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South Korean women earn bachelor’s degree in Vietnamese studies in Ho Chi Minh City

South Korean women earn bachelor’s degree in Vietnamese studies in Ho Chi Minh City

Thursday, May 18, 2023, 08:54 GMT+7
South Korean women earn bachelor’s degree in Vietnamese studies in Ho Chi Minh City
Ahn In Soon (L) and Kim Mi Ae read books at the library of Ton Duc Thang University in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: T.N. / Tuoi Tre

Two South Korean women recently completed a remarkable journey to pursue bachelor’s degrees in Ho Chi Minh City, inspiring dozens of their peers thanks to their determination and courage.   

Ahn In Soon and Kim Mi Ae, in their 40s, currently live in Ho Chi Minh City.

They successfully defended their graduation theses to earn bachelors’ degrees in Vietnamese studies from Ton Duc Thang University in District 7 earlier this month.


Among the 18 other foreign students who began the program alongside Ahn and Kim, only four persevered until the end. 

After Kim married in Hanoi, she enrolled in a series of Vietnamese language courses so that she could better understand the language and hold fluent conversations with her child, who is studying in Vietnamese at a local high school. 

The drive to become completely fluent is what motivated her to join the bachelor’s degree program at Ton Duc Thang.

For Ahn, earning a bachelor’s degree in Vietnamese studies was a way to further immerse herself in Vietnamese culture, just as she had with Japanese culture 20 years prior when she lived in the East Asian country. 


Ahn focused her graduation thesis on comparing tea culture in Vietnam and South Korea while Kim’s research centered on the two countries’ traditional costumes – Vietnam’s ‘ao dai’ and South Korea’s ‘hanbok.’

Ahn’s research earned her a 9.6 out of 10 while Kim got a 9.1 out of 10.

Nguyen Hieu Tin, head of the tourism department at Ton Duc Thang University and one of Ahn and Kim’s professors, said that the thesis defense board was greatly impressed by the remarkable dedication displayed by the two South Korean students in their graduation theses.

Ahn’s devotion was particularly highlighted by the fact that she had accessed nearly 80 books from Vietnamese universities, the National Library of Korea, and overseas bookstores in order to complete her 80-page thesis on tea drinking, especially the nutritional characteristics associated with tea drinking in both Vietnamese and South Korean cultures.

“Several members of the thesis defense board evaluated that in terms of quality, the thesis was at a master’s degree level,” Tin said.

The successful defense of their graduation theses was the final step in Kim and Ahn earning their bachelor’s degrees, marking the culmination of four years of dedicated studies.

Now that she has graduated, Ahn hopes to open a cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City so she can teach Vietnamese locals how to prepare traditional South Korean dishes.

She expects her knowledge of the Vietnamese language to help her effectively communicate with her students.  

Kim has plans to launch a project aimed at teaching Vietnamese to South Koreans, recognizing the demand for learning the language within her neighborhood of Phu My Hung New Urban Area in District 7. 

She highlighted the current lack of South Korean-operated classes catering to this need, inspiring her to fill this gap and provide valuable Vietnamese language instructions to her fellow South Koreans.

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Bao Anh - Trong Nhan / Tuoi Tre News

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