After growing up in the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, Katherine Nguyen wanted to study at a high-quality university in a small and peaceful city—and Canberra ticked all the boxes.
The cultural transition was made even easier thanks to the support she got from living on residence at the Australian National University, and Katherine loves calling Canberra home. Here she tells us why:
1. Friendly people
Having lived in several countries, I really feel that Canberran people are the best. From the friends I made at university to strangers on the streets, everyone is very kind and welcoming. Even when I visited my parents back in Vietnam, I was missing my lovely Canberran folks.
I’m amazed at the diversity of different cultures that live here. My best friend from Uni is originally from Scotland, a Korean lady runs my favourite grocery shop, and the most student-friendly place to eat is a Burmese food shop in the Sydney Building.
3. Bicycle friendly
I had never ridden a bike around Ho Chi Minh before as traffic is too hectic. But in Canberra, I love riding to lectures and it’s the easiest way to get around.
4. Breathtaking scenery
I believe everyone is amazed at how beautiful Canberra sceneries are. On the weekends, I often go for a hike on Mount Ainslie or Black Mountain which are very close to the ANU. Cycling around Lake Burley Griffin in the morning to watch the sunrise is one of my favourite Canberra experiences.
Before coming here, I hadn’t tried many different cuisines. But Canberra has such a huge range of multicultural restaurants—from Greek to Malaysian—and I love discovering them all. There are also a few local gems that I’ve fallen in love with: Mandalay Bus for a late-night snack, Frugii for the best ice-cream, the Hamlet for dinner with friends. And with new places popping up all the time, there are just so many options for me to explore.