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Vietnamese woman seeks second college degree at age 63

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 11:56 GMT+7
Vietnamese woman seeks second college degree at age 63
Dao Thi Thu submits documents to enroll at Van Hien University in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: M. G. / Tuoi Tre

A woman in Ho Chi Minh City plans to pursue a second college degree at a local university just three years after earning her first one at the age of 60.

Dao Thi Thu refused to end her educational journey after getting her first bachelor's degree in English studies from a four-year distance-learning course offered by Hanoi University in 2016.

The 63-year-old graduate is working toward another degree in either French or piano studies at Van Hien University in Ho Chi Minh City.

The first college degree of 63-year-old Dao Thi Thu. Photo: M. G. / Tuoi Tre
The first college degree of 63-year-old Dao Thi Thu. Photo: M. G. / Tuoi Tre

As a young girl, Thu dreamed of becoming a doctor, but had to put her education on hold due to war and family hardship.

Though she planned to return to school, her goal of attending university took a backseat to care for her family.

It was not until she reached the age of 51 that she decided it was finally time to realize her dreams.

“My children live a life of happiness,” said Thu. “I decided that it was finally my turn.”

She enrolled in an English course for beginners at a famous language university in Ho Chi Minh City and eventually scored a 600/990 on the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) exam.

Thu then decided to apply to Hanoi University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the age of 60, after which she began teaching children at local language centers and elementary schools.

Thu now waits if either of her applications to study French and piano at Van Hien University is accepted.

Dao Thi Thu practices piano at Van Hien University in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: M. G. / Tuoi Tre

Dao Thi Thu practices on the piano at Van Hien University in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: M. G. / Tuoi Tre

Her educational efforts now serve as inspiration for those around her.

“She sets her heart to what she’s doing, which not many young people today are able to do,” said Huynh Hoang Co, dean of the art department at Van Hien University.

Van Hien University provides tuition fee discounts of up to 20 percent for students aged 22 to 61, and awards full scholarships to those over 61 years old.

Dao Thi Thu’s high school diploma. Photo: M. G. / Tuoi Tre

Dao Thi Thu’s high school diploma. Photo: M. G. / Tuoi Tre

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