Students enjoy trip of a lifetime to Vietnam

Staffordshire University students were given the opportunity to spend three weeks exploring Vietnam this summer thanks to the Turing Scheme

Students wearing traditional Vietnamese hats aboard a boat

Students travelled across Vietnam during their trip

There are not many other times when you can go on the trip of a lifetime for the amount you pay and the amount of opportunities that it gives you.

Bethany Fox, BSc (Hons) Biological Science

BSc (Hons) Biological Science students passionate about conservation travelled the country from north to south, investigating the impact of climate change and pollution and how it is being managed.

They were joined by fellow students studying business degrees who had chance to learn more about global business, visiting Decathlon’s offices in Hanoi as well as experiencing Vietnam’s culture.

The trip marked the end of Jasmine Barton’s degree in Biological Science. The 29-year-old from Biddulph said: “I think going to Vietnam changed my whole outlook on life really. It made me realise how lucky we are with simple things like water and waste management and all the environmental things that we take for granted that now I don’t.

“It was amazing to have that opportunity. I don’t think we’ll ever get that opportunity ever again. It was very worthwhile and do it with my friends form the course as well, it was a great way to finish the degree.”

During their visit, the students attended a reception at the HM Ambassador’s residence in Hanoi and received a warm welcome from colleagues at the British University Vietnam, a partner institution of Staffordshire University.

They travelled to indigenous mountain villages in the Mai Chau province where they helped with rice planting and learned about sustainable farming practices. Other highlights include visiting Ho Chi Minh city, cave kayaking at Ha Long Bay and studying the environmental impacts on the Mekong Delta. The students also tried their hand at preparing food and cooking like the locals, plus had a go at traditional dancing.

Bethany Fox, 22 from Stafford, said: “It’s something that our lecturers had really pushed for because we missed out a lot because of Covid. We had a sustainability focus on the trip so we were able to visit industry professionals and visit communities as well to discover how sustainability and climate change is affecting them.

“I really enjoyed going to see the local communities in one of the Mai Chau provinces. It’s somewhere that you wouldn’t otherwise see and they are all indigenous. So it gave us an opportunity to see the difference in culture and lifestyle to what we have.”

The trip was part funded by the government’s Turing Scheme which provides funding for UK students to experience work, study, training and volunteering internationally. This can play a vital role in boosting social mobility and long-term employability.

Bethany added: “The Turing Scheme itself allows people to go on trips that they may not otherwise be able to go on. I think it’s worth making the most of the opportunity because there are not many other times when you can go on the trip of a lifetime for the amount you pay and the amount of opportunities that it gives you.”

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