Australian Students Impressed by Vietnamese Culture

33 University of Adelaide students were the first New Colombo Plan scholars returning to Vietnam after a two-year interruption of the program due to Covid-19.

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Initiated by the Australian government, the New Colombo Plan Programme gives Australian students learning at domestic universities opportunities to study, practice, exchange and research in 40 countries in Indo-Pacific, including Vietnam.

Students will learn about sustainable water management in Vietnam, engage with Vietnamese universities and visit water supply and water treatment plants.
33 students learn about sustainable water management in Vietnam, engage with Vietnamese universities and visit water supply and water treatment plants. Source: Australian embassy in Vietnam

Students from the University of Adelaide of Australia have shared their deep impression of Vietnamese culture after joining a two-week study tour in Vietnam through the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Programme, VNA reported.

According to Dr. Tran Nam Nghiep, vice director of Strategic Partnerships for South East Asia in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS) at the University of Adelaide, with the support of the Australian government, the faculty sent a group of 33 students to Vietnam for the field trip from mid-September to early October 2022.

Nghiep said the tour aimed to strengthen the strategic partnership between the University of Adelaide and Vietnamese universities and open new opportunities for cooperation among parties.

During their stay, Australian students visited the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, the Australian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, seven partner universities, and three companies operating in water and the environment in Vietnam.

Most of them said that they were interested in the tour, and impressed by the Vietnamese culture and language.

On return to Australia, they will act as ambassadors for Vietnam and contribute to the enhancement of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Australian Students Impressed by Vietnamese Culture
A day with many interesting experiences from indoor bonding games to activities related to Vietnamese culture such as decorating lanterns, drinking tea, and eating moon cakes to discover the beauty of Children’s Day at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HUST). Source: OISP Student Ambassadors

Joining the delegation, Dr. Jessica Gallagher, deputy vice-chancellor for External Engagement at the University of Adelaide, came to Vietnam on October 14-21 to witness the signing of cooperation agreements between the Australian university and its Vietnamese partner universities, and attend exchanges with alumni of the University of Adelaide in Hanoi and HCM City.

Gallagher said the tour has contributed to further promoting bilateral cooperation between the University of Adelaide and partners in Vietnam.

Dr. Nghiep said the Australian university planned to send one more group of students to Vietnam in 2023, with the aim of contributing to further strengthening understanding and strategic partnership between the two countries.

Australian Students Impressed by Vietnamese Culture
Visiting and exchanging with students of Can Tho Technical Economic College. Photo courtesy of the college

At the end of the trip, Mitchell Odegaard, a second-year construction engineering student, shared: “With the knowledge, I have learned about the water supply and wastewater treatment process in Vietnam, I have gained more understanding about the distribution of one of our most finite and essential resources – water. In addition to enhancing my professional knowledge, the cultural beauty and warmth of the Vietnamese people have left a deep impression on me. If given the opportunity, I would love to return to Vietnam to contribute a little bit to infrastructure development and strengthen the friendly cooperation between the two countries.”

Nathan Dunn, a student in his final year of chemical engineering, was also interested in the tour and was impressed by the Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity.

“I was very impressed with the tour to Vietnam. On the journey from North to South, we were able to visit factories, universities, historical sites, and many famous tourist sites. During the trip, we experienced a rich blend of cultures, languages, and local expertise. What I like most is having the opportunity to interact with Vietnamese people. I thank the University of Adelaide, the people of Vietnam, and the New Colombo Plan for this truly wonderful and memorable trip, which has helped me grow up,” Dunn said.

Meanwhile, Cara McGlaughlin, a student also studying chemical technology at the University of Adelaide – shared the same opinion. She said: “The tour and study trip to Vietnam was one of the best experiences during my time studying at the university. The opportunity to visit a beautiful and culturally rich country like Vietnam is a privilege I never thought possible. I am always grateful and cherish the knowledge that I have learned through the field trip in Vietnam”.

The New Colombo Plan is an Australian government-funded program that aims to increase Australian knowledge of the Indo-Pacific and connection with the region both at the individual level and through expanding university, business, and other links.

Visiting Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST).   Source: Saigontourist Travel (Hà Nội)
Visiting Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST). Source: Saigontourist Travel
Visiting Ha Long Bay. Source: Saigontourist Travel (Hà Nội)
Visiting Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa. Source: Saigontourist Travel
Hannah Nguyen