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Meet the Specialist: Ms Halliwell

26 January 2018

For this week's 'Meet the Teacher' our Year 12 students, Jamie and Ji Min speak to College and University Guidance Counsellor, Ms Halliwell. Ms Halliwell joined BIS HCMC in 2017 after working in international admissions and recruitment at The University of Manchester. Let's find out more...

  • Fran Halliwell

Can you tell us a bit about your past experiences?

I actually come from the UK higher education sector, so before I came to BIS I worked in international admissions and recruitment for a number of Russell Group universities. Most recently The University of Manchester. 12 years actually! I used to visit BIS and meet students here, so I was really excited when I knew that this job was going to be advertised. 

What made you come to Ho Chi Minh City, out of all the other cities?

Well, I’ve got a really long history. Most of my family live here, since my husband’s identical twin brother’s family have lived here since 1998. I also used to manage South East Asia at The University of Sussex and visit this area 4-5 times a year.

So have you found any major difference in Ho Chi Minh City between 1998 and now?

Especially in Saigon. There were hardly any cars or tall buildings, if any… Most women were wearing Ao Dai all the time, it’s a very different place, it’s interesting to see how much has changed.

Are there any new activities or hobbies that you take part in outside of work?

Well, work is quite busy with the current Year 13s and I'm starting to work with Year 12s now. I’m trying to learn Vietnamese which is a very difficult language as I’ve been speaking the same level of Vietnamese for the last 6 years. And also I’m trying to learn Vietnamese cooking because the food here is awesome.

What do you find difficult about being a university guidance counsellor?

It’s really busy and it’s the first time I’m working in a school because of my university background, but I think that gives me a good insight of what universities are looking for in terms of strong applications. A lot of students apply to The University of Manchester, I wonder why? So yes, trying to balance my time is probably the most difficult.

What do you think about pineapple on pizza?

Oh it’s so wrong. Usually it comes with ham so that’s another problem because I’m a vegetarian.

University Guidance at BIS HCMC

The BIS HCMC College and University Guidance Department is dedicated to providing information on university related issues. Our highly qualified team provide students and parents with all the key information, support and guidance they need to make the right decision about life after BIS HCMC.