Exchange student is the inspiration to a lot of generation of talented people and it is also the very first topic that ISTEP Project wants to introduce to next energetic generation.

On Sunday, 22/10/2017, “Fly Outside Your Comfort Zone” event has been successfully organized by ISTEP Project. With the ultimate aim to encourage student joining in available exchange programs at Hanoi Medical University (HMU), ISTEP members have worked consecutively to hold this event and invite speakers who were exchange students to share their experience. Nearly 150 medical students from junior to senior in different departments have taken part in. It is also an honor for ISTEP Project to have Ms. Luong Thi Bich Phuong, the deputation of Uppsala University in Vietnam as a special guest.

1. Students focused on speakers.

The event was cozy and full of sense of humor with the appearance of four speakers who were student or former students in HMU. They were Pham Thanh Tung .MPH, Nguyen Van Hung .MSc, Resident Nguyen Thi Huyen Anh and Ms. Nguyen Thi Hương – six-year student of HMU.

Please access the link below for our speakers’ profiles: or on Facebook page of ISTEP (Vietnamese):

Mr. Nguyen Phuc Binh, chief of ISTEP steering committee started the event with a 5-minute presentation introducing ISTEP Project to HMU students in two aspects: helping International students and helping HMU students in HMU Exchange programs.

2. Mr. Nguyen Phuc Binh – chief of ISTEP steering committee, introduced ISTEP project.

After a brief introduction about ISTEP of Mr. Binh, Mr. Le Cong Minh, organizing committee president of the event presented the result of the pre-event survey which was launched in September. Based on the result, it was clear that student in HMU had to face a lot of difficulties when they tried to participate in an exchange program and this situation was the motivation for him and the project to organize this event.  He also indicated that the main purpose of this event was not only to introduce exchange students programs at Hanoi Medical University but also to inspire students to “Fly outside their comfort zone”.

3. Mr. Le Cong Minh - organizing committee president, talked about the motivation and the purpose of the event.

The first speaker was Ms. Nguyen Thi Huyen Anh, a Resident specialized in Obstetrics. She shared the story behind the establishment of ISTEP and talked about her exchange program in Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and also in Japan. She told that after the period studying with new teaching method, new friends with professional manner, she changed herself a lot to complete a person who has such a successful six-year.  After the trip, she also had the ability to manage time effectively and the temptation in Obstetrics had risen in her since then. When her friends had not found a way for the future, she had a life-change-decision which is focusing on studying obstetrics. And with an enthusiastic presentation, that Resident helped all students in the lecture hall had a concept of the way to find their passion.

4. Resident in Obstetrics Nguyen Thi Huyen Anh shared her experience in Sweden and Japan.

The next presentation belonged to Hung Van Nguyen, MD and Master in Oncology – Hanoi Medical University, who sailed through the graduation exams with incredible results – a triple 10.  The presentation told the story about his student exchange program at the University of Sydney which was sponsored by Hoc Mai Foundation, from the day he knew about this short-term scholarship to the day he flew to Australia and had a chance to study and socialize with Professors, Doctors and students from diverse background. All of these experiences had transformed him. He was not just a student with brilliant academic performance and good English but also a person with comprehensive viewpoint and longstanding ambition in enhancing the quality of the health system of Vietnam.

5. Nguyen Van Hung MD, MSC inspired students by his story.

Between the long representations, all students had the opportunity to take part in a mini-game with several questions about ISTEP and the two previous speakers. Each person who had the right answer got a present from the Organization Board.

The third speaker to hold a representation was Tung Thanh Pham, MD, MPH. He was the first student in Vietnam to receive the full scholarships from three famous medical universities in the field of Oncology Preventive Medicine: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (US), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (US) and Karolinska Institutet (Sweden). One of the most crucial factors contributing to this spectacular success was his student exchange in 2012 in Sweden. What imprinted deeply in his mind after the 10-week study tour in Karolinska Institutet was a reservoir of knowledge about Oncology Preventive Medicine. He always kept in mind various burning questions about the quality of Oncology Preventive Medicine in Vietnam: why to apply treatments but preventions? Thus, he decided to pursue his passion for this challenging field and has reached numerous successes. Through his enthusiastic talk, many students had come to realize the pivotal role of student exchange in boosting themselves in studying and figuring out their own proper orientation.

6. Phạm Thanh Tùng MD, MPH – an idol of thousands of HMU students.

The final speaker of the event is Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, who is in her sixth year of doctoral degree at Hanoi Medical University. She is the second student from Hanoi Medical University to earn the UGRAD Scholarship - a scholarship conducted by World Learning. By sharing her own story, she helped the audiences understand the process of applying for UGRAD Scholarship, which many students haven’t heard of, and inspired them to learn English. Ashamed of and motivated by seeing her peers excelled at English, she learned the language on her own, got an American Center scholarship and then won the UGRAD scholarship, the one that was registered by 22,000 students in 2017.

7. Ms. Nguyen Thi Hương – an enthusiastic student.

8. Ms. Luong Thi Bich Phuong also had a short talk about UPPSALA University and modern style of working in Sweden.

The final part of the event is a talk show between students and speakers. Many questions were raised for all four speakers, who have traveled to Australia, Japan and Sweden, on how to successfully register for a competitive scholarship such as UGRAD and on English learning experience. Conversations between the speakers as well as between the speakers and the audience were so energetic and cheerful that everyone in the hall was excited. After the talk show, the best question was chosen by the speakers and the owner of that question received a very meaningful gift, which was a notebook with the signatures of four speakers.

9. An interesting talk show.

The event ended at 18 o`clock, closing the 4 hours of joy and full of interesting information. After this event, ISTEP Project hopes that we have inspired students to discover this mysterious world.

If you still have questions for the speakers, please contact the fan page of the project at We will help answer all of your questions in the shortest amount of time.

The ISTEP project will continue organizing events, not only to help individual students from Vietnam and international students but also to bring students closer and closer to each other. Please follow the next activities of the project at our fan page.

You can click here to view all the slides in the program.

The speeches will also be posted on the Youtube channel of the FSH Science Research Group, so remember to register and watch here: