Student Huu Thien Nguyen traded two seasons in Vietnam for four in Sweden when he started studying the Master's programme Data Science at the University of Skövde. Now he studies and works full-time as Data Scientist, and competes in the Swedish Dance League. The most important thing he wants to send new students is "challenge yourself and never turn down an opportunity".
Huu Thien Nguyen grew up in the city of Da Nang in central Vietnam. He studied his Bachelor's degree in Informatics in Ho Chi Minh City and then worked for two years as Technical Specialist.
“It was an excellent foundation to obtain a scholarship to study in Sweden”, says Huu Thien Nguyen.
And he went to Sweden to study the Master's programme Data Science at the University of Skövde.
Why did you choose the University of Skövde?
“The short answer is that Sweden is one of the most prominent nations in data science and innovation. Skövde is also close to both Norway, Gothenburg and Copenhagen. It is a beneficial geographical location with a lot of potential for future career.”
And why Data Science?
“Data Science has unlimited potential. Regardless of your domain knowledge, you can apply it to the field.”
Huu Thien Nguyen first studied linguistics, but changed his mind and switched to IT instead.
“I wanted to try technology. And thanks to having also studied linguistics, I can apply it to data science and artificial intelligence, AI. When you are looking for a job in Data Science, there are many advantages to having multiple skills.”
Are there any differences between studying in Vietnam and studying in Sweden?
“Yes, it is a total change. Here you have to take the initiative to study yourself, mostly you invest in self-studies. Sweden has a "flat" social structure that is not so hierarchical. It is very easy to contact professors and ask them questions. In my home country, on the other hand, you always have to book meetings with teachers in advance and it is very difficult to ask professors questions. You also have to adapt to the climate in Sweden. In the south of Vietnam, we have two seasons, dry and rain. In Sweden there are more seasons and greater variety.”
So what was it like to come to a new country to study?
“It is a huge chance to explore my own potential. Everyone here values your talent. If you wish to suggest an innovative idea, people always listen to your recommendation. It is really easy to communicate.”
When Huu Thien Nguyen came to Sweden, he thought about what he would do in his spare time. Soon it was clear and he started a band.
“When you meet another person in Sweden, perhaps another student, there is a big chance that person can play an instrument.”
But a year ago, he switched from music to dance. At a dance school in Skövde, he started dancing rumba, samba, salsa, waltz and tango, and has now danced competitively in the Swedish Dance League.
“Who says an IT student and an engineering student can't dance? It's wonderful that when you come to another country you can try new things. In Skövde there are many different activities to try. But it's not so well advertised so you have to look some up yourself.”
Working and studying full time
Huu Thien Nguyen now also works as a Data Scientist in Gothenburg, while studying full-time. He sees no problem, and believes that it is only positive to practice organising and being adaptable.
“I like to challenge myself. I have seen students not reaching their goals because they say no to opportunities. I think it's important to be open-minded and step out of your comfort zone.”
People with knowledge in data science are highly sought after on the Swedish labor market. Huu Thien Nguyen therefore sees his future with positivity.
“A lot of businesses have come to me offering investment. But I want to get a PhD and I will consider who can best help me achieve that goal.”
What would you like to say to someone who is considering studying in Skövde?
“Live a random life and say yes to opportunities. Skövde is one of the best incubators for people with skills in data science, both in the professional or academic fields, so it's a great thing to come here.”
Read more about Data Science - Master's Programme