Vietnam to Colorado: Meet Sy Truong

Math. Physics. Chemistry. Singing.

These are Sy Truong’s passions. Truong, a 23-year-old Vietnamese student, studies advanced English at New America College. He started at the lower intermediate level a year ago and plans to move on to Denver Community College. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Sy to ask him more about his life back in Vietnam and here in Colorado.

What was life like before you moved to Colorado?

I loved my life in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. I graduated at the top of my class in high school; I was number one. I had a part-time teaching job and was working toward a degree in banking. With the money I made from teaching I paid for singing lessons. My teacher introduced me to a small, local show where I sang in front of people.

Why did you decide to move to Colorado and attend New America College?

My family really wanted to move to Colorado to join my grandma here and take care of her. She moved from Vietnam to Colorado after World War II. I felt I should go with my family. My cousin, Quyen Truong, said good things about New America College and she really liked her teacher.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying here?

Recently my best friend Ngoc Nguyen came here. In my country she was good at English, she spoke more clearly than me. But when she came here, everything was so new to her. I took her to the mall and she had a hard time understanding anything. I had to translate, but again, in my country, she was a better English speaker than me. I advised her to study English at New America College first and improve, and then go to Colorado Technical University where she plans to study nursing.

You work hard at English every day. What are your goals?

I want to study English so that I can connect with people. I sit by people from different countries in class so I can practice English conversation skills instead of chatting in Vietnamese with my friends. I also plan to study accounting at Community College of Denver and would like to sing in restaurants here in Denver. My cousins are both singing at Non La now, a restaurant in Aurora. They are my inspiration and I want to follow them. I would like to make more American friends as well, so that they can help me with my accent.

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