DEN Conference - 2024

DEN 7th Conference – The First of Many

6th May, London, it had been raining heavily but ended right before we got off the plane at Heathrow Airport. From that moment, we believed that London was made for us since it gave us a warm welcome as if we were special guests coming to its house. We took the underground trains, for the first time, to the accommodation at Great Portland Street. I still remember how excited I was when I saw the International Students House after having walked for a couple of miles carrying two unwieldy bags. The accommodation was so perfect, with one room for each of us, and all services were included, which made us feel absolutely convenient.

The next day, we had the first chance to meet our international friends from the other sides of the world, our American friends, Thai friends, and obviously, our Westminster friends. Mr Farhang was the main coordinator, in which he arranged everything from meet-ups to lunch to field trip in the afternoon. It was such an eye-opening experience for both me and my international friends, as we were taught a lot about the historical significance of many places in London, how they enshrined their values, how people named them or why they became famous, etc. The most captivating thing in London for me was none other than Big Ben, and to see it with my bare eyes for the first time was incredibly exciting – the time-honoring icon of the city, the iconic feature that sets London apart from others. On the second day of the field trip, it was even more amazing when we learned of the importance of the River Thames not only as a scenic beauty but also as the demarcation between the North and the South of London. Each side has its own way of living and attractiveness, which contributes to London’s cultural diversity.

The reason we came to London this year was not limited to travelling and exploring the city, but most importantly, to present our ideas on one of the passionate topics we had prepared long before. DEN 7th annual conference is an international event in which students from the education network of Westminster University from all around the world gather in one place to deliver their academic research. I could see how dedicated people were when they conducted their research, and I could also feel their passion, pride, and devotion when they discussed their works. And personally, this conference was the culmination of my sterling effort, two months curating my material, and eventually, it paid off. For the first time in my entire academic life, I felt inspirational, as if people actually love and respect my work, and it could somewhat ignite their passion for something short of their preferences. Believe it or not, the presentation was beyond my expectations, as two days before the conference, I was a bit jet-lagged.

By and large, London offered nothing but the best to us. The experiences was more than desirable. The fact that we were accompanied by my great friends made the trip even more exciting and fulfilling. Hence, I want to express my gratitude towards Mr Farhang and my Westminster, Thai, and American friends, who have contributed so much to the success of this year’s conference and, more importantly, who made our trips to London so memorable. Thank you guys so much!

Nguyen Chi Dung, Faculty of International Studies, Hanoi University

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