In less than 24 hours I will be flying to another country for the very first time – Vietnam! As our departure time nears closer, I am feeling increasingly excited and nervous. Although it’s a country not far from here, I expect it to be vastly different from life at home – a change of scenery I am looking forward to and have anticipated for practically my whole life, having never travelled outside of Australia.
As soon as I saw the Vietnam Study Tour on the Flinders Learn Without Borders page, I knew I had to apply. ‘Open to all students, a short-term overseas tour and up to $4,500 grants’ – how could I not! I had always planned on travelling as part of my degree and this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.
The trip I am embarking on is a 3-week intensive Vietnam Study Tour with a small group of students from Flinders University, Murdoch University and Griffith University. Lectures and classroom content will mainly involve business and international relations topics, while cultural activities promise an array adventures and unforgettable experiences. From trekking across the countryside and visiting rural communities, to floating along the Mekong Delta – there are so many activities planned for us! Our itinerary is filled to the brim, so I’m sure we’ll make the most out of our short time in Vietnam.
It hasn’t quite hit me yet that I’ll be leaving tomorrow to a completely new and different country. Although I’m sure I’ll feel a bit home sick, I can’t wait for all the amazing experiences lined up for us – the food (especially Banh Mi – which I’m told is incredible), the people, and the diverse and lively Vietnamese culture. A friend of mine who visited Vietnam told me not look at the scooters as I cross busy streets – which I’m sure is just a small indication of what will be a thrilling and unforgettable cultural experience!
Abby Velasco, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Master of Occupational Therapy, participating in the IRU Vietnam Study Tour in 2016