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Facilitator Corner: Minhtu Nguyen

Read about the experiences of one of our amazing volunteer student leaders!
Facilitator Corner: Minhtu Nguyen

Mihntu, left, with two other FIUTS facilitators

FIUTS Facilitators are student leaders from all over the world who welcome new international visitors, help to organize events, and lead activities for hundreds of students each quarter. Read on to find out more about the FIUTS facilitator experience from Minhtu!

Name: Minhtu Nguyen
Country: Vietnam           
Major: Biology
Class: Senior
FIUTS Facilitator Since: 2013

Three words that define my UW college life: pre-med, dance, and FIUTS.

I am a transfer pre-med student majoring in biology. Each division in biology fascinates me but I am most passionate in human physiology. Sometimes while eating a Chipotle bowl, the thought of how each nutrient in the bowl is being digested, absorbed, used, and stored in my body delights me. Yeah! Some of my friends call me a nerd.

Beside my focus on biology, I am also minoring in dance. I believe that dancing is a very effective non-verbal communication and each dance opens you to a whole new culture. I enjoy doing social and cultural dances such as African dance, tango, salsa, historic European dances, bomba, etc. I am the vice president of the UW Tango club. My goal is to introduce many of my friends to dancing because it is truly amazing!

I started to join FIUTS as a booth planning committee member for CulturalFest 2013 during my first quarter at UW and it was a very rewarding experience. I gradually learn more about FIUTS mission and take on more challenges as a facilitator and student board member. Through FIUTS, I have met so many good friends from all over the world. I believe that FIUTS have been providing me with invaluable multicultural experience for my future career as a physician.

FIUTS graduation ceremony (2013)

What does it mean to be a FIUTS facilitator?

Transition between two cultures might be very difficult. Every person has his or her own strategy to overcome this hard time. As a pretty shy and quite girl, I chose to spent most of the time during the first two year in the US being in the library and sticking my nose on books with hope that I can improve my English as fast as possible and thrive in new education environment. Now I realize that it wasn’t a smart choice. My college experience completely changed after I took the initiation to take on a leadership position at the FIUTS CulturalFest. I received lots of help from the staff and peers. I have grown so much since then.

For me, being a FIUTS facilitator and student board member is a chance to improve myself and also to give back to the community. I want to help new international students to adapt quickly to new environment by introducing them to new resources, activities, places, friends, and communities because UW and Seattle have so many exciting things to offer. I always share my story to encourage new students to be more active and engaging because extracurricular activities make a huge difference in college life experience.

Wallace Falls hike

Favorite FIUTS anecdote as a facilitator:

One of my favorite FIUTS events as a facilitator is the Global Getaway trip to Vancouver and Victoria, Canada during spring break. It was my first time facilitating an off campus event. I was stressed out before the trip thinking of how to organize activities for a week and make sure that participants have good time. Adding on top of those stresses was first time driving a U-car mini van safely to take students to visit another country. With great help from my peer facilitator, Jeremy, I was able to feel more confident and successfully led the trip. Fourteen of us enjoyed sharing delicious food, biking around Stanley park, hiking, swimming, visiting museum, playing pools, singing karaoke, dancing. etc. We had a really good time in Canada.

Discovering downtown Vancouver, Canada

Tips/comments for peer facilitators

Keep seeking for more challenges. Taking on different leadership positions such as planning committee or student board. The more challenge we have, the more rewarding we feel at the end, and the more personal growth we attain.

Be flexible. Things don’t always go as planned.

Never hesitate to ask for help from the staff and other facilitators. They are very good resources.

Take best advantage of facilitator socializing events. These events are the best time for us to learn more from each other, broaden our networking, and make lifelong friendship.

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Learn more about the FIUTS Facilitator program here!

More Facilitator Corner posts:

Jianyang (Jane) Zhang

Jonathan Cheng

Fah Thamsuwan

Charlie Warner

Katherine Li

Nabil Sutjipto

Jeremy Sculley

Ani Antonyan

Jaisang Sun

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