In just three months, two SNA Marianapolis young scholars, Nguyen Anh Thu (Anna) and Dang Tuong Gia Huy (Tom), have had incredibly valuable experiences and accumulated fantastic lessons. These experiences go beyond mere knowledge on paper, as they have also had memorable encounters with exceptional talents from various countries around the world, along with unfamiliar but inspiring landscapes that have provided them with motivation and a zest for life. More than just a competition, the World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) has truly brought them unexpected learning opportunities and tremendous spiritual value. 

Returning with two gold medals and one silver medal from the Tournament of Champions (ToC) held at Yale University, Tom and Anna have recently shared more in-depth details about their journey in a conversation with the school. 



What are the differences between the Global Round and the Tournament of Champions (ToC)? 

Tom: Participating in the ToC, I got the chance to meet more contestants from more countries all around the world, compared to the Global Round, and I also got the chance to visit many top universities like Harvard, MIT, and Yale. 

Anna: As for me, I got to meet many other good scholars who are very good at debating and writing, which was way better than what I expected to meet.  

Tom: Additionally, The ToC was held at Yale University and its building was massive and gorgeous.  

Anna: My impression isn’t so different from Tom’s. The campus was massive and took most of the New Haven area, as far as I was concerned. Because wherever I went, I saw the building that was labeled with “Yale” or “Yale University.” 

Tom: And we also met a real-life alpaca. I mean not this one but the real one that I can touch and see with my own eyes. 

Anna: They didn’t spit. 

Tom: That was cool. (he laughs) 


What kind of lessons and changes did you gain after the journey? 

Tom: I got the chance to meet many scholars from all over the world. And it was much better than I expected. I got to learn a lot from them, and I also had the chance to visit famous universities which gave me motivation to try harder at school in order to get into those universities.  

Anna: Well, for me, it’s not so different as well, since all the scholars there were very well-trained. Their debating skills are excellent, and it makes sense that we lost. But in a competition, losing or winning doesn’t really matter. However, I hold a massive amount of respect for those scholars. In the Junior division, all the scholars were around our age, yet, I was really impressed with their debating skills. 

Tom: At the competition, I had so many opportunities to interact with different cultures and scholars. I learned a lot from them, such as debating skills. Finals, I have improved so much, from the Global Round to the ToC and that is the most valuable lesson that I learned. 

Anna: I do have something similar in debating. From the Global Round, I learned a lot, and also from the ToC, I learned how to manage my timing and how to manage my voice while delivering my argument and there are a lot of things to learn.  


What impressed you the most when you first came to the USA as well as to the prestigious schools such as Yale, Mprep, etc.? 

Tom: I really liked it in the United States. The weather was very cold. Yale is one of the top universities in the world as well as in the United States, about their buildings and faculty, I like it a lot.  

Anna: For my experience, when I got to the United States, I was very excited, but I didn’t think the weather to be that cold. There are many things that I like about Yal, despite the architecture and faculties, seeing its students made me feel like I had to be more ambitious in order to get into a good university.  

Speaking of the most unforgettable memory, I would say it was the visit to Times Square in New York City. Being a big city, whether it was day or night, the city was always crowded. The density was twice as high as in Ho Chi Minh City. And there were many buildings with lights and 3D displays. 

Tom: I love the autumn leaves in New Haven and Yale University. They were so beautiful and they were all red, and walking through them was just a life-changing experience.  

Anna: Adding more about MPrep (Marianapolis Preparatory School), the campus, how do I say, is more than huge. The school has many different buildings, and the dorm where we stayed was in one building and even had elevators. 

Tom: And it took a lot to walk from the dorm to the school. 

Anna: It took about 10-15 minutes and it depended.  

Tom: And the school is almost 100 years old now and that’s why the school is quite old and vintage. 

Anna: And one thing about the school that piqued my interest was that the school was right in the middle of the wood, I would say, and they even had a lake inside the forest, as far as I remember. I went there with a couple of MPrep students whom I got to know and they showed me around.  

Tom: We also met many new friends at MPrep. The learning atmosphere at the school was also very different. And we got the chance to study at Mprep for 2 days. And I love the way they are studying there. 


What roles did the school and the teachers play throughout the journey? 

Tom: The whole school community has helped us a lot on our journey. We had two fundraising projects and they supported us so much that finally, we got enough money to go to the US for the journey. 

Anna: Thank you all for that and we really appreciate it.  

Tom: There are many more new students who signed up to be in our WSC club at school. I’m also happy to bring new students to the WSC so that they can experience an international competition like this.  

Anna: We had some 10th-grade students who were signing up with us and joining us, even though we didn’t have the time yet to actually do the debate because the tests were coming up and we were. 

Tom: So, for the next round in April next year, we have time to prepare and so next year we will try our best to win more awards and medals. 

Anna: We will see this year as we were rookies and we could not do as much as we expected. Hard work will pay off if we put in the effort to study and debate.  

At the end of the conversation, Tom and Anna expressed their sincere gratitude and appreciation to the school, their families, and friends. 

Anna: Shout out to all the students who made the effort to help us in the fundraising event, you were really a big help that helped us complete this journey and made our dream come true that we can go to the United States. We deeply thank the school and everyone! 

Tom: Thank you to all the teachers and friends who supported us throughout this journey. Especially to Ms. Liliana, she sent me a letter and a gift. We appreciate you all so much!  

Thank you, Tom and Anna. Congratulations and best wishes to both of you for achieving more success and incredible experiences in your upcoming journeys! 


SNA Marianapolis International School – Bien Hoa Campus

  • Location: 397, 30/4 Street, Quyet Thang Ward, Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province
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  • Hotline: 0932 083 886 
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