The New Class is a web series which follows a group of new students as they experience Memorial University’s St. John’s campus throughout the 2016-17 academic year.
The series offers an insider’s view into the opportunities and challenges new students face during their first year on campus, and features 10 students from across the province and around the world.
Meet Sinh Duc Bui
Sinh Duc Bui is 23 years old and comes to Memorial from Binh Dinh, Vietnam. He is pursuing a master of engineering degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in biomedical engineering, is in his first year of graduate studies at Memorial and lives in an apartment off campus.
The Gazette caught up with Sinh to get to know him a little better.
What are you enjoying most about university life?
I enjoy the convenience the most in university; I have almost all the things I need. Every day I go to school, I bring my food with me and there are microwave ovens for me to reheat the food. I have my office space, and it is really comfortable. After a long day of study, I go to The Works to exercise and sometimes I go to the swimming pool. Everything is so convenient. The university also has a tunnel for students to walk from building to building, so the cold outside does not affect the work inside the uni at all.
What do you find most challenging about university life?
The most challenging thing I find is the courses. The graduate courses here are very tough. Students need to fully understand all the lectures in order to do assignments and exams. Moreover, there are also term projects and journal reviews. The work load is heavy. However, if students can overcome these challenges, the result will be rewarding.
How is campus life (and life in St. John’s) different from what you’re used to?
I live off campus, and the life in St. John’s is much different from what I am used to. Firstly, I used to ride a motorbike to school in Vietnam, but here in St. John’s, I go to school either on foot or by bicycle. Hopefully I can get a driver’s licence and afford a car next year. Secondly, I used to share a dormitory room with seven other students in the dormitory, but now I own the whole room, and there is more space and privacy. Thirdly, I used to have meals in the food courts in Vietnam, but since the day I moved here, I started learning to cook by myself, because the cost to buy cooked food here is high, and after two months of cooking, I cook quite well now. The other thing is the difference in culture. For example, in Canada people celebrate Halloween and decorate their house, and this is brand new to me because we do not do that in Vietnam. I like it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I like to ride my bicycle to discover the new places in St. John’s. There are many beautiful parks here, and on a day when the weather is nice, the scenery is wonderful and peaceful. Along the way to school this fall I saw the yellowing of maple leaves for the first time. I love it! This place is quiet and peaceful, and it makes me feel fresh and helps me concentrate. In addition, I like being involved in social activities in my spare time. I like to meet people, make friends, share with each other about interesting things, learn each other’s culture, and have fun together. I also want to play sports, especially soccer.
What are you hoping to accomplish at Memorial?
In the academic aspect, I hope to graduate with honours in my master’s program, having at least one paper to be publicized in an accredited journal, then seeking a scholarship to continue studying a PhD here at Memorial. In the social aspect, I hope to make friends with many students from different countries, and join many activities to have a memorable and fruitful time.
Watch the latest webisodes of The New Class on our YouTube channel at memorialuniversity.