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Going to Vietnam as part of your LBS degree

Another successful Vietnam Study Tour has taken place during the 2019 Winter Semester. Students explored and experienced Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay.

The subject

The study tour is an optional elective and part of the subject Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program (THS3ISP). 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.

The assessment tasks include:

  • Case study relating to war and ethics
  • Daily reflective journal of personal experiences
  • Report evaluating the differences between the hotel and restaurant standards of Australia and Vietnam
  • Group presentation based on photo journal on a given topic

The students

This year, nineteen students went on the Vietnam Study Tour, 13 females and 6 males, of which four international students. The students were accompanied by Paul Strickland, lecturer at LBS and program director – Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management, and Lisa Murphy from the LBS admin team.

The study tour

The study tour started with a tour through Ho Chi Minh City where students visited the Central Post Office and Opera House, both colonial-era architectural masterpieces, followed by the Reunification Palace, so-called for the building’s integral part in the reunification of the country after the war.  Students also visited the Cu Chi Tunnels, who not only served as living questers during the Vietnam War but also as supply routes and hospitals for thousands guerrilla fighters. The trip was combined with a visit to the War Remnants Museum for a firsthand look at the Vietnam War through the eyes of Vietnamese people.

The Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City organised a lecture about Vietnamese culture, food, religion and the differences in study techniques. The Vietnamese students organised interactive games, hosted morning tea and gave a vocal performance followed by a cooking demonstration at Mandarin Restaurant. Before traveling to Hoi An, there was time to visit the site of Australia’s Nui Dat Task Force base, Nui Dat SAS Hill, the Long Tan Cross at the War Memorial, Australian War Graves, Long Tan battlefield and Vung Tau city – the arrival port for Australian troops. This may be the last time students gets to see the Nui Dat SAS Hill in its current form as it has started to be quarried.

Lecture at Vietnam National University
Lecture at Vietnam National University

In Hoi An, a former trading port, is famous for its restored architecture, homemade silk, expert tailors and delicious noodles and seafood. Here the students visited Chua Ong Pagoda, built in 1653 in honour of the Chinese general Quan Cong who is worshiped as a symbol of loyalty and justice. Students also visited Phuc Kien Assembly Hall to see a temple dedicated to the goddess of the sea, the 200 years old Tan Ky house and took a boat trip along Thu Bon river to the Red Bridge Cooking School for a five-course cooking lesson. While in Hoi An, students also visited My Son, the former capital of the ancient Cham civilisation who ruled Vietnam from the 2nd until the 13th century and attended not-for-profit charity restaurants.

Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An
Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An

From Hoi An, the students travelled to Hue – the Imperial City of the former Emperor. They enjoyed a tour of the city and boat trip on the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda. After visiting Hue the tour continued to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. Students visited the Temple of Literature, built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius, Hoa Lo prison and the Old Quarter’s 36 streets.

Towards the end of their two-week study trip, students went on a boat cruise through UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay. The cruise included a visit to the Tien Ong Cave, which covers an area of 1000 m2, a cooking demonstration, squid fishing and a visit to Cua Van floating fishing village.  The study tour ended when students returned to Hanoi with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex where they heard about the man who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from French colonial rule.

Kayaking at Halong Bay
Kayaking at Halong Bay

Student feedback

We asked two students for feedback about the trip and both had an amazing time.

I absolutely loved everything about this trip! The culture, the food, the consequences of war and the diverse tourism products and services available.

My daily reflection and photo journal will be a treasured memory for years to come. I knew no-one in the beginning and made lots of friends. I would definitely recommend this study tour to anyone.

I learnt so much during this once in a lifetime experience!

The study tour was extremely interactive. Everything we did, one of us [a student] was involved in everything, if not all of us. I loved seeing the diverse countryside, the cities, the jungle, the fields and of course the beach and water.

Visiting Manchester, Liverpool and London during LBS’ Sport Study Tour

During the winter semester, several students went on a sport study tour to the United Kingdom as part of their Sport Management degree. Read about the tour and students’ amazing experience.

