Dublin City University, EduCo in Ireland, International Education

MSc Bioprocess Engineering student Kim Anh Dang: Fulfilling a dream for a postgraduate education

Kim Anh Dang, an international student from Vietnam, chose Ireland as a study destination to fulfill her dream of a postgraduate education. With Ireland being the only English-speaking country in the European Union, Kim Anh endorses the country as her best option due to its excellent reputation for high-quality education, especially in the pharmacy and biotechnology fields.

“After a long search, I decided to apply at Dublin City University. I have heard about the university via the recommendation of an education consulting company. DCU’s good reputation, together with a program that offers a broad-based curriculum covering aspects of Bioprocess Engineering, sealed my decision,” Kim Anh says.

She extols the merits of her choice and adds that the university’s graduate program also provides “an advanced and up-to-date academic base in the major disciplines of bioprocess engineering and fosters a range of transferable skills across a full range of relevant subjects.”

Globally-savvy international student

Although she was born and raised in Vietnam, Kim Ann lived and studied in Moscow, Russia from 1991 to 2010. She completed her secondary education in 2005 and graduated with a Diploma with Distinction/Honours in Pharmaceutics at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU), formerly I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, in 2010. Kim says the path that she had taken further confirmed her interest in working in the pharmacy field.

After graduation, she returned to Vietnam to apply the knowledge and skills that she had acquired in Europe. Although born in Hanoi, her family decided to move to Ho Chi Minh City to be closer to Kim when she landed a prestigious job at the University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City (UMC HCMC).

“The hospital I have been working for is one of the most innovative, modern, state-of-the-art training hospitals for physicians and pharmacists and a prime hospital for patients across Southeast Asia,” she recalls with fondness.

Quest for further professional development

Fueled by her desire to broaden her knowledge and skills in her chosen career, Kim Anh decided to pursue her master’s degree abroad. After a careful consideration of potential study destinations, she chose Ireland. Her own research, in addition to the recommendation of an education counsellor, led her to apply at DCU to pursue her postgraduate degree – Master of Science in Bioprocess Engineering (MSBE).

It was an obvious choice. Dublin City University’s MSc in Bioprocess Engineering won the Postgraduate Course of the Year Award in Health Sciences at the gradireland Higher Education Awards 2017 for being “an excellent course with strong industry and inter-institutional collaborations.” The program was once again chosen by the judges in the recently-concluded 2019 Awards for the “great input from academic and industry experts, strong collaboration, blended learning and excellent external overview.”

Kim Anh recalls, “When I first came to Dublin, I was collected by nice DCU Student Ambassadors at the airport. Upon arrival on campus, the caring College Park Residents manager conducted me to my room.”

She describes the DCU campus as modern, compact and surrounded by many trees. She also notes that the lecturers and staff in DCU are very friendly and helpful. Thus far, she sums up her experience as full of joy.” 

She adds, “DCU has so many support groups, societies and sport facilities. It is not only good in providing sound advice when it comes to studying but it also helps to improve and maintain both the mental and physical well-being of its students.”

Kim Anh says that she has joined and enjoyed many interesting events organised by the International Office such as the Dublin Bus Tour, Causey Farm Trip and International Student BBQ. “In addition, I got the chance to make new friends,” she beams with pride.

On hobbies and taking long walks in Dublin weather

The weather in Dublin compared to Ho Chi Minh City according to Kim is “dramatically different” but after living in Moscow for almost two decades, she says she didn’t have any difficulty coping with the Irish climate. In fact, she points out that she has “been walking more these days than when I was in Vietnam.”

She also developed a passion for cooking as well as other interests while soaking in the charm of her new surroundings. “Western food was my favorite since childhood, hence I developed a habit of cooking various new dishes. I also enjoy exploring new places, traveling, learning new things, taking photographs and sharing my experiences via social media,” she relates enthusiastically.

Preparing for return to a premier hospital

In leaving Vietnam and her career temporarily, Kim Anh Dang says she’s very proud to have worked in such a professional environment as that of the University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City (UMC HCMC). “It constantly drives my passion for improving my professional competence and skills. I’m keen on studying bioprocess design and operations to develop my understanding of bioprocessing – the structures, roles and experimental methods associated with biopharmaceuticals, their analysis, production methods and technology for monitoring and control of bioprocesses.” She reveals, “I believe that a master’s degree in bioprocess engineering would help me a lot to provide the best service for patients at UMC HCMC when I come back to Vietnam after finishing my MSBE course.”

Excellent reputation for high-quality STEM programs

In general, Kim Anh’s impression of Ireland is that of a very beautiful and peaceful country full of cheerful people. But more importantly, the country has acquired an excellent reputation for high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs – the very reason that she decided to study in Ireland.

“Because of Ireland’s mandatory internship policy, it is an ideal place to improve my technical knowledge, academic achievement and practical skills that are crucial to my profession. Completing my MSBE will smoothen the path to my goals,” she concludes.

DCU’s Bioprocess Engineering program has an excellent reputation in the biopharmaceutical industry, with a number of companies such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Merck and BMS registering employees for the full or partial program.

Dublin City University is one of the partner institutions of EduCo in Ireland. For details regarding DCU’s academic programs, scholarships, intake schedules, fees, IELTS and other requirements, students and education agents may refer to the EduCo Course Finder.