Hanoi-Amsterdam School ‘superman’ dreams of becoming astronomer

A physics major at the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted has received two pieces of good news – acceptance letters from MIT and Princeton University in the US.

Hanoi-Amsterdam School ‘superman’ dreams of becoming astronomer

MIT ranks fifth among THE’s best universities in 2021 and leads the world’s schools in technology training according to QS 2021 ranking. It offered the student financial support of $64,000 a year.

Passion for astrophysics

In childhood, Quan was curious about natural phenomena in the universe. "Why are there constellations?" "Where do shooting stars come from?" These were questions that Quan wanted to answer.

Quan scored first in the entrance exam for the math major class at the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, and the exam for the chemistry major class at the High School for the Gifted in Natural Sciences.

The great achievements were why Quan’s friends called him superman.

Le Manh Cuong, his physics teacher, discovered Quan’s special love for constellations in the sky. Though astronomy and astrophysics was not a subject in the general education program, he decided to help Quan learn about it.

Later, it was the teacher who sent Quan to the national astrophysics team to attend the international competition. In 2019, Quan attended the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) and won a gold medal with maximum scores.

After returning from the international competition, Quan began seeking an environment where he could study and conduct research.

 

He believed that leading schools such as MIT and Princeton would offer favorable conditions for students’ creativity, learning and promotion of their abilities, especially with the advice of leading professors in their fields.

Quan applied to the two schools because they are among a small number of schools that choose international students based on their abilities, not on candidates’ financial capability.

Quan had a strong profile when applying for the schools. The physics major had a 1600/1600 SAT and 8.0 IELTS. He twice won first prize in physics at the national competition for excellent students, when he was in the 11th and 12th grades.

Quan attended many national and international competitions and won a lot of medals, including the gold medal at the 2018 International Youth Science Olympia and gold medal at 2019 IOAA, gold medal at 2020 European Physics Olympiad.

The medals were not really made of gold, but from sweat during training, according to Quan. He said hopes he will have the chance to attend the International Physics Olympiad this year. 

Thuy Nga - Huu Chanh - Phuong Thu

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