The tour reinvigorated my belief on why I chose to study sport and what direction I want to take for the future.

Hamza Nur

The subject

The Sport Study Tour (BUS3SST) is a winter elective subject that provides third-year Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) students the opportunity to extend their formal academic learning beyond the local classroom into the global sport environment.

The tour brings students for two weeks to the UK. While overseas, students are based at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), a partner of La Trobe University, whose industry partners include Manchester City FC, Manchester City Council and UK Sport. 

Participating in this study tour allowed for students to understand the multicultural and sporting City of Manchester and enhance their understanding of different cultural contexts, values and practices, as part of the process of becoming and global citizen. Assessments included:

  • Case study on the UK sport system (Individual)
  • Daily reflective journal and photos (Individual)
  • Group presentation on sport development program (pairs)

The students

Ten students (8 males and 2 females) attended the study tour and were accompanied by Dr Pam Kappelides from LBS and Emily Harbrow from LTU Sport. Emily is an LBS Sport Management alumna and worked at Manchester City FC meaning that besides the many contacts she has in the UK, students heard first-hand about her journey in sport.

The students partaking in the study tour

The study tour

Upon arrival, students enjoyed a walking tour of Manchester, were officially welcomed by the Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) and after an introduction to the subject had their first lecture on UK Sports Volunteer Management by Catherine Elliott, senior lecturer of Sport Management & Marketing at MMU. Other (guest) lectures organised for the students included:

  • Lecture on UK Sport Policy and Sport Mega Events by Professor Jonathan Grix and Paul Brannagan from MMU
  • Guest lecture by Colin Bridgford, CEO at Manchester Football Association
  • Guest lecture by Neil Fairlamb from the Manchester City Council on Strategic Lead – Parks, Leisure & Events
  • Lecture on E-Sports by Dr Qi Peng from MMU
  • Guest lecture by Matt Stocks from Greater Sport UK

Obviously, the tour included a variety of interesting and sport focused field trips, such as:

  • National Football Museum
  • Manchester Institute of Health and Performance
  • Old Trafford Cricket Ground
  • Manchester Velodrome
  • Manchester City Elite
  • Manchester City Football Club
Students at Old Trafford Cricket Ground

Besides Manchester, students also visited Liverpool and London. In Liverpool students enjoyed a Beatles and City Walking Tour before attending the Netball World Cup watching Australia play England. In London students attended Wimbledon followed by a tour through Wembley Stadium. While in London, students also had the opportunity to talk with another LBS Sport Management alumni over dinner – Gareth Ficarra – who is currently working at Arsenal Football Club.

The two-week trip finished with students’ group presentations and the presentation of fun awards for each student on their participation during the tour.

Student feedback

We asked the students for some feedback about the trip, and they all agreed that it was a trip of a life-time!

The study tour was a fantastic opportunity to immerse ourselves in international sporting organisations and continue to grow our networks at an international level.

Haylee Jesensek

The study tour was an opportunity of a lifetime! The tour provided the chance to grow internationally and created great networking opportunities as well as a great learning experience. The tour gave us the opportunity to hear and connect with Sport CEOs and La Trobe Alumni.

Max Hannah

The UK study tour provided all students with incredible exposure to some of the most influential sporting organisations in the world, as well as unparalleled networking opportunities with highly regarded sports professionals throughout England.

Will Holding

The trip was amazing, I was able to fulfill a life dream. It was really interesting to see the difference between Australian and UK sporting culture, through the stadium tours and presentations. Before going on the trip, I was quite unclear of what I wanted in my future. Although this may still be the case, I know 100% that my future belongs in sport after this amazing experience.

Hayden Atherton

The UK sports study tour was a once in a life time experience. To be able to see the leading international sporting clubs and their facilities was unbelievable. The opportunity to establish international sporting connections gave me an insight into opportunities beyond Australia. Being able to experience the atmosphere at world class sporting events is something I will treasure forever.

Jacqui Lawson

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