Vietnamese students abroad return in droves to start career hinh anh 1The opening ceremony of ‘Study Abroad in France Fair: Palez-moi de la France’ organised by the Vietnam Students Association in France (UEVF) and University of Transport Technology. (Photo:
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Nguyen Dang Khoa, who studied hospitality management in Switzerland, told Vietnam News he saw Vietnam as a country with great potential for his industry as it integrates with the world economy.

As a person born and brought up in Ho Chi Minh City, he loves it deeply.

So, after finishing his degree, returning to Vietnam instead of staying in Switzerland and starting a career there was a no-brainer for him.

Nguyen Quang Trung, who studied international business and management at Dickinson College in the US’s Pennsylvania State, also chose to return home after finishing his degree.

His decision was based on the fact that in recent years Vietnam has become one of the leading countries in Southeast Asia in economic and other terms. Seeing this as a chance to make a career right in his hometown, he took it and returned as well.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam started to receive a large number of people who studied abroad coming back to work, some out of love for their country, and others for other reasons.

Vietnam has lots of jobs to offer returnees especially after signing a clutch of international trade deals such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The country is also a member of organisations like the World Trade Organisation and ASEAN. 

Nguyen Hieu Duc Duy, a student at RMIT in Australia, said returning to Vietnam was not actually a part of his plan. 

He was studying abroad when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. As the situation worsened by the day and borders started to close, he made the choice to return to Vietnam to lessen his family’s burden since he was relying on money from home for his expenses in Australia.

He did want to return and continue studying in Australia and build his life there, but gradually began to give up the idea after looking back at his experiences in both countries.  

Though staying there and studying did broaden his mind in many ways, he did not feel as comfortable as in Vietnam due to the cultural differences he faced in Australia. He then chose to transfer his degree to RMIT in HCM City.

Duy said he also took into consideration whether his major, IT, would help him have a career in this country. It did especially since he found a niche sector, cybersecurity, that Vietnam has begun to focus on in recent years to improve its internet protection system.

“Vietnam’s cybersecurity market right now is relatively new. But because it is new, it also has a lot of opportunities for me to explore its strengths and weaknesses and gather experience.”

So, what is in it for students studying in Vietnam as the wave of students coming back from abroad grows stronger by the day? Will they be able to compete with these students for their dream jobs?

Students who study abroad do have an advantage in that they get much more practical experience than do students in Vietnam. Syllabuses in Vietnamese universities are sometimes old and do not provide what the world requires. 

However, students studying in Vietnam also have some advantages: They have a better understanding of careers in Vietnam than people who return from abroad and are quick to pick up the latest job trends and ease their way into them.

Vietnamese universities have in recent years increasingly enabled their students to practically experience more of what they have been studying such as by linking up with foreign universities to create short-term study programmes. 

They include an economics degree set up by the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics and Western Sydney University (Australia) and Chinese literature degree by the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanity and Guangxi University (China).  

They are also tying up with companies for internships for their students to acquire practical experience and try out the knowledge they acquire at school.

But if Vietnamese universities want to improve the quality of their graduates, the way to go about is by reforming their syllabuses to suit what the world currently needs and focus on soft skills that would benefit their students in their jobs later on./.