Feeling bored with a monotonous and repetitive life, I longed for a change. I, fortunately, got a scholarship to pursue my PhD in Education at Victoria University. The topic was Vietnamese EFL Teacher Self-efficacy in Practice. My husband, my little daughter and I excitedly flew to New Zealand in 2015. It was the first time I went abroad. I had no friends and family connections here. However, I still expected the journey ahead to be a honeymoon. On the contrary, we got on a roller coaster ride.
During our first three months in New Zealand, we had more tears than laughter as we had so much trouble finding accommodation, a childcare centre, and most importantly, a job.
Luckily, we then met very kind-hearted and caring people who helped us settle down. Through the Vietnamese community in Wellington, my husband got a job. It was a big change for him, turning himself from a university lecturer into a house painter. I sincerely appreciate his sacrifice.
My PhD journey had so many ups and downs. I had lots of experience in teaching but very little experience in doing research. Every stage was challenging to me, especially as during this time our little son was born!
Luckily, I had superb supervisors whose guidance helped to shape and sharpen my thesis.
I am also fortunate to be a member of English Language Partners Wellington. My job here has brought me study/work-life balance. More importantly, my colleagues have treated me and supported me as if I were their family member. Without my colleagues’ support, I might not have been able to accomplish my PhD.
Thank you everyone who has been by my side during my PhD journey. To you all, my love and my appreciation.
Ha Hoang’s a committed and talented teacher and has taught English Language Groups for over three years. She now also teaches an ESOL Intensive class.