My name is Tram Pham (Chinese name: 范之岚). I was born and grew up in Vietnam; I came to the US in 2002. I learned about Chinese culture and history by watching various Chinese drama and movies with my family since I was a kid. I have been very interested in Chinese literature, especially classical Chinese. I always wanted to learn Chinese so that I could read Chinese novels and poetry in Chinese.
I went to Colgate University for my undergraduate study. I intended to do pre-med, but after taking the elementary Chinese courses in my freshman year, I lost interest in science and became more interested in Chinese Studies. Therefore, I continued taking Chinese languages and other Chinese culture and literature courses; and eventually, I decided to major in Chinese Language and Literature.
I went to China for the first time with Colgate’s China study group. We went to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, then moved to Beijing. We stayed and studied at Beida (Peking University) for three months. We also visited Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai during our one-week trip; I also had a chance to visit Xi’an during spring break. I had seen and learned so much from the experiences gained from these trips. My language skill also improved a lot.
I wanted to continue learning Chinese; my goal was to become a teacher. I heard of VU’s MACS Program from one of my Chinese professors who had taught at VU before, therefore, I applied for it. The intensive summer in Hangzhou prior to the beginning of the MACS program helped me improving my Chinese skill, especially my listening skill in understanding the Southern accents. We also visited Nanjing, Suzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Huangshan. I feel more confident and comfortable talking and interacting with Chinese people now.
After this program, I want to return to China and live there for a couple months or more to advance my Chinese. I hope to be able to use Chinese proficiently like a native Chinese person. I want to continue studying so that I could become a professor in Chinese Studies. Another plan is to become a translator or an interpreter for Vietnamese and Chinese.