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La Trobe Business School

Tag: Tourism and Hospitality

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.

What is it like to teach at one of LTU’s partnership universities?

Last year, La Trobe Business School and the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) launched their partnership that includes Top Up programs for the Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) and Bachelor of Business (Event Management) in Singapore. Students with an accredited diploma or advanced diploma are given 12 subjects advanced standing, which requires a further 12 subjects to Top Up their qualification to a degree awarded by La Trobe University.

Recently, several LBS teaching staff went to Singapore to deliver a variety of subjects as part of the program. LBS Newsroom caught up with some of them and asked them about their experience.

Jess Derham

Principles of Gastronomy (THS2GSY) and Food & Beverage Supervision (THS1FBS)

Both subjects I taught are practical subjects providing lots of interactive activities. Some of the highlights of the subjects included students designing their own menu’s through to showcasing destinations around the world in a live exhibition. We were also fortunate enough to have a very unique dining experience at Nox Dine In the Dark – a multi-sensory experience where you dine in complete darkness and are served by people who have a vision impairment.

My students were nothing short of amazing! Personally, the experience of teaching overseas allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and test my teaching skills to an international audience. Right from the preparation stage, to navigating a new university in another country, through to forming a bond with my students. It stands to be one of the most rewarding opportunities I have been provided with.

Jess and her class of students at SIM - an LTU partnership university
Jess and her class of students

Greg Dingle

Event Project (THS3SCE) and Volunteer Management (MGT3SVM)

Teaching at SIM was a great experience! It was challenging to teach two subjects that I had never taught before and both in the same week, but it was a very rewarding experience and I highly recommend it to other colleagues in LBS. I was also very fortunate to be part of a teaching team. Teaching is a collegial endeavour and my colleagues were fun to be with as well as to work with. The “Dine in the Dark” experience was also a really unique experience (thanks to Jess for making this possible).

The students were engaged and enthusiastic and I really enjoyed the week with them. They had a sense of humour too which I liked. I Singaporean-“ised” their content as much as possible (e.g. case studies, organisations, assessment examples, etc.) and I think they appreciated that. Walking in the Botanic Gardens at dawn on some mornings before work was also something I really loved. It’s a fantastic space and gave me some insights into how Singaporeans go about their daily lives. I was invited to join a Zumba class at the Gardens one morning, so it really is full of surprises…

Greg and his class of students at SIM - an LTU partnership university
Greg and his class of students

Paul Strickland

Computer Reservation Systems (THS2TCR) and Tourism & Hospitality Simulation (THS3THS)

In the subject Computer Reservation Systems, we teach students the Opera Hotel Property Management System. Being in computer labs, students have a difference experience to lectures and blended learning environments because the labs are designed for students to be self-taught with the tutor just facilitating the functionality of the software.

Teaching in Singapore is very rewarding. Students are very disciplined especially students that have completed national service. They also were very enthusiastic about the reservation system and managed well to work both autonomously and in teams in HOTS. I also really liked all the different types of food the students brought to class and had me try.

Some of Paul's students in the computer lab at SIM - an LTU partnership university
Some of Paul’s students in the computer lab

Anne Brouwer

Sustainability (BUS2SBY) and Social Media and Relationship Marketing (MKT3SRM)

In 2018 I was at the Dalian Jiaotong University in China for two weeks to deliver an LBS subject and absolutely loved the experience, so I didn’t have to think twice when I was asked to teach at the Singapore Institute of Management. It was a very intense week. I was new to both subjects, had to teach 6 hours a day and there is obviously a lot of preparation and administration work involved. But it was so worth it!

Even though the students were not used to the interactive way of teaching that we do at LTU (blended learning) they seemed to really enjoy it and got really excited over their in-class group work. There is just something about teaching in a different country, with a different culture and a different language. Ultimately, I think I learn as much from them, as they do from me.

Anne and her class of students at SIM - an LTU partnership university
Anne and her class of students
Read more about our SIM partnership: 
LBS’ new partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management

LBS students to Indonesia for a Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum

At the start of the year, several LBS students went to Indonesia for their Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum (STPP). Indonesia has a thriving tourism industry. However, the industry faces issues relating to sustainability and resource management, and there is a need to develop more sustainable tourism practices.

ACICIS and STPP

The Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS – pronounced Ah-chee-chis, as an Indonesian would say it) is a non-profit international educational consortium that provides LBS students, particularly those enrolled in Tourism & Hospitality, the opportunity to undertake a STPP. Students gain, besides practical skills in hospitality, tourism and management, an understanding of the social, cultural and political systems that underpin the tourism industry in Indonesia.

The Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum Program is a six-week study program, undertaken prior to the start of the Australian academic calendar year (January/February). Students can choose their preferred location and organisation, but all placements are built around or have sustainable principles in tourism.

New Colombo Plan

Students doing the STPP can also apply for the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant (NCP), an initiative of the Australian Government, which supports Australian undergraduate students to gain work experience in Asia. LBS has managed to secure 5 NCP Mobility grants for 2019/2020, each worth $3000, to support eligible students on the program.

LBS students Jake and Rahul in Bali

Both Jake Richards and Rahul Kumar are Bachelor of Business students majoring in Tourism and Hospitality who went to Bali for their STPP. Jake, a second year student, worked at EcoBali where he learned about the importance of recycling, waste management and sustainable systems.

Watch Jake talking about his STPP experience

Rahul worked at Bloo Lagoon Eco Village where he developed the social networks of the organisation and supported housekeeping, front office and food & beverage departments. Asking Rahul about his STPP experience, he responded:

“This was my first professional practicum and I have learnt a lot of new things about the tourism and hotel industry, built