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Van Duc Nguyen

Michelle smiling outside

Home Country: Vietnam
Major/Minor: International Business & Political Science
Graduation: May 2017

Why did you choose JMU?

This is the fourth year I have been in the US and I have been living in Virginia since the beginning. I went to a military school called Randolph Macon Academy in the last three years. I have been heard a lot about JMU since three of my good friends from military school are now attending there. I took a look at the website and the application process, everything was there and whenever I have a question, I got a quick reply from the school. That is a plus in the busy application process. When I was a little kid, I always thought of being a businessman and guess what? JMU College of Business is ranked in top 30th, I knew right of that moment, JMU is my top choice.

What is your favorite class?

COB 191 (business statistics) taught by Dr. Jeffrey May is my favorite class. He is a nice guy who has big knowledge about life. He shares with us what he knows, what he has been through and he breaks the ice between at the beginning of the semester by telling what he has done in the past and . He cares a lot about his students a lot and always asks us to come to his office hours. Statistics is an interesting field, he taught us everything in Excel and data, which makes me realize how much a computer can do.

Besides studying, how do you occupy your time?

I always have two hours (7:30-9:30pm) of studying for every night. Mostly I have morning classes so in the afternoon, I usually go to UREC for the gym or basketball and soccer. On the weekend, I always go to my friends' houses to cook and play video games like FIFA or PES. Also clubs and organizations are big parts of JMU, they have on and off-campus events that are very interesting, so I do enjoy going and making friends with people I don't know before.

What clubs/activities are you involved with at JMU?

I am currently appointed as technician in International Student Association (ISA), in which there are a lot of students who come across the world with different cultures in countries that you could ever know. Additionally, it is really interesting for me to be also a part of Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) where I can enjoy flag football with my friends and we have just won the Turkey Bowl championship this year. On the other hand, I'm also a part of a Vietnamese soccer men and coed teams to participate in the soccer league held by the school.

What do you like best about JMU?

It's hard to say anything I like the most at JMU; I basically love everything here, from the weather to the classroom, inside and outside. The only thing I could think of is the spirit of every JMU student whenever they go out; they always remember the code of a Duke "JMMUUU Dukesssssss". The spirit is just flawless in whatever way you could describe it. Students become friends; friends make families. A Dukes Family.

What advice would you give to international students who are considering studying at JMU?

When I first came to the United States, I was a little shy boy who is nervous about everything. My English skills, my culture and my characters because I didn't know I would be fit in a different society other than in Vietnam. The first time I came to an organization's meeting, it changed my mind completely. People actually care about what I'm doing, they have been in the same situation as I was before, but they step up, go out and speak themselves up. Every mistake complete you better than who you were yesterday. So speak for yourself, join club and organization that you think you will fit in like I did.