Kanazawa University – Vietnam Study Tour 2017
The Japanese have an old saying that goes: “Ichigo Ichie” which translates roughly into ‘One time, one meeting’, or ‘for this time only’. The phrase describes the concept that every meeting with any person is unique and should be treasured and it reminds each of us to cherish any encounter that we take part in, for it might be a once-in-a-lifetime encounter. The opportunity we had to welcome the group of students from Kanazawa University for their 2-week long Vietnam Study Tour is definitely one of those once in a lifetime occasion. Now that the program has ended, we would like to share with you some of what we thought were the highlights and most memorable moments the students got to share with lovely people in Vietnam, including their lectures, English teacher, program coordinators and of course the Vietnamese local buddy team.
25th, August 2017: 12 students, their professor, and a Japanese tour escort landed in hot, humid, and bustling Ho Chi Minh City. First impressions after stepping out of the airport are initially disorienting, and we could tell our Japanese visitors were too, but that shock quickly turns into excitement to explore once the students met with their program coordinator and local buddies.
The students of Kanazawa University arrived at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.
The students had their classes taken at the infamous Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, a pillar of knowledge and academic research in the field of technology in South Vietnam. As this university is one of the oldest and most spacious universities in Vietnam, the students were greatly in need of a Campus tour to get to know the basics such as different Faculty buildings, school canteens and restrooms. The first day abroad is always the most tiring day, however, the students needed to be armed with basic survival skills that can assist them during their next days in Vietnam. Therefore, SE Vietnam team prepared them many ice-breaking games that helped them relax and clear their minds to take in more of the Orientation.
Let’s go on a campus tour.
For the best and more diverse exposure to the host country culture, the students got to stay with a host family instead of at a hotel room. They each get paired with a local host family whose members speak English (to maximize their chances of putting their communications on practice) and who are very eager to exchange and learn about Japanese culture from the students. In addition to that, every student was also paired with a ‘local buddy’, a local student who volunteers to spend their time with the students and show them amazing places and beauty of Vietnam.
The students’ schedule was always packed with different cultural immersion activities; they got to explore the city tour on their 2nd day with a Scavenger hunt by the local buddies. Visiting the amazing fast developing city center areas, some students could not believe that they are in Vietnam – a country known by many foreigners to be associated with the fairly recent Vietnam War. Besides from enjoying walks around the shooting skyscrapers, the students also got to experience the more traditional aspect of Vietnam by playing folk games.
The students in front of the famous Central Post Office.
Can you guess what Vietnamese traditional game the student is playing?
Vietnam is known for its flavorful, healthy and unique cuisine, which is why it is no surprise when the Japanese students got to have a Vietnamese Cooking lesson on the weekend, the students got to learn how to make bún chả (a dish well known in Northern Vietnam), Bánh Xèo (a special dish coming from the land of South Vietnam), and for desserts a warm and cooling batch of lotus seed sweet soup is cooked. In return, the students also introduced some of Japanese’s most signature and easy-to-do dishes like Okonomiyaki (Japanese style pancakes), rice and seaweed rolls.
Students and their local buddies show each other how to make Japanese and Vietnamese’s famous dishes.
Vietnamese Banh xeo made by Japanese students.
Japanese Okonomiyaki, a type of pancake with cabbage and meat, is very delicious.
Dedicated to those who are love to compete, an outdoor work out and a fun time with friends, the Sport contest event is organized with this in mind. We saw, for the first time the burning spirit of our Japanese students to compete and to have a good time with local students. Eventhough the students had been through a quite hectic week, everyone tried their best to participate in the sport activities and they no doubt had an amazing time!
To be continued…
The journey of Kanazawa University students is not yet to finish, there are much more amazing and valuable learning experiences the students had gone through. Stay tuned with SE Vietnam to find out what exciting activities that the students got to do during their Vietnam Study Tour in our next post.
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