Student Awards

2017 International Student of the Year

As she continues towards the final semester of her masters degree, we are proud to announce Thanh Huyen as the 2017 International Student of the Year. She says that Adelaide has inspired her. Well, we say that she has inspired us.

Winner: Thanh Huyen Le from Vietnam

Studying: Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics) at The University of Adelaide

With a steely focus on her studies, Huyen is working to provide a better future for her daughter back in Vietnam. We know that the sacrifice of this short time away will be worth it, as she sets such an excellent example of success for her daughter, Linh.

Through heavy assignments and an exhaustive study load, Huyen has overcome many challenges to achieve her high grades. She has also made beautiful friendships and immersed herself into her new home, the city of Adelaide that inspires her.

Tell us more about your life in Adelaide

I am here 100% for my studies, so that is my priority and I spend most of my time on that. But I do also find some time to explore my new home, which has inspired me so much. I like to go shopping with friends at the Adelaide Central Market, and I’ve enjoyed visits to Hahndorf and Glenelg.

How did you hear about the awards, and what made you get involved?

Not long after I arrived in Adelaide, the 2016 Student Awards were presented. I decided that I should set a goal to participate in the program the next year. The year went rather fast, and before I knew it, it was my turn to prepare an application. I am happy to be involved to show my pride in being a student here.

What’s been your biggest challenge while studying in Adelaide and how did you overcome it?

The differences between the education systems have been challenging for me. But I have worked hard to settle in and achieve in my studies, and I feel supported by my teachers, my friends and the Adelaide community.

Of course, I dearly miss my daughter and my family. But I know that this is the right thing for both of us. I am lucky to know she is safe and loved with my parents and family back home. There have been challenges, but I am lucky. I feel so supported by so many people, and I do appreciate that.

What made you choose Adelaide for your studies?

I chose Adelaide as I know that the education I will receive is world-class. I wanted to study with University of Adelaide in particular because it has a strong reputation and is part of the Group of Eight.

What advice would you give to students considering studying in Adelaide?

Any student who moves so far from home and family to study is strong, so I say use that strength. Be confident and believe in yourself. Have a plan of how you will study and thrive in a new environment. And make the most of the support available to you. It will be a fantastic new experience with warm and friendly people.

What’s next for you?

Before I came to Adelaide, I wasn’t entirely clear about my future, but my time here has helped me to decide on my plans which revolve around my family, my career and my community.

I want to care for my daughter to guide her through life and educate her to become a good person. I want to be a researcher and to teach English. I’m so inspired by my teachers here, and I want to be a skilled linguist. And I want to give back to my community to help people create brighter futures and follow the example of my friend, Nev, whose charity work I admire.


Huyen was also the winner in the Academic Excellence: Postgraduate Coursework category. Read more about Huyen’s academic success here.

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