Ivey Global Laboratory Program | Student Exchange Vietnam
Student Exchange Vietnam Welcomes 14 Students from Western University – Ivey Business School in Canada for the Ivey Global Laboratory Program
From May 13th to July 15th 2017 Student Exchange Vietnam welcomes 14 MSc students from Western University – Ivey Business School to Vietnam for their two month internships at 4 different companies in Hanoi: Hatch, FPT, VNP, and Asia DMC. Let’s check out some fun activities that the group was able to do so far post their internship in Vietnam.
Exclusively offered to MSc in International Business & CEMS-MIM students, the Ivey Global Lab (IGL) is a 10-week summer international practicum that provides students with the opportunity to experience the business and cultural environment of a developing economy while working and interacting with local firms. Upon completion of a one-week introductory seminar, students engage in consulting style in-country, in-company experiences with partner organizations. Students work on a number of projects for clients in Vietnam, India and Nicaragua. These projects range across several functional areas, including technology, marketing, microfinance and development, manufacturing, and health care management
Big days are coming and our students are very excited to begin their internship in Vietnam adventure. But to do this, they need to know very well their surroundings. That’s why every Canadian student was paired with a local buddy that will help them navigate around Hanoi. The local buddies organized a hotel walk around tour to help the students have a general idea of the area they are staying at. They were able to check out the restaurants, shops, gym or anything that they might need at a walking distance.
Before starting their internship and immersing themselves into the lifestyle and customs of Vietnam, the students were given a comprehensive and much needed orientation on how to navigate their way through the cultural differences of living and working in a foreign country and successfully accomplish their mission.
The students were welcomed by their local buddies team who will also be by their side for the entire duration of their internship in Vietnam. Everyone got to know each other by an ice-breaking game before sweating under the Hanoi weather with a fun group dance to warm up.
Then, the group headed to the orientation where they will be were introduced to Vietnamese etiquette and customs, some dos and don’ts when staying at the host family and working at the universities, emergency contacts and of course, some useful Vietnamese expressions. All of the information are given so that the students are prepared not only to push their personal growth but also to give values to the host organization and the country. Most importantly, our Program Coordinator wanted to delve into the program’s guidelines that ensure the students’ safety and a great experience while they are here. Certainly, we want everyone to have a blast, but their safety is always our priority. Ms. Mo, SE Vietnam Director was present and she had many interesting stories and experiences about culture shock and safe travel tips that she wanted to share with the students. At the end of the orientation, the students felt more informed and confident to start their journey, they were especially glad that there would be constant support from SE Vietnam team for the rest of their internship in Vietnam.
Vietnam is known for its people’s hospitality so a welcome dinner from the locals to our international friends is not something that can be missed. The welcome dinner started with a Vietnamese song performance from our local buddies and their new Canadian friends, then it was time for a dreaded game where after the game, you have to remember the name of each person the entire group. And if you don’t? You get a fun punishment for that.
The first weekend of work calls for some deserving relaxation and city exploration so the local buddies helped plan out a special city tour day for the IVEY students.
First stop: the walking street around Hoan Kiem Lake
On the weekend, there are many fun activities happening on the walking street, including music, folk games, street performances and fun characters like this to take pictures with!
A visit to Hanoi wouldn’t be complete once you try out the famous “egg coffee” from the original coffee shop Giang. The students got to try different flavors of egg coffee including egg coffee with Ruhm, egg coffee with matcha (green tea powder) and they were all very intrigued by the taste.
One of the favorite snacks for Vietnamese people when they’re having a cool drink is to have a plate of sunflower seed on the side. Since it was our students first time trying to open the seed and the cover makes it hard for our students to enjoy so the local buddies jumped right in and help them figure out how to make it work
For lunch, the students got to try one of the most authentic and also the hardest for newcomers to get used to the taste: “bún đậu mắm tôm”, a dish including different type of pork, spring rolls, and sometimes intestines eated with vegetables and rice noodle dipped in a special shrimp sauce.
For the students, they confess that this might bt the most extreme culinary experience that they have had so far in Vietnam and although they like most other Vietnamese food, they sure are not used to the smell of shrimp sauce
The group passed by the Hanoi Opera House – an example of the remaining French artchitecture in the heart of Hanoi. They were lucky enough to encounter a group of Vietnamese women with their traditional ao dai on and decided to strike a pose!
The group continues their tour to the next destination: The Huc Bridge and Ngoc Son Temple.
Next stop is a visit to the Vietnam’s Museum of Ethnology
The museum of Ethnology offers an insight into the 54 different ethnic groups of Vietnam in an effort to preserve cultural heritage and promote socio-cultural diversity within the country. Here the students observe a replica of Muong people’s funeral where the daughter in law has to wear red.
Climbed the Rong House, typical of ethnic groups in Gia Lai and Kontum. Let’s pose for a group picture.
Guess what! They finally got to try being on the back of a bike for once. The students were excited for a ride around Hanoi’s Old Quarter after the whole day walking. They were very amazed by how Hanoians navigate their ways around the busy street and it was quite an experience sitting on the back!
Stay tuned for more of the exciting up-coming activities from our students in the upcoming month!
Visit our Reviews page for more wonderful stories of other students sharing about their experiences in Vietnam!