Macquarie student Thu Nguyen is planning to use her psychology degree to improve mental health in Vietnam. [Photo: Digby Woods]
Macquarie student Thu Nguyen is planning to use her psychology degree to improve mental health in Vietnam. [Photo: Digby Woods]

Degrees that make a difference: psychology

In this series we speak to international students who are aiming to improve lives and communities with their Macquarie degree.

Vietnamese student Thu Nguyen hopes that by completing a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Macquarie she can improve the mental health of people in her country.

“I want to help people with mental problems because I believe mental illness has become much more prevalent in recent years,” she says.

“I want to bring what I’ve learned from my psychology degree back to Vietnam to improve the mental health of Vietnamese people, especially those in rural areas who don’t have access to this type of health service.”

Vietnam is suffering from a shortage of trained psychologists, and psychology is becoming an increasingly popular choice for Vietnamese students studying in Australia. Macquarie is ranked in the world’s top 100 universities for psychology according to the 2015 QS world rankings.

Having achieved outstanding results in high school (where her interest in psychology began) Thu was granted entry into Macquarie’s prestigious and highly competitive undergraduate psychology degree. She is also a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship.

Thu acknowledges the fantastic support and encouragement she has received as an international student at Macquarie.

“I’m given assistance whenever I need it, which is very important for me as a first year student,“ she says. “The teachers here also place a lot emphasis on student participation. It’s a good thing because it forces you to speak up in class and share your opinion, which helps my learning.”

Not surprisingly for a psychology student, Thu is very interested in people and has been thrilled to meet so many new faces at Macquarie.

“Clubs like the Macquarie Overseas Vietnamese Students Association organise events where you can make new friends,” she says. “And my tutorials and lectures are full of local, international and exchange students”.

“I get to make friends from all over the world…. and if I travel someday I have a place to stay!”

The Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) is a four-year degree that allows graduates to progress towards registration as a psychologist.