Merali Scholarship has changed my life

On January 8, 2016

Dear Merali Foundation,

My name is Nguyen Thi Chi, graduated student of Vietnam National University – University of Engineering and Technology and one of 100 female students who received Merali Scholarship year 2011. Since receiving the scholarship, my life has changed a lot and this scholarship has an undeniable meaning to me.


Nguyen Thi Chi, Vietnam National University – University of Engineering and Technology

Before I went to university, my family was very poor. Our main income relied on 1000m2 of farmland. My father also raised hens to collect eggs for selling and my mother was a small trader. The income was only enough to cover my university expenses. That’s why I was very worry when I got into university.


Nguyen Thi Chi at Mid Autumn Celebrating Event in Thuc Nghiem High School

I lived in the university’s dorm to save money but eating outside was quite expensive. In the beginning, it was very difficult. I was in strategic mission education program which required learning foreign language in first year, buying a lot of books and changing textbooks every 6 weeks. My university expenses were even higher because of textbooks expenses. I was very worry.

^CA37511A16733C7AE3F773ADE6CE9248830800C7C4CDD855ED^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Nguyen Thi Chi in Female students’ club cultural exchange event

My roommate, Nguyen Thi Huong, told me about the application for poor female students’ scholarship program and encouraged me to apply with her. I thought it would be great if I got this scholarship to ease my difficulties. I still remember the time when I prepare my application. The form was in English but I barely understood because I only concentrated on learning Math, Physics and Chemistry to pass the university entrance exam. I remember there was a question regarding gender that I struggled with and none of my roommates knew how to fill in correctly. So instead of “female”, I wrote down “girl”. I may never forget that time. My happiest memory probably the moment I was informed that I received the scholarship. It was just like a dream come true. The amount of 40 million VND was too big, my parents may have to save for years to get that amount of money, yet it was given to me from someone I didn’t know.

^3B2A1DC0E4430384A2D34198A69AADEA11E040C19656864DDA^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Actively participate in activities organized by CED

I don’t know what to say other than I was a lucky girl. I was lucky to have my life changed so much since receiving the scholarship. The amount sent to me every month was used to cover my tuition fee and stationery, along with the money my parents sent me for everyday expenses, my financial difficulty was mostly solved. I told myself that I only had one mission which was to study hard and develop myself to deserve my parents’ hard work and the program’s assistance.

^22D7309393B663D8ACF13A4217ED965EC798FE3D013554FE6B^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Participate in activity at Women Museum organized by CED

Finished my first year of university, from a low English skill student, I passed C1 test of University of Languages and International Studies. I could study in English since then. In second year, I started to learn professional subjects in university.


Awarded Certificate of merit from Ho Chi Minh Youth Union as an extraordinary female student in engineering majors in Government Office

Outside classes, I participated in Youth Union and Club’s activities at school to gain my confidence and soft skills. Because of good grades and active participation in extra curriculum activities, I received a lot of scholarship from university and also some awards such as Certificate of merit from Ho Chi Minh Youth Union as an extraordinary female student in engineering majors in Government Office in 2014. In the end, after 4 years, I graduated with excellent degree.

^95AA48D7FAFEF705EFA573A7F40103ED308F605D8F2FD5E2FC^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Actively participate in events

One month prior to graduation, I was offered a position in Toshiba Software Development Vietnam with starting salary of 11 million VND.

^ACDC1D57E2414099DF1C6413C8CD14A31769BEB3E1FB6AB3D9^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Graduation ceremony

Just a brief summary already shows how much the scholarship meant to me. I would like to express my sincere appreciation, once again, to Mr Merali, The Merali Foundation, The Asia Foundation, Center for Education and Development and teachers in Office of Students Affairs for all your support towards me and 99 other female scholars throughout our journey.

^6A79A1521234FCBAB31A5C2C7CE6B3851084F7A6C75FEF926B^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Happy at graduation ceremony^549F254588B27126F6EEAE4139BF577FF31A9D1B7AB03402D0^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Giving appreciation speech and sharing study experiences at Merali Scholarship Recognition Ceremony year 2015-2016^B3D7990D240CE42F7386C9D9B1EDD9F46C51610059C9754D7A^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr Currently studying in Japan in the company’s support