Lan Nguyen is a recipient of the Summer 2017 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a second year doctoral student in Urban Design and Planning, my research focuses on working in vulnerable communities around disaster resilience and recovery. People who have the least typically are most effected by disasters. I am interested in working in Vietnamese communities in the US and around the globe to better understand the challenges facing this population. As a Vietnamese-American, I grew up speaking Vietnamese to my refugee parents and as a researcher, I wanted to professionalize my speaking, reading, and writing skills. The FLAS fellowship allowed me to study in Vietnamese in Hanoi, Vietnam for six weeks during the summer. While studying intensively with teachers at the Ministry of Education, I also participated in housing affordability research in economic industrial zones with researchers at the National University of Civil Engineering. Through this experience, I have gained valuable language and cultural skills as well as established contacts in my field of study.