One Month Journey with Monash Students
This January marked the new journey of 10 students from Monash University in Australia to Ho Chi Minh city for a one-month internship. As their main major is education, they became very dedicated interns at primary and secondary schools around the city. Besides designing lesson plans and preparing activities for their students, they also enthusiastically explored Vietnam through our designed events. Let’s scroll down to find out how these students enjoyed these activities!
As its name implies, the dinner was to welcome and celebrate the safe arrival of our lovely students to Vietnam. After months of having online conversations, it was so exciting that we finally got to chat and hug each other in real life. This also provided them with a very first taste of Southern Vietnam cuisine, which were carefully chosen for vegetarian, non-vegetarian students and students with specific allergies. Monash students were amazed by the spicy sweet dishes and we were astonished by their excellent ability of using chopsticks!
Welcome dinner at BLOOM Saigon
Planned and organized by local buddies, our tour gave Monash students a very first feel for Vietnamese lifestyle and people by leading them around famous landmarks within the city and joining exciting challenges. Visits to Independence Palace and Nguyen Hue Walking Street unfolded authentic images of HCMC in the wartime past and in the peaceful modern period. In addition, they were also exposed to companionable street vendors and a young dance group, from which they realized how hospitable and dynamic Vietnamese people are. One enticing challenge from local buddies to the foreign students was to learn popular Vietnamese children songs and perform them in public. Again, they surprised us with how fast they could learn!
On Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Vietnamese Cooking Day
With the aim to promoting cultural exchange, we held a Cooking Competition among Monash students at our office on a sunny Saturday. Local buddies and students were divided into 4 teams sailed through numerous challenges such as: brainstorming Vietnamese foods to cook, wandering around supermarkets to buy ingredients, and fighting for cooking tools with other teams to finish their dishes. The laughter and chatting almost exploded our small office. To some of them, it was the first time to clean a raw chicken and to others, they had never seen any typical Vietnamese vegetable before. It was impressive that the Vegetarian team modified Vietnamese spring rolls into a vegetarian dish. At the end, each team presented the meanings of the dishes and a creativity competition popped up! Obviously, no one loved being the losing team and having to wash all the dishes afterwards.
Dishes made at Vietnamese Cooking Day
Mekong Delta Tour
The Mekong Delta Tour was a thrilling trip for Monash students to explore the deep south region of Vietnam where they are indisputably famous for peaceful rivers and a very unique culture. First the students stopped by Toa Thanh temple (a very well-known temple of Caodaism) and discovered a lot about this special religion. They also experienced the first time of sitting on a boat and even had the chance to sail the boat! Tasting specialities from the Mekong such as coconut water and durian or listening to don ca tai tu (a kind of music in Vietnam) were totally brand new things to all of us, even the Vietnamese local buddies. Monash students also tried numerous enticing physical activities that are only found in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. They excelled at riding a bike through a garden-like field and playing on the rocking chairs on the river. There was nothing that these well-adjusted students could not do!
At the Mekong Delta with a jackfruit tree
The party wasn’t the same without the 9 gorgeous girl and one handsome boy from Monash University. Albeit there was some shyness at first, but eventually they became more enthusiastic to join the games than anyone else. The balloon-breaking game and the cracker-eating game were so much fun to them. Then they spiced up the whole atmosphere with a very boisterous dance performance. The dramatic peak was when one Monash girl got the special prize from the organizers: a dinner on a cruise for 2 people!
Our journey with Monash students ended with another cozy dinner. A lot of unforgettable feelings and memories were shared among local buddies, Monash students, and their internship advisors. The recap video and photos were tear-shedding; however, the karaoke heated up the atmosphere again. All the students and local buddies let their hair down and rocked the night before saying goodbye to each other at the airport tomorrow.
It’s a mixed feelings of happiness and sadness at the end of the journey. It’s regretful that we cannot spend more time having all the fun altogether. However, we’re pleased that all Monash students have had amazing experiences in Vietnam and brought tons of wonderful memories back to their country.
See you again, Monash students and wish all the best!