Doctor of Philosophy candidate
She wants to help reduce human trafficking, says Tran Le Khanh Chi (Kelly) who came to AUT as an international student from Vietnam, supported by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade NZ Scholarship.
“My PhD research aims to raise the voices of human trafficking victims and related stakeholders, and improve the perception of national equality policies that attempt to reduce human trafficking in Vietnam.
“Once I’ve completed my studies, I plan to use the findings from my research and my experiences from studying in New Zealand to contribute to the development of my home country and continue my academic career.”
Kelly’s doctoral research is supervised by Dr Antje Deckert and Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies from AUT’s School of Social Sciences and Public Policy.
For Kelly, it was an easy decision to come to AUT for her PhD.
“AUT is a young and dynamic university that offers a wide range of support for students, especially for international students. The academic staff at AUT are very helpful and the student clubs are too. I also appreciate that AUT is located in central Auckland, which makes it convenient for international students like myself to reach all essential amenities and explore the natural beauty of New Zealand’s North Island.”
She is proud of how far she has come since first arriving at AUT in 2020.
“The first year of my PhD journey included some tough periods due to the New Zealand-wide COVID-19 lockdowns and adjusting to study in a new country. Now I’ve successfully completed the first year of my PhD and have presented my research proposal, and am excited about being an expecting mum.
“I’ve appreciated the support and understanding from my supervisors and the opportunity to share my experiences with other doctoral students. That was a great way to overcome the loneliness of the long journey of doing a PhD. I also enjoyed participating in a variety of workshops and networking events.”
Advice for other students
Expecting to complete her PhD in 2023, Kelly has some great advice for other students.
“My advice is to be positive and enjoy every moment of your life, at university and later.”
She would recommend doctoral study to other students,
“If you’re doing a PhD, you will be so proud of what you did after each part of your doctoral journey. Even though this can be a challenging degree, believe me, you will enjoy each moment and overcome any difficulties through your own strength and by creating your own momentum.”