Tan Duc Nguyen did his bachelor degree on aquaculture at a university in Vietnam before working in the industry for several years.

‘I worked for a brood stock farm, an aquaculture chemical company, a feed supplier, an international consultancy company and a rural development project, but I decided that I really needed to pursue further studies abroad to improve my academic knowledge of the field.’

For his honours project as part of the University of Tasmania’s Master of Applied Science (Marine Environment) (Honours) degree Tan Duc was looking at the nutrition of post larvae tiger prawn. ‘I would like to try and find a suitable alternative to pelleted feed by comparing growth rates and food consumption. ‘

‘I didn’t intend to apply for an AusAid scholarship but, because Australia leads the field in aquaculture education, my friends encouraged me to apply.’

Tan Duc completed the Introductory Academic Program at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) in Hobart when he first arrived and found that this has proven to be very useful for his future studies. Studying at UTAS has definitely also exceeded his expectations.  ‘I came here thinking I would just get general knowledge, but I’ve gotten far more than that. I have been given a very deep understanding, not only about aquaculture, but also in farm management and policy.’

‘When I first came to Australia I was very nervous because I had never studied overseas before. My first class at UTAS was an amazing experience. The lecturers are so open and friendly and treat students as equals, and I think that is awesome.’

‘The aquaculture facilities are quite good, with very modern technology. The on-site technical staff are very friendly and have been a great help to me during my honours.’

‘Apart from the quality education that I have received here, the best thing about living in Tasmania is the lifestyle. There are plenty of opportunities to socialise, both on and off campus. I enjoy watching football matches, using the Unigym and attending student barbecues.’

Tan Duc took part in the Homestay Program and lived with a friendly Australian family. He also enjoyed getting together with a group of his Vietnamese friends on the weekend. ‘We would cook traditional food – finding most of the ingredients we needed here – and chat about our home towns. Having an outlet like this has helped me to settle in.’

He also enjoyed travelling around the State of Tasmania. Bushwalking on the East Coast, and seeing snow for the first time ever at Cradle Mountain in winter. ‘That was awesome.’

As part of his AusAid contract he was required to go back to Vietnam and share his knowledge with the community. ‘I think that the best way that I can do that is by becoming a lecturer at a college or university.’

‘In general aquaculture is quite developed in my country, especially in South Vietnam near the Mekong Delta where I live, but there is always more to learn.’

‘Having a good grasp of English will allow me to access new facts about the industry and pass them on to the next generation. There are always more books with more information – hopefully I can teach people to seek it out for themselves.’

To find out more about further studies in aquaculture see our Master of Applied Science (Marine Environment) (Honours) degree.