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Advice from alumni: Tom Nguyen

Tom Nguyen, from Vietnam, graduated from the New York campus in 2014 and is currently studying at Parsons School of Design in New York. Learn more about our featured alum:

Why did you choose to go to EF Academy?

It was actually quite a spontaneous decision. My mom was asking me if I wanted to go abroad and EF Academy was actually the first option that came up because it is well advertised and a trusted institution. I thought, “Why not?” and went for it and I am very happy that I did so!

What university did you go to afterwards? What did you study and why?

I am currently studying at Parsons School of Design in New York, which is a one of the top design school in the U.S. My major is communication design, which entails a lot of design in the space of advertising and branding. I think the coolest project that I have done up to this day is designing a magazine from scratch.

I chose to study communication design because I have always liked art and design. However, I also liked biology. In the end, design was more attractive to me. I was also very lucky to have the support of my parents.

Tips for current students that want to study what you study?

Take the opportunity at EF Academy to experiment a lot, that is the only way to find out what you really like. I tried and liked so many different things at EF Academy before I found my passion.

Do you keep in touch with your EF Academy classmates?

Definitely, the friendships I created are the best parts of my EF Academy experience. Last year, I went to Mexico and visited my old friends (Shout out to Fernanda and Lucia). They showed me around and I really got to experience things only locals would get to experience.

What’s your favorite memory from EF Academy?

Definitely the Drama Club! Each production took a semester, so there was so much effort and time that went into them. Everyone involved in the productions really bonded with one another. My first drama show was Treasure Island and then we went on to do Footloose and the House of Horror.

What do you miss the most?

The friends and the teachers, for sure!

What is one thing that you learned from EF Academy that you found valuable for university? For work life? For your personal life?

Open-mindedness: The fact that I was exposed to people from so many different cultures at EF Academy made me very aware of different perspectives. I personally really appreciate that all these cultures exist. This is something I try to make use of in my designs as well: I always try to consider from different perspectives when I’m deciding how best to design something.

What tips do you have for current students?

Be active and sign up for activities because high school is a great time to experiment. Do not be afraid of making mistakes because that is when you learn the most.

Who is the most successful alum that you know of?

Anja Trenkwalder – A German student who graduated a year before me and is now studying business at the Washington College in Maryland.

Arthur Yeremenko– A student from Kazakhstan who is now studying Computer Science at UC Berkley. He is really inspiring as he travels everywhere and can always tell you a “Wow-story.”

Short questions:

Name: Tom Nguyen

Age:  19

Nationality:  Vietnamese

How many languages do you speak? Vietnamese, English

EF Academy campus: NYC

Graduation years: 2014

Program: IB

Residence or host family: Residence, old building

Favorite subject: Art and biology

Favorite teacher:

Stephen Fleming – biology teacher

Jessica Eddis – art teacher

Giovanni Villari – drama

Ginny Borton – drama

Oscar Jimenez – languages

Favorite club / society: Drama Club – best thing that happened to me at EF Academy. We were like a family and performed for the whole school. It was really fun!

Which is the next country you want to visit? 

Scandinavia e.g. Sweden and Denmark: These countries are design hubs.

Shouts outs to:

  • Class of 2014
  • Ohana family
  • The Russian Family
  • First Floor Lugari
  • Ms. Jessica Eddis, Mr. Stephen Fleming, Mr. Villari, Mrs.Borton, Oscar

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