Field Trip to Vietnam: An Experience that I Will Always Remember

Going to Vietnam was an experience I will always remember because it was a part of the world I never thought I would explore. Vietnam opened my eyes to a lot of things culturally, socially, politically and educationally. It opened my eyes culturally because I got to see a different culture and way of life, for example, their religion – going into temples, I saw how much they value their religion and culture. Socially, my eyes were opened because, in the UK, we don’t really socialise as much, but in Vietnam, they are on the street eating together, and even at mealtimes, they share food together. One social aspect that took me by surprise is on the weekend when they shut some of the roads off for just pedestrians, and during these times, everyone came together. I even joined in with the local activities and skipped with them!

The main reason why we went was the political and educational aspect, and going to a communist country like Vietnam surprised me as I already had expectations of the stereotypical “unhappy citizens, order and control”, but going there, I realised it’s the complete opposite – the citizens are very happy and aware of what is going on, and the system is built to work alongside the citizens not against them. This was evident when we saw their COVID outcome in fighting the outbreak.

The educational aspect was interesting to look at regarding the timings of their day and the duration of their lectures and how it differs from ours. All in all, I had an amazing experience, met new people and made new friends. I engaged in a different culture and learnt new things.

I feel that everyone should experience something like this as it opens your eyes and teaches you a different way to learn, for example when I was there, I asked a lot of questions and made sure I always put in all of my effort to make sure I have the best experience possible. Going to a country, you have learnt about is better than just reading about it and researching. I feel like the memory is imprinted, and I’m more familiar with the place as I’ve been there myself and know what it’s actually like. I haven’t just read scholarly articles; I have also gained opinions from students my age and even from the locals.

Lovester Aperpeng-Kyeremaa, Year 2, BA (Hons), Politics and International Relations

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