ASEAN IN KOREA
A Vietnamese student dreaming of working in the automobile industry Van Thanh Nguyen
Van Thanh Nguyen is a studyabroad student who came to Korea from Viet Nam with the dream of becoming a worker in the automobile industry. Nguyen is currently majoring in automotive design & development at Ajou Motor College, an institution of higher learning that specializes in automobile studies. For our January issue, ACH Monthly met with Nguyen, who is hard at work pursuing his dreams in a foreign country and language, to discuss modes of transportation in Korea and Viet Nam and his future.
Nguyen observes a car part with a studious eye.
Please introduce yourself to the readers of ACH Monthly.
Hello! My name is Van Thanh Nguyen. I’m a study-abroad student from Viet Nam. I came to Korea two years ago to attend Ajou Motor College, where I started by studying the structure of the car. At the moment, my academic focus is auto repair. It seems like yesterday that I arrived in Korea, but I am actually very close to graduating!
Can you describe the degree program that you are pursuing at Ajou Motor College?
My major is automotive design & development, a two-year program that teaches everything there is to know about cars and car parts through a combined theoretical and practical approach. We learn how products are designed, manufactured, and repaired. I am gaining a truly wide range of experiences and knowledge on cars through the project- based classes, special lectures, and specialized programs. Also, by studying manned and unmanned drones and even how a flying car works, I have become interested in means of transportation for air as well as land.
Given your major, it seems that you have been interested in vehicles for a long time. What do you think are the biggest differences between Korean and Vietnamese modes of transportation?
I believe that Korea’s primary mode of transport is the car. People take a car, bus, or taxi on a daily basis, even to places that are relatively close-by, as well as for longer trips such as Chuseok or Lunar New Year. It’s the obvious outcome of a developed automobile industry and good road conditions. On the other hand, Viet Nam’s main mode of transportation is the motorbike. People do take the bus for long-distance travel on major holidays, but the vehicle of choice for everyday purposes is the motorbike. This is perhaps why parking space is less of a problem in Viet Nam than Korea (laughs).
What career would you like to pursue after graduation?
For me, Korea is not simply one of many foreign countries. It is a second home, which is why I would like to stay after graduating to work in a car-related field. It is also why, in addition to cars, I am doing my best to study the Korean language and Korean culture. If possible, I would like to one day use my experiences in Korea to contribute to the development of Viet Nam’s automobile industry.
Van Thanh Nguyen studying how a car functions through a gasoline engine simulator.
At Ajou Motor College, theoretical and practical instruction is offered that makes use of a wide range of devices.