'Finding Your Ideal Path in Higher Ed' - Episode 6 With Duc Pham (Part 2)

International Student Stories brought to you by Study in the USA

Apr 7 2022 • 25 mins

Duc Pham returns for Part 2 of a two-part interview. In this episode, Duc talks about his experience going from community college student to college professor. The unique insights he was able to obtain through his experiences have helped him understand that the journey through higher education doesn’t follow a single pathway. Learn about the differences between community college and university, and Duc’s perspective on navigating through it. Even for those who are well past their student years, this is a fascinating exploration.


  • 02:52 – Why was the community college experience the right path for you?
  • 05:03 – How were you able to get the funds to initially study at community college?
  • 07:11 – How did the 2+2 model impact you and help you on your journey?
  • 10:12 – Duc speaks on coming to understand that the journey isn’t the same for everyone.
  • 15:19 – What is need-based financial aid?
  • 16:28 - What are the biggest misconceptions you’ve seen international students have about community colleges?
  • 18:35 - How would you help a student decide between choosing a university or community college?
  • 21:04 - If Duc Pham the professor could speak with Duc Pham the young student just arriving in the USA, what would you want to tell yourself?
  • 21:45 - Duc explains how long-term memories are formed via the Limbic System, and how it helped him improve his English pronunciation.

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Monica College

What is a Community College?

Funding your studies

2+2 College Model

Ivy League

Need-Based Financial Aid

Limbic System


Studying in the USA

Learning English

Studying at a US community college

Attending US secondary and boarding schools





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