International Student Spotlight: Cece


I have known Cece ever since my freshman year, and every time I see her she greets me with a friendly smile and a hug. She’s the kind of person who always stops and takes the time to ask you how your day is not matter how busy she is, and let me tell you, she is very busy. She is a Psychology and Biology double major with hopes of attending medical school after Augustana. When she’s not studying, she mainly spends her time being involved in the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), which she is extremely passionate about. If you would like to donate to the VSA go fund me page to help support other Vietnamese students, here is the link:


Being an international student, Cece faces quite a few hurdles when it comes to her dreams of attending Medical School. When I asked her about this struggle, she told me: “Although I think being an international student is an incredible experience, I understand the struggle of finding internships and applying, as many programs, med/dental schools do not accept international students. Therefore, my friends and I have created a blog to share our personal journeys as pre-health students as well as the experiences of students who have successfully matriculated health professional schools in the U.S. I am lucky to have many people help me, and I want to help other people too! Please check out my blog at"


From the years that I have known Cece, one thing that has always amazed me is her motivation. She rarely complains about school, takes all 8:30 classes, and still seems bright and bubbly every time I see her. When I asked her where all of her motivation comes from, she told me, “I have so much motivation because I know what my goal is, and working hard will get me closer to it. I am also motivated and inspired by my sister, who got accepted to many dental schools, including Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and UCSF as an international student. She has proved to me that people can say that you can’t but as long as you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do it!"


When I asked Cece to tell me about her favorite college experience she told me about her internship this past summer in San Francisco. She told me that her internship was at “a liver tissue engineering lab in UCSF, and it was a life-changing experience! I experienced first-hand what it’s like to define and attempt to answer a research question, interact with supervisors and co-workers, and experience both success and failure when conducting experiments. Beside working in lab, I am also given the opportunity to shadow in the Intensive Care Unit and clinic, which allowed me to experience the fast-paced hospital environment, observe surgical procedures, and confirm my interest in pursuing medicine. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet many supportive mentors and gain invaluable experience, which has shaped me who I am today!"


Cece is an exceptional person. She works hard to accomplish her dreams while still being incredibly humble, always making time for her friends and family, and, most of all, being a bright light to anyone who knows her. I will forever be amazed by her incredible work ethic and sense of determination. I know that she is going to do amazing things. Congratulations, Cece! Augustana loves and appreciates you and so do I!