Benjamin Tran

History BA (Hons)

I'm around history every day being in Canterbury!

What attracted you to studying at Kent?

The academic staff were really welcoming and I was attracted to the huge selection of modules; I’ve been able to study from so many different areas. I also liked the campus, it's very green and spacious. And I'm around history every day being in Canterbury!

How is your course going?

I’m enjoying it so much. I love the atmosphere and the people around me, I’ve made a bunch of friends! They’re always there to help me and to lend a hand.

Are there any particular modules that you've enjoyed?

I’m really enjoying International History with the Vietnam War. It’s my special subject. It’s really in-depth and my seminar leader is very knowledgeable on that particular area.

How would you describe your lecturers?

The lecturers are very on top of things. If I ask a question over email, they get back to me really quickly. They always guide me towards additional reading and sources that will support my learning. I’d say they’re very approachable.  

How would you describe like your fellow students?

They’re very welcoming and friendly people. If I need help with anything then I know I could go to them and vice versa. There’s a great community vibe.

What kind of career do you hope to follow when you leave?

I want to do an MA and then a PhD. My seminar leader has encouraged me to research further into the Vietnam War. I like talking, learning and writing about history, so I’ll see what happens after my MA. If I become a lecturer and start teaching, then I’ll look into doing a PhD to become an academic professional.

Are you part of any societies?

Yes, I am currently the tournament director of the Chess Society. My job is to organise tournaments within the society but to also reach out to chess societies at other universities. I train new people too and I’ve currently taken on two protégés. I’m trying to teach them everything I know and the theory behind playing chess, which is great fun. We meet for three hours every Wednesday evening and because we’ve got a bunch of new players this year, we are trying to rank everyone’s ability so we can hold a small Christmas tournament.

Would you say Canterbury is affordable for students?

I’d say it’s very affordable. I was comparing prices between London and Canterbury and Canterbury is a lot cheaper than London!

Where did you live in your first year?

I lived in Eliot College. I chose part-catered accommodation which meant that I had a voucher every day to use at the food outlets on campus. If I had a lecture in the morning I could just wake up and walk downstairs! I really liked the fact that everything’s in one place and that the accommodation is near the academic buildings. I’m in Parkwood flats this year which are very nice, they have spacious kitchens and they’re quiet and peaceful.

Have you geared your studies towards a certain area?

I have now, but when I first started I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my History degree. I just studied modules based on what I found interesting and every academic year I’ve narrowed it down further. For example, I chose an American history module in my second year which led me towards studying the Vietnam War.

Can you describe Kent in 3 words?

Welcoming, supportive, influential.