As an Asian American, growing up I spoke what I coined as “Chinglish”. Phrases like “wo zai zuo wo de homework” or “ni xiang chi shen me for lunch” were just thrown around without a second thought. It was not until I began studying Chinese in a classroom setting that I realized how dependent I’ve become to the fusion that I created. It was second nature for me to switch between the two languages. However, for proper communication, I know I have to master the two languages separately.

Another thing in my bucket list is to travel the world: I visited places like New Orleans, Boston, San Diego, Chicago, and New York City, but I’ve always wanted to travel on a global scale, which is why last summer I volunteered abroad in Poland. I taught English to Polish students and in return, they shared their culture with me. I love visiting new places, seeing new landmarks, eating their foods, and interacting with the locals. Which is why this summer, before my study abroad begins in Shanghai, I plan to visit Hong Kong.

I am going to be junior at the University of Texas at Austin this fall. Double majoring in Human Biology and Health & Society is not only a mouthful but also means a full schedule. It’s been really challenging to find the time for all my classes. Luckily, I love puzzles, and creating my academic schedule is like putting all the pieces together. A criterion for Health and Society is the foreign language requirement. Because language classes are typically more time intensive, it’s been hard to find a place for it within all my other classes and labs. Studying abroad over the summer not only allows me to get the credit I need to graduate but also truly learn the language in and outside the classroom setting.

Seeing as I want to become an ophthalmologist in the future, I have to see beyond just giving diagnoses and writing prescriptions. I have to understand my patients. I should be able to communicate efficiently with them, to understand their concerns, and have them listen to my recommendations. A language barrier can cause so much crucial information to be lost in translation. There’s also the cultural understanding: I have to have my patients best interest in mind. This includes knowing their preferences and comfort levels since they’re already in an uncomfortable situation because let’s admit it: no one actually enjoys going to the doctor.

By studying abroad, I not only get a grasp of the language, but I’m actually immersed in the culture. I will also be interning, which gives me a chance to peek into what could potentially be my future!


From the daytime chats to the nighttime shenanigans..

Angloville offered weekly English immersion camps for Polish students. It is incredible how close you can bond with the kids and other volunteers, who are also from all over the world. There are so many memories compacted in each camp, and I volunteered at seven camps that summer.


All a[boat] these cities

One of my New Year’s resolution is to visit 19 new places. (Can you guess why I chose the number 19?) So far, I have gone to New Orleans, Chicago, San Diego, Hong Kong, Macau, and Shanghai! Within each of these cities, I have seen so many cultural, historical, and social attractions that really share the story of that place.


Puzzle me this

Every time registration comes around, I become am twice as anxious as the average student. Not only do I have to worry about getting in the courses that I need, but I also need to be extra careful that the times of each class do not conflict. This becomes extremely challenging when scheduling labs because they are usually three to four hours on one day. A tip that I have is to take labs on Tuesdays or Thursdays because that reduces the chance of it conflicting with another day (versus MWF classes).


What starts here changes..

Please enjoy this picture of me from my junior year of high school, braces and all. I was a summer research intern at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. I was doing imaging analysis using the novel Spectral CT Machine in the Radiology department. A part of my research experience was sitting in on biweekly meetings where physicians and researchers would collaborate and discuss how to better interconnect the research and application aspects. This solidified by decision to enter the health care industry.


adVUONGture is out there

If you had not already realized, my last name is Vuong and I love puns; therefore, I combined these two to create the word ‘adVUONGture’. Feel free to check out this hashtag on Instagram and give me a follow (very subtle plug.. I know). I cannot wait for what is to come!