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Sisters from Vietnam forging Australian science careers

Sisters Tiana and Jenny Ly, originally from Ho Chi Minh City, are both graduates of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). As the first in their family to leave Vietnam to study in Australia, they understand the challenges of studying abroad.

A smooth transition to UTS 

Like many international students, they began their studies at UTS College, the pathway to UTS. With its small class sizes and high level of support, the College helped them get to know the Australian education system and prepared them for success at UTS. “The system back home, in Vietnam, is really different; there the teacher talks and, the students listen,” Tiana says. “Here, we learnt to contribute to make the lessons more interesting. We learnt to do research, to communicate and interact. It made for a smooth transition to UTS, and we still use these skills in our careers.” 

From business to the world of science 

Tiana began her studies with a Diploma of Business at UTS College before completing a business degree at UTS. She worked for a small chartered accountancy firm, then a large beverage company before a position at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) gave her the opportunity to discover the world of science. She is now a finance and project officer in the CSIRO Food and Agriculture Unit.  

Completing the circle 

Jenny always saw her future in science. She began with a Diploma of Science at UTS College before completing a Bachelor of Medical Science at UTS. Eventually, she returned to the College as a lecturer in Diploma of Science program, taught digital literacy and academic skills in UTS Foundation Studies, and mentored students – all while completing a Master’s in Medical Science and Biotechnology. She’s proud that life brought her back to UTS. “I’m very lucky. I’ve got a lot of good things from this country and the university, and now I am able to give back.”  

Future focused degrees 

UTS has one of the best science teaching and research facilities in Australia, with strong ties to the Australian scientific community. Its strong focus on the future gives graduates the skills to thrive in industries such as biotechnology, biomedical science, medical science, environmental monitoring and management, mathematics, statistical modelling, chemistry, applied physics, nanotechnology and other growing areas. 

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Key points​

  • Sisters Tiana and Jenny hail from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam
  • The sisters pursued further study and selected UTS College as their pathway to a UTS Degree
  • UTS College gave them the necessary skills to thrive in their undergraduate science degree