The journey to coveted John Hopkins University of Olympian Nguyen Ba Viet Dung
30 September, 2021
Among top 15 colleges in the world and top 9 American colleges, John Hopkins University only admitted 15 Vietnamese students in 2019. Despite the slim chance, Nguyen Ba Viet Dung, an Olympian 12th grader, has managed to get an offer letter for Fall 2021.
From the dream to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to John Hopkins
“I considered applying for international colleges since I was at grade 8. My mother, Ms. Tam Hien and Ms. My Linh guided me, referred many activities, and supported me in preparing application. My subject teachers helped me overcome any difficulties in any subject. My school advisors followed me through the journey to ensure that I stayed on track and took part in many extracurricular activities. I am grateful for UCC staff, who supported me to prepare for the application, introduced college options, and made sure that my application had good quality.”
“Dung used to be the youngest debater in a competition in Indonesia. He was at grade 7, joining the extended competition along with many college students. In subsequent years, he took part in many local and international debate competitions and achieved excellent prizes such as best speaker in the second extended Hanoi competition and representative from Vietnam to compete with others from Malaysia, Croatia, and Indonesia. He made great efforts in both academic and extracurricular performance not just to have a strong application but to prepare for the upcoming challenging stage.”
Persistent pursuit of the goal
“The most important success factor to get into John Hopkins is a long-term plan, even up to years, for such a critical task as application preparation. The application not only requires essays but also standardized test results, outstanding academic record, and focused extracurricular activities.”
“Do not procrastinate. After accumulating all test results and extracurricular record, spend time on preparing the application. Recommendation letter or personal essay seem effortless but very complex and challenging indeed. If I were to submit my application again, I would do all these tasks much earlier than the deadline.
One of the biggest challenge to many students is no clarity in their plan. In the last month before the deadline, I rushed to preparing application, writing essay and asking for recommendation letter. This caused much trouble for my teachers but they still helped me meet the deadline, so I would like to thank UCC, Ms. My Linh, and Ms. Khanh. In the last week before deadline, I had to stay late to complete my personal essays, extracurricular record and special essays required by each college. I was very stressful at that time and as a result, I found out some mistakes that should not be there after I submitted my application.”
“Olympia is the second family that believes in him, allows him to fail, and offers him chance to bounce back. Our belief in him cannot be found anywhere other than Olympia.”