Vietnam Fieldtrip: The Best Moments of My Life

The field trip to Vietnam organised by the Democratic Education Network felt like one of the best moments of my life, so I have decided that while the whole journey is still fresh in my mind, I shall reflect on the many aspects of the trip.

The major thing that made this trip so special was how it influenced my perception of Vietnam and Southeast Asia as a whole. Before the trip, I prided myself on my knowledge of the history and geopolitics of the region, but upon arrival, the sheer amount of information and minute details completely blew my mind. I would estimate that my understanding of the region expanded to a previously unimaginable amount, which in turn only increased my love and interest in the region.

The many small fragments of information we gained in university before the trip greatly assisted me in my conversations with the Vietnamese students and lecturers and gave me the ability to understand their perspectives in a very in-depth way. But the trip was not only about learning in an academic environment. Some of my greatest memories came from casually walking Hanoi’s busy streets or the rainy alleys of some small North Vietnamese village. Even Ha Long Bay by itself felt like a whole new and interesting field trip. The sheer broad number of experiences I had daily throughout the trip now feels like memories I shall always cherish. After an experience such as this, I now wish to find many new ways to do similar trips to this one, mainly because I understood that it is in trips like these where I truly learn the most. In my opinion, a field trip such as this is not only a fun trip with friends or an academic project: it is both, and by this exact combination, students can learn things that are the most valuable and interesting to themselves.

Karlis Starks, Year 2, BA (Hons), Politics and International Relations

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