Olympians' experiences of studying in the USA: "From an introvert person, I am confident to go to national wrestling championship."

09 June, 2023

The last year of high school in the United States has helped Truong Ly Tuan Long and Truong Thi Thao Anh grow up with many new experiences, helping them to be ready to enter a new world in university. 


The final school year of Olympia's US Diploma Program always makes Olympians feel excited. With the 3+1 model, students enrolled in the US Diploma Program will have the golden opportunity to study a full year of grade 12 at Marianapolis School in Connecticut, USA. In a new learning environment, exposed to diverse cultures and challenges of living far away from home, students will surely have more experiences of becoming. 


Truong Ly Tuan Long and Truong Thi Thao Anh are trying to fully enjoy their meaningful time at Marianapolis School with only 3 months left before moving on to further their plans at university. A year in Marianapolis has helped them gain new knowledge, perfect their skills to continue their higher education and better visualize their future path with concrete goals. 


High-quality international education environment

Educational program on the East Coast of the United States is always highly regarded; moreover, Marianapolis School in Connecticut is one of the top 3 high schools in the state. Therefore, Tuan Long and Thao Anh are both very satisfied with their educational experiences in the United States. 


"What I like most about Marianapolis is the subjects variety, from marketing, business to sociology. When I first studied sociology, everything was new and completely strange since I didn't know about this subject before. However, after studying this course, I am especially interested in sociology because this subject has really changed my perspectives on people, cultures and helped me understand more about how we interact and communicate in our life," Tuan Long shared. Additionally, he is also interested in business. At the final exam, Tuan Long made a 17-page business plan. The practical form of learning, focusing on real-world problems, helps Long find the subject more interesting and applicable. 


Tuan Long (on the left in below row) in the Autumn concert with "Falling for you" theme


AP (Advanced Placement) program in the US allows students to challenge themselves with new and more difficult subjects. Thao Anh is choosing AP classes in Psychology and Fine Arts, which she has never been exposed to.  

"In fact, the more difficult the subject is, the more interested I am in it. The project I enjoyed the most was when we recorded videos related to "Rewards and Punishments" in our real life, based on what I had experienced." 


Alongside the diverse study schedules and 100% of the learning programs taught in English, the modern educational methods also help Tuan Long and Thao Anh acquire their knowledge much more effectively. 


With the intention of continuing to study in the US for university, both Olympians have a strong belief that spending the final year in the USA is very important for them to better understand the school’s philosophy and methodologies. Long said he had to be very proactive with learning when teachers are serious about deadlines; however, they are very enthusiastic to support students. 


Teachers are very friendly and take the initiative to talk to students. During the class, the lecturers are very serious; however, they are comfortable outside the class. The relationship between teachers and students is based on the principle of respect but not constraints," Thao Anh shared. 


Perfecting skills and personality 

A year in the USA not only assists students to achieve the knowledge and be ready for their higher education but is also an opportunity to improve their skills, expand their worldview when interacting with a lot of students from different countries. The chance to participate in various extracurricular activities and experiential programs has left a deep impression on two Olympians. 


The professionalism in various extracurricular activities is what impresses me the most. I really love sports; therefore, I joined the school's soccer team when I came here. We not only have our own uniforms but can also join big sports companies with highly qualified coaches in big stadiums. Every week we play 2-3 football matches, some of which are played far away from school. I feel like a real player when everything is very organized and methodical," Tuan Long excitedly said. 


From Thao Anh’s perspective, from an introverted and quiet student, she is now much more confident both on the dancing stage and in the wrestling ring. Having never been exposed to wrestling in Vietnam, she has confidently competed in regional and national tournaments in the USA. In just about six months in the USA, this Olympian has gained a lot of experiences competing in the EIL Wrestling Tournament, the New England Prep Wrestling Championship or the 2023 Nationals Prep Wrestling championship. 


Thao Anh with her coach in wrestling in Marianapolis


"I have always been an introvert person, who faces certain obstacles when communicating with new people. Therefore, I was quite shy at first since English is not my first language; however, after a few months of talking with friends and teachers, I have become much more confident when communicating and getting to know new friends from Korea and Mexico. I also regularly share about my life in Vietnam to help them better understand my country," Thao Anh shared. 


Therefore, a year in the USA far away from family and friends has helped Tuan Long and Thao Anh become much more independent. "In Vietnam, I was tightly managed by my parents, while in the US, I am on my own, taking care of myself. Therefore, I need to find ways to adapt to the learning jouney and all personal things in the student life. Having only been in the U.S. for just over 6 months, I feel much more independent and mature." 


Future plans



Currently, Tuan Long and Thao Anh are in the process of choosing a suitable university as both of them have received various offers from many universities in the USA. The career-oriented program at Marianapolis has supported two Olympians to complete the crucial documents to apply to the universities. 


Two Olympians have been very proud to receive offers from good  universities in the United States. While Thao Anh has received offers from Belmont University, University of Delaware, and Indian University Bloomington, while Tuan Long is also excited about the offers from Umass Boston, University of Utah, Depaul University, University of Illinois Chicago and Florida University. 


To prepare for the graduation ceremony and to be ready for university, both of us really want to enjoy their meaningful time at MarianapolisThao Anh shared. 


"Choosing the US Diploma Program with one year of study at Marianapolis has changed me a lot. Not only can we improve academic abilities, a year of studying in the US is a solid springboard to help me hone crucial skills and mentality to become a global citizen, expand my worldview when stepping out into the big world. Going far away from home is also a way for me to comprehend myself and constantly improve day by day." 


Related post