Enjoy your life, stay pursue your dream

Dien Vu Asia 100/Awarded in 2008 Scholarship period: October 2008 - September 2011
University during Scholarship period: Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University
Current affiliation: Asai Ken Architectural Research Inc.

2011 September: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering) Kyoto University, Japan.
2008 May: MSc. (Master of Science) Urban Environmental Management, School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand
2004 January: B.A. (Bachelor of Art in Linguistic) Hanoi University, Vietnam
2002 May: B.A. (Bachelor in Art in Architect), Hanoi Architectural University, Vietnam

To all of you, Yoshida Scholarship recipients, I wish the success will always smile to you and good luck for a bright and prosperous future. Stay connected with our scholars network.

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep and respectful gratitude to Yoshida Scholarship Foundation for not only financial supporting throughout three years of my PhD at the Kyoto University, but also organizing the outdoor events and reunion trips to historic and beautiful places in Japan, they encouraged me to learn about Japanese culture, technology as well as Japanese people beside hard-working time with research work in the university. It was an honor to be chosen as a recipient of this prestigious scholarship. Without financial assistance from Yoshida Scholarship Foundation it would have been impossible to participate conference, internship and complete my study. It is pleasure for me to share with you my experiences and my life in Japan.

My name is Dien Vu, I come from Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. Hanoi is a one of the most beautiful city in Asia, where people have settled here along the Red River for a thousand years. I attended a bachelor course in architectural design at Hanoi Architectural University in 1997; two years later I enrolled in a bachelor program in English (linguistic) at Hanoi University. After graduation from the universities I started to work in an architecture company in Hanoi for four years before leaving the country to Thailand for a master course in the field study of urban environmental management at Asian Institute of Technology. I obtained a master degree on May 2008 with the topic of Sustainable urban planning through strategic environmental assessment applications. I also worked as a researcher for Southeast Asia Urban Environmental Management Applications (SEA-UEMA) Project for 1 year until August 2008.
My interests encouraged me to pursue urban planning and sustainable development study. I started my three-year international doctoral program on sustainability at Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University from October 2008. My research theme was about proposes an economic model in the city level in order to provide a comprehensive economic framework to evaluate the effects of policies, such as infrastructure expansion projects in land use planning to contribute effective urban development process toward sustainable urban development.

The reason that brought me to Japan and continuing to stay in the country so far was in my mind since I was a high school student. I have learnt through television, newspapers that Japan is the country of sunrise, knowledge, and frontier technology development. Since then Japan is the one of my dream countries to study abroad in future. The first trip come to Japan was made nine years ago in 2007 when I attended an internship program on sustainability. I have found a unique atmosphere of work and study spirit of Japan, best research facilities and support. Japanese people are the polite, generous and kindness. My dreamed abroad study come reality in September 2008 when I got offered a full scholarship for three-year doctoral course at Kyoto University from Yoshida Scholarship Foundation.

My background was architecture and urban environmental management before coming to Kyoto University. I was a little bit shocked after the first discussion with my supervisor about my future research work at Kyoto University. My research would be differed from the research proposal that made impression to my professor at the interview and entrance examination for doctor program was regarding to the sustainable urban development few months before. According to my advisor, of course, I will continue the proposed research topic, however, the approaching method will be totally different from my thinking at that time. It was that developing a theoretical general equilibrium model, it is proposed at first to analyze the economic and environmental impacts of policies qualitatively. The model will be expanded for empirical studies for a certain city, I chose Hanoi city. By applying the model to the case of Hanoi city, the policies’ impact toward both city’s economies and its environment quantitatively can be derived. It may give a prototype framework to proceed in cities of Vietnam and other cities in Southeast Asia. That was a new research approach for me at that moment. After a long meeting with my professor, I realized that it was an opportunity to learn many new things, and it would extend my viewpoint in the field of sustainability study. I was excited and it comes up with lots of hopes for my future research career. I strongly believe that the knowledge, skills, and experience I am acquiring through my studies will make me a notably productive researcher in the field.

It was really hard time for me during the first six months of doctor course since I have study micro economic, programming from almost zero. That was a big challenge at the very starting point of my research career in Kyoto University. Fortunately, the economic study uses a lot of mathematic, and I have background about math from high school. It took much of time to re-study and update mathematic knowledge.

My research work and daily life went smooth since I have supportive professor, laboratory colleagues and kindness Japanese people. They are always willing, cordial to come and do their best to help whenever I ask for their support.

Throughout my research period, I have chance to meet, exchanging and sharing research experiences with other researchers over the world at the international conferences in England, United States of America, to visit and discuss with policy makers, authorities during internships in Vietnam and Laos PDR.
It was an honor to be chosen as a recipient of Yoshida Scholarship Foundation. The financial assistance from you was a great support not only for my study, it also helped my family had a great life and enjoyed staying in Kyoto. Our life in Japan was fulfilled with a lot of joys and happiness.

The International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) Conference in Hull, UK

Visit Grand Canyon Arizona, USA
In addition to financial support my research, thanks to study tour and trips were organized by the Yoshida Scholarship Foundation led me to know more about Japanese culture, explore new fascinating and historical places. They were great chances for me to meet young researchers from many countries, expanding friendship network throughout the trips to YKK manufacturing headquarter, do hiking in Toyama, visit great dam Kurobe in Tateyama.

One of my most memorable things was a unique reunion with my elementary friend, during one study tour organized by YKK Foundation, I have met my old friend that we have never seen each other in almost 15 years ago since we left our junior high school in Vietnam. It was a great shock for both of us. We come to Japan for PhD course and awarded Yoshida Scholarship. It was an incredible, amazing moment. To us YKK is not just great financial assistance for our study and life in Japan, it is something special and we will never forget it.

I am currently working as an architect in international project division in an architectural research company in Osaka. Our home is in Kyoto, a splendid city, former capital of Japan with an abundance of natural beauty and a charming sense of ancient Japanese architecture and culture, a beautiful, calm environment. You can experience the relaxing beauty of cherry blossoms everywhere in spring.

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to YKK, to all staffs of the foundation who have made my time here in Japan such a great experience on both research and life. To all of you, YKK recipients, I wish the success will always smile to you and good luck for a bright and prosperous future. Stay connected with our YKK scholars network.