20-year-old Tai had a rough start in life growing up in a Hanoi slum, but has worked hard and made the most of every opportunity – including a fully-paid scholarship to study English in Australia thanks to the Langports Foundation.
Tai has just touched down in Hanoi after spending a year taking English classes at Langports Brisbane (Australia), 25 hours a week. When Tai left Vietnam he could communicate in basic English. But now, as he enters the room with boosted confidence, he is cracking jokes in English as he catches up with everyone he missed while he was away.
As part of the scholarship, Tai lived for six months with a host family, and six months in student accommodation where he learnt basic living skills. Tai said: “I really learnt about independent living by doing my own washing and cooking – I tried to recreate Vietnamese food, but it just wasn’t the same as in Vietnam! I also learnt how to face and confidently deal with any challenges that came my way. I think this is a very useful skill that will help me in future.”
Blue Dragon has been a part of Tai’s life since he was 10 years old. We have watched him grow from a young boy into a competent and confident young adult. Tai was able to use his leadership and communication skills he learnt from being part of the hip hop and drama classes at Blue Dragon to immerse himself in extracurricular activities at Langports.
Alongside people from all over the world, Tai learnt touch rugby, honed his table tennis skills, and even choreographed and led a 15-people dance performance to win an inter school competition. As Tai reflects, these were some of his favourite moments, working together with like-minded people to create something from scratch, and perform in front of a crowd.
Going to Australia changed Tai in many ways. Not only by expanding his English language ability, but it gave Tai the opportunity to see things from another perspective, and open his mind. During the year, Tai could take a step back from his responsibilities in Vietnam, take the time to discover his own passions, and realise that pursuing his own dream is possible!
Now Tai is back in Vietnam he talks about going to university to study media and entertainment. “I love the creative process of organising events and working with people, and I want to be a part of that industry! Having a high level of English has opened up so many more opportunities for me.”
“I just want to say a huge thanks to Langports. Thank you for providing this opportunity for people like me that would otherwise not have the chance. This experience has given me the tools I need to build a better life for myself.”
You can learn more about Tai’s life growing up in this video