Applying Knowledge and Experience from
IATSS Forum & Paying Forward to Community

Participant's Voices


  • Country : Vietnam
  • Forum : 57th batch (2017 Spring Forum)
Xin chào from Vietnam! This is TIEN. It is such a pleasure to join a circle of young passionate and outstanding individuals from Japan and ASEAN countries! Since I was a student, I partook in various voluntary activities and international exchange programs which later inspired me to discover the world. I have traveled to around thirty countries for academic, community and personal purposes. These trips created who I am today, shaped my mind and thoughts, as well as helped me understand the importance of international exposure in youth development. My interest has grown stronger in this area, which urged me to work with youth and inspire them to step out of their comfort zones to explore the world. I also believe in power of education and capability of each individual in building a strong society. As such, I am pursuing a career path of becoming an influential social worker and educator contributing to youth development in Vietnam. Particularly, I am interested in empowering a young generation of leaders who are well educated, innovative and able to contribute to the community’s growth. I trust that the 2-month study in Japan will fulfill me with more eye-opening experience, novel knowledge and innovative approaches in leadership skills, training - education and personal improvement aiming to sustainable development, from both Japanese experts and ASEAN fellows. This is also an opportunity to exchange culture and understandings, for mutual respect and a stronger relationship between JASEAN countries. It is always fabulous for THINKING AND LEARNING TOGETHER!
Pham Thuy Tien_Vietnam IATSS Forum (Batch 57) is the most fruitful program that I have taken part in so far, and I have gained much more than I could imagine. 55 days seem to be too short to absorb all the knowledge, skills and understandings that I have learned. IATSS Forum, to me, is a “mosaic” gathering pieces of various colors which reflect my experience with the program in different ways. In terms of knowledge, the concept of sustainability never becomes this clear to me, in both theory and reality, thanks to the seminars and field study trips. I might have known about some elements of a sustainable community before, but just until this program were they structured in a systematic and holistic way so that I could get more insights. In terms of working skills (or more than that, a living philosophy), I learned how to appreciate and enjoy the journey, rather than paying too much attention to the final destination. IATSS Forum gave me a safe environment to practice what we had learned during the program in a new perspective focusing more on how we could that and what we could learn from the process even though it was unavoidably rough sometimes. My situation analysis, teamwork and communication skills have been improved as a result. In terms of personal development, I find it very interesting to be a member of such a diverse group. People (including the staff) from different backgrounds (governmental officers, NGO workers, academics, businesspersons, etc.) bring different angles and information about particular issues allowing me to examine them in a multidimensional view. Each of the staff and participants is excellent in a unique way, has their own style and personalities from which I can learn much for myself. Besides, I got so much inspired by individuals who do the job not only for themselves but also for the public good in Japan. Starting by just one individual, they then could create their own community who share the same vision and interest. The IATSS Forum has not provided to me a particular lesson about leadership or how to become a leader, but the “mosaic” I earned helps me to compose my own concept about leadership and practice my own leadership style. I am coming back to my country with a new mindset, a full basket of wisdom and memorial experience gaining from seminars, field study trips, staff and participants, as well as quality time spent together. This is indeed an amazing and unique experience.