The University of Winnipeg



UWinnipeg Collegiate student receives International Scholar Award

UWinnipeg's international student Collegiate student,from Vietnam Pham Tran Phu, wears a white t-shirt and stands against a stone backdrop in Leatherdale Hall.

UWinnipeg Collegiate student Pham Tran Phu An has been awarded a lucrative University of Toronto International Scholar Award, valued at up to $225,000.

University of Winnipeg Collegiate student Pham Tran Phu An has been awarded the University of Toronto International Scholar Award, valued at $180,000 for four years of study or $225,000 for a five-year direct entry undergraduate degree program.

Tran arrived in Winnipeg from Vietnam, alone, this past September in search of a better education. He found what he was searching for at UWinnipeg Collegiate. Since his arrival, Tran has made an impact on his colleagues and teachers, and earned himself a lucrative scholarship to attend the University of Toronto.

Every day I feel like I am learning something new, which motivates me to do better.

Pham Tran Phu An

Dedicated to his studies and the pursuit of a good education, growing up in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City, Tran did not find the support and the encouragement he needed to grow as a student. However, there was a turning point in his life when he met Ms. Lan, his Grade 9 literature teacher.

Lan had a passion and enthusiasm for her job and encouraged Tran to step out of his comfort zone and stretch his mind. She showed him how to be a better student and gave him the confidence to follow his dream for a better education.

“In Vietnam everything is different and the teaching style is very disappointing,” Tran said. “They don’t value research and they don’t value critical thought. But here at the Collegiate, my ideas are valued and are part of my learning process. Every day I feel like I am learning something new, which motivates me to do better.”

Tran enjoys all his classes at the Collegiate, but he favours history and English courses the most. His teachers enjoy his enthusiasm and curiosity.

“Tran has been a wonderful student in my Cinema as a Witness to Modern History course,” said teacher Jennifer Janzen. “He is quite knowledgeable regarding history and global events, is an excellent presenter, and his papers are a pleasure to read. I wish him the best of luck on his next adventure at the University of Toronto.”

Tran is also taking two English Language Arts (ELA) classes with Martha K. MacKinnon, who is known in the halls as Ms. Mack. All her classes are built around themes of culture and society, which Tran especially savours.

“Tran enjoys creative writing, poetry, and complex philosophical conversations,” said MacKinnon. “He’s able to consider life’s essential questions and challenge common stereotypes. Tran’s creative writing expresses ideas about what could be, if the world were a kinder place. It’s been a pleasure to teach him and hear his unique perspectives in class.”

Like the sports aphorism, Tran believes you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take, and he’s looking forward to taking a shot at the University of Toronto. Inspired by Ms. Lan’s fervor for telling stories, Tran is planning to focus on creative writing.

“I will continue my pursuit in finding a good education,” said Tran. “Although the journey might be filled with roadblocks and bumps, I will take any opportunity that is given to me and I look forward to this new challenge.”

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