National Cheng Kung University
Tran Thi Lan
Tran Thi Lan from Vietnam was studying in the Department of Linguistics at Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Acquainted with a professor who research on Vietnamese studies, also wanting to understand the current situation and trend of Vietnamese language teaching in Taiwan, coupled with a strong interest in Taiwanese culture, Tran Thi Lan followed the advice of a teacher in National Cheng Kung University and applied for a scholarship to study Masters in Taiwanese Literature at National Cheng Kung University. Tran Thi Lan conducted a comparative study of Taiwanese-Vietnamese language and culture and related issues of the teaching of Vietnamese in Taiwan.
During the three years of studying for a master’s degree at National Cheng Kung University, it was as exciting as it was difficult for Tran Thi Lan, but she admits that she still misses the bittersweet days.
When she first came to Taiwan, Tran Thi Lan’s Chinese ability still had a lot of room for improvement, the life in Taiwan, the culture and the campus life very unfamiliar for her. But Tran Thi Lan had come to Tainan, which she is met by warmth and friendliness. Tran Thi Lan said: “Teachers and classmates have taken special care of me. I have classmates assisting me in selecting courses, ordering books, and class reports. There is the Vietnamese Students Association in NCKU, they assists freshmen, and holds a cultural week every year to promote Vietnamese culture. I still miss the foreign students from different countries practicing singing and dancing every night in the student activity center.”
After graduating with her master’s degree, Tran Thi Lan received a scholarship from the Taiwan Ministry of Education to further continue her doctoral program. At this time, many universities have begun to offer Southeast Asian language courses, and the Taiwanese government started to pay attention to the promotion of language learning for new residents. Tran Thi Lan hopes to apply what she has learned in Taiwan and contribute to the development of Vietnamese language teaching in Taiwan. Therefore, during the doctoral program, Tran Thi Lan was very serious and was actively involved in educational cooperation projects between Taiwan and Vietnam, such as research projects, academic seminars, book publications, and university exhibitions. At the same time, because of her experience in teaching the Vietnamese language, Tran Thi Lan also took the position as a lecturer in the New Resident Language Teacher Training Course of the K-12 Education Administration. This allowed Tran Thi Lan to better understand Taiwan’s emphasis on Southeast Asian languages and also helped Tran Thi Lan collect valuable literatures that helped her complete her doctoral dissertation.
After graduation, Tran Thi Lan found her dream job, she is now working as a full-time assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature of the National University of Kaohsiung. Other than teaching and research, she was given an important role to promote Taiwan-Vietnam educational and cultural exchanges, lead school students to exchange in Vietnam, promote Taiwan’s high-quality higher education, and this has won her a number of honors from the Ministry of Education. While serving as a faculty member, Tran Thi Lan also actively participates in domestic Vietnamese-related businesses such as the evaluation of Vietnamese national examinations (competitions), the compilation of teaching materials for new residents of the Ministry of Education and other agencies, teacher training, and assisting the Taiwanese government in promoting the New Southbound Policy.
In 2020, Tran Thi Lan passed the review by the Ministry of the Interior for ” Standards for Defining High-Level Professionals for Naturalization “, obtaining the nationality of the Republic of China. She is the first one who passed this standard to naturalization by Vietnamese language teaching. At first, Tran Thi Lan only came to Taiwan to study, and now she has become a Taiwanese. With this, Tran Thi Lan said: “Taiwan has become my second home. I want to express my gratitude to National Cheng Kung University for giving me the opportunity to go to Taiwan to complete my studies, also I appreciate the two instructors in master’s degree and doctoral degree for giving me guidance, advice and encouragement to keep me working hard, and help me find such a great job now, and to continue to contribute to the education cooperation between Taiwan and Vietnam.”