Meeting the foreign colleagues at Van Lang University

(VLU, 09/05/2021) - Multicultural learning and working environments are common in many international universities in the world and this trend is gradually developing in Vietnamese universities. In recent years, VLU has welcomed many members from all over the world to work at Van Lang family.

Jennifer Baylon Verances – staff at International Cooperation and Scientific Research Department

Ms. Jennifer know about Van Lang University through an invitation to make a presentation for the Seminar "An Overview of International Research Studies in Making Headway to International Journal Publication" (29/06/2020) of the Faculty of Law.

After that chance, she stopped working as a lecturer at Cebu Technical University (Philippines) to become a staff in the International Cooperation and Scientific Research Department at VLU. For her, this is a new challenge after more than a year living in Vietnam. “What I love most is working with the people in my department. We work together and most of all, everyone has given me their best support so that I can complete my tasks in each project. In other words, we feel like a family”, she shared.

Elmer Ferrer Cierva – Lecturer of the Faculty of Commerce, in charge of Quality Management and Compliance for the international collaborative programs - International Education Institute  

Also from the Philippines, Mr. Elmer came to VLU as a Business English teacher. He shared that VLU brought closeness to the place where he lived and the opportunity to work with his beloved colleague. The modern space and structure of administrative building made him feel very comfortable. Besides, many exciting activities and a supportive culture were what he loved the most.

Talking about his memories during working here, he immediately remembered his birthday in September last year. At that time, he was still not an official hired at VLU, but the group of Business English lectures celebrated his birthday and congratulated him, making him really touched and feeling be appreciated.

From another perspective, Elmer's colleague, MA. Tran Nguyen Hai Ngan - Deputy Director of the International Education Institute shared: “In his work, Mr. Elmer is hard-working, friendly, generous and very professional. For students, he is not only diligent and dedicated but also very patient. Although he is a foreign teacher, he teaches slowly and repeatedly, helping low level students easily understand the lesson. Moreover, he has a good ability to control emotions, so he never gets angry with his students.

Talking with the lecturers of the Faculty of Foreign Languages

Mr. Trey Hash Donnie, from Kansas City, Missouri, USA, shared his feel after 9 months of working at VLU: “Teaching at Van Lang University has been one of the great pleasures in my life. My students are engaged and passionate about learning. I have generous and diligent colleagues, and a good working environment so I feel that VLU is not just a university, but an academic community”. For him, it is meaningful when he helps students confidently acquire knowledge about languages and cultures and witness their progress.


For more than 3 years living in Vietnam, Ms. Katharine Collins has taught English to adults at a language school. After that, she came to VLU to find a new and more interesting challenge. Now, she has enthusiastic colleagues and extremely active students. She participated in orientation sessions for students of courses 23, 24, 25 and met new students of class 26, leaving an impression on students with her sharing on many effective foreign language learning methods. She recalled: “It was my first time speaking in front of such a large audience and, although it was slightly out of my comfort zone, the students were amazing and cheered me on! It showed just how supportive and encouraging the environment here at VLU is”.


Another colleague at the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Mr. Jonathan Alcantara Illana also reminisced about the first day he came to VLU: “On March 26th of 2020 when I walked in the halls of Campus 1 to personally hand-in my documents to apply and met with Dr. Phan The Hung, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages. He had an interview and talked with me that day. After exactly three months, I signed my contract here and the joy is still overflowing.”

The first semester of 2020 marks his official work as a Lecturer, and so far he has not stopped accepting many changes to share with students his experience and knowledge about Language Education. Seeing students brave every second, every minute to speak English is a joy which motivates him to keep trying harder with this job.

He proudly affirms: “Van Lang University is a gift- truly a home. I am Jonathan Alcantara Illana, a Filipino. I am home at Van Lang University.”


There are many reasons for each individual to choose to accompany VLU, some people want to challenge themselves, other people are looking for something new and so on, but it is meaningful that everyone finds a connection with Van Lang community and have meaningful experiences in here. And each individual also contributed "own colors" to "colorful picture" of Van Lang University.


Gia Han

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