencies, physical endurance and skills, as well as having fun in a supervised and supportive environment.

How Khoa Tran (EIS Alumni) Kept Succeeding During Lockdown

The extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic have not only forced university and school students into remote learning but it has also meant that university students, like EIS’s Alumni Khoa Tran have needed to rapidly evolve their skill set.

It has without question been a challenging time, however Khoa has also seen these Covid-19 challenges as an opportunity to develop new skills and even create start-up businesses.

When Khoa could not travel back to Abu Dhabi, UAE to continue his degree in Legal Studies at New York University (NYUAD) in person or continue his passion for diplomatic work with the UN, he looked at other opportunities that could be harnessed while in Vietnam and undertaking online learning.

Khoa and fellow NYUAD students participating in The World Green Economy Summit 

Over the summer Khoa used this time to undertake a Micro Master’s degree from MIT and has published 2 scientific articles in Scopus and ISI journals, with his co-author and became one of the first young Vietnamese to publish a paper without the support of a professor.

Khoa says the “The knowledge and research skills I learnt from the IB Extended Essay completed in Grade 12 at EIS, played a large part in being able to complete these research papers.”

In addition to finishing his published papers Khoa has been mentoring students on their university applications and has assisted 10 students attain entry into international universities like Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Chicago and New York University.

Khoa talks about his experience with CAS (Creativity, Arts & Service), which is part of the IB Diploma at EIS, as being an important part of the foundation to his success.

 “CAS played an important part in my development, it gave me a lot of leadership opportunities and also helped me develop long-term connections who also joined my current start-up business.”

Khoa’s journey however has not been without challenges, he had to put in significant work to attain his full scholarship to NYUAD, with the help from his EIS careers advisors, plus a series of internships and admits he needs to keep evolving his education start-up business so it is successful.

When Khoa was asked what advice, he would give for current EIS students he shared some great pointers about what helped him on his journey.

Khoa’s advice to current students:

  • My journey is unique, every student should follow their own passions to discover their path.
  • Take the positives out of online learning, you have more time since you don’t need to wake up early to go to school, you can also search online information while in class, so you can add to the class conversation.
  • The IB program is full of pressure so make sure you focus on your time management, stop procrastinating and start early on assignments. Also, create a soft deadline to help manage the pressure.
  • Make sure you have time away from your screens, take breaks every 25 minutes to stay fresh. I like to read books or watch comedy with my family and play with my dog to relax.
  • Look for a mentor that can help you on your journey, through your course or online there are a lot of mentors that you can reach out to for support. I created a strong connection with my university counsellors at EIS, they gave me a lot of career opportunities and resources and assisted me to imagine who I could be in the future.

We look forward to seeing what Khoa is going to do next on his life journey, so many opportunities have piqued his interest, the world is open to him and the next generation of EIS students.