A Unique Opportunity to Learn and Interact with Students from London and Vietnam

I have a very superficial understanding of Vietnam. It has tropical jungles and is very mountainous, with many rivers crisscrossing its territory, which heavily influences the culture and cuisine. I am particularly interested in the cuisine, as East Asian food is distinct from Western/European food, and I have heard of some dishes before, such as pho, and I wish to try Vietnamese iced coffee. I understand that politically and economically, Vietnam is very socialist, which I believe may be due to its long and intimate history with China. I do not know much about Vietnamese society bar from the fact that western religions are not as commonplace, and therefore, I am very interested to learn about the local folk religions or lack thereof. Furthermore, I am aware of the many conflicts that have engulfed the region, from ancient ones with the Chinese dynasties to recent ones involving colonial powers (Indochina Wars) or, in most recent memory, the Vietnam war with the USA.

This is a unique and interesting opportunity to talk and get to know students in a country very socially and politically different to mine, which will potentially give me new insight and perspectives on issues or problems I may face. The potential opportunity of the field trip next year is also very enticing as it would be the first East Asian country I will visit, and I have been exposed to media about Vietnam, such as some YouTube videos or the Top Gear Special from Hanoi. The country is very beautiful, and the culture is vibrant, so I am excited to visit and learn more about Vietnam. My Vietnamese friend has told me more about the sights and places to see, which has further piqued my interest.

This field trip would allow me to network and talk with not only university student alumni but also international students, which would expose me to a wide array of thinking and learning methods to aid me in my own studies. It is also an opportunity quite out of my comfort zone and would allow me to develop as a more confident and independent individual.

Enzo Martins, Bsc (Hons), Medical Sciences

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