The Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program (THS3ISP) went on another successful Vietnam Study Tour.
About the tour
La Trobe Business School, in cooperation with Hanoi University offers students studying Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality), Bachelor of Business (Event Management) and Bachelor of Business Event Management/Marketing) an opportunity to visit Vietnam for a period of two weeks as an optional elective.
The objective of the study tour is to examine and observe the cultural, social and environmental aspects as a tourist, the impacts of government policy and the legacy of war. Vietnam has a very ‘dark’ history due to its strategic location between China and western societies and is therefore an ideal case study for political, cultural and tourist industry examination.
The assessment tasks include a case study relating to war and ethics, a daily reflective journal, a formal report evaluating the differences between the hotel and restaurant standards of Australia and Vietnam, and a group presentation based on photo journal on a given topic.
Students flew to Ho Chi Minh and started their trip with a city tour of Old Saigon where they visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and the Opera House. They also visited the Cu Chi Underground Tunnel and the former site of the Australia’s Nui Dat Task Force base.
Besides visiting sites in Ho Chi Minh, the students also attended lectures at the university.
From Ho Chi Minh, the group travelled to Danang for a walking tour through Hoi An Old Town and a Vietnamese cooking class. Students also experienced a behind the scenes tour of the hotel they were staying in, the Vinh Hung Emerald, by the Resort Manager.
The trip then continued to Hue, including a boat ride on the Perfume River visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda and a tour of the Imperial City of the former emperor. The last leg of the trip included a guided tour of Hanoi and also an overnight cruise of Ha Long Bay, including a crispy spring roll cooking class.
Benefits for students
The experiences and benefits students take away from this trip are countless. Some of the benefits for students are: experiencing a different culture from a tourist’s perspective, immersing themselves into the culture including learning some of the language and eating the local cuisine. Students also gain a deep appreciation of the legacy of war, experiencing different religions, visiting World Heritage sites, meeting managers of hotels, supporting charity restaurants, visiting other universities and meeting local students. It provides a great opportunity for students to make new friends as no-one knew each other prior to the trip.