Prepared by Naomi Ahmad, Volunteer, Global Hamilton Connect.
Phuong Hoang moved from Vietnam to Canada last year. She is now completing her masters at McMaster University, volunteering in the community, and slowly making Hamilton her home. Here is Phuong’s Hamilton story.
“After working for over five years as a college lecturer in Vietnam, I felt like I needed to take a step forward in personal and professional development. I got the opportunity to join the masters program in Communications and New Media at McMaster University and am now completing my research. Before moving to Hamilton, I only thought of the city as a smaller version of Toronto. However, I gradually discovered lovely parts of Hamilton that the big city cannot offer.
When I first moved here, my biggest challenge was that I didn’t know anybody. However, I didn’t expect to get so much help from everyone either! My professors, new friends, the McMaster community and its extensive alumni network have given me many chances to establish my life and connect with others. I have made many wonderful friends in Hamilton. When I have free time, there is nothing I love more than going out for a walk, bubble tea or movie with friends.
Hamilton provides international students with useful resources that they can rely on and thrive on. Participate in activities and you will soon find this place your home. Right now, I am getting involved in volunteering opportunities in Hamilton, hoping to understand more about our community.
My advice for international students is to reach out. Sometimes you are afraid to ask for help, but you never know how much help you may receive. Get to know as many new people as you can, you will learn and grow.
After graduation, I would like to work in the fields of communication and media, or education and non-profits. I also have a passion for learning about new cultures and people. I have travelled to 25 countries and I hope to travel to as many countries as my age.”