The girl opening the path to free education in Finland for Vietnamese students
That is the proud title Vietnamese media is using to talk about Bambi Dang – Finest Future’s co-founder. Read the empowering story with us.
In the final round of “Talk The Talk 2020” in Finland, a Vietnamese girl stepped on the stage to tell about her life, impressing many people.
That’s Bambi Dang, the co-founder of Finest Future. She is working with Peter Vesterbacka, the “father” of Angry Birds – the most successful mobile game of all time. She is only 30 years old now.
Miss “stubborn” Ba
Bambi Dang was born in a rural area of Nghe An… following the disappointment of her father. He waited forever for his son to be born as the family’s concept for generations. But the first and second children are female. Then came the third child, also a female. He named his daughter “Ba” (which literally means “Three”), because he was frustrated and thought that girls were not worth much, so they did not need a beautiful name.
Bambi Dang in Finland – photos provided by the character
Born in a family with many children and the idea that girls don’t need to study much, the girl named “Ba” still grows up, still goes to school, because she wants to go to school in a “stubborn” way. Then she graduated from high school and pursued the English language at the Hanoi Industrial University. The family was poor, she did all kinds of jobs to finish university.
Holding a diploma, she returned to her hometown to work in the greenhouse vegetable field for a dairy corporation. But then, feeling that the future prospect of receiving a monthly salary, getting married and having children was not suitable for her, she decided to find a way to study abroad.
The first batch of Vietnamese students brought by Finest Future to study in Finland
In 2013, when she decided to quit her job to go to Finland to study abroad, she barely accumulated any money. But determined to go out into the world, she asked her parents… to deposit the “Land Ownership Certification” to borrow money from a bank. Finland requires international students, before coming to this country to study, to prove that they have at least about 200 million VND per year in their accounts to ensure living conditions during their studies. With a bank loan of 200 million, the entire family’s assets, Ms. “stubborn” Ba went abroad, chasing her very different future.
Startup to return
She studied International Business Administration major at Haaga Helia University (Helsinki) but after only 1.5 years, she continued to enrol in hotel and restaurant management.
During those 4 years, in order to repay the loan in her hometown, she worked all kinds of jobs from serving restaurants, cleaning to babysitting, taking care of disabled people… Graduating from both universities at the same time, she applied for admission. Working at a startup in Helsinki, learning everything about marketing, sales, human resources… gradually became interested in starting a business.
Two years later, an opportunity came to Bambi Dang. She happened to meet, know and talk a lot with two friends in Finland. One of them is Peter Vesterbacka. Bambi Dang and 2 colleagues Peter Vesterbacka, Tuomas Tiilikainen together established Finest Future Company in Finland to realize their ideas. Finest Future has done an unprecedented job: Bringing students from developing countries to Finland for free upper secondary education.
The company has 2 main segments: entrepreneurship and education, Finest Future has been creating many different projects. With start-ups, from the Finnish government’s policy of attracting startups around the world, as for education, Finest Future brings students from developing countries here to study for free in High schools and Vocational schools, and sending high-quality talents to work in companies in Finland.
With a heart always towards the homeland, Bambi Dang and his associates decided Vietnam was the main focus and started to apply their projects.
The dream of studying abroad for unprivileged children
Bambi Dang recalled: “Many people assume that studying abroad is usually for the children of rich families. However, from my own experience, I don’t think so. Children from poor families can also study abroad, just need to work hard and know how to find the right opportunities for them. My family situation was also difficult, but I had the opportunity to experience the top Finnish education, quality of life and good Finnish values. So I want to give this opportunity to many other students.”
In the first year of 2021, Finest Future recruited 7 Vietnamese students and 8 Uzbek students to go to Finland to study in high schools. Selected students only need to achieve good academic performance and a good attitude so that high schools can easily accept them. Before going to Finland, the children will undergo an online Finnish class taught by a native teacher. Students will be sent back to high schools, free of tuition, lunch and accommodation, given the opportunity to work part-time, have a good chance to go to college for free. In 2022, it is expected that about 130 students from Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Brazil, Mexico, Iran… will go to Finland to attend high school.
Therefore, Bambi Dang has become the big sister for Vietnamese students in a foreign country.
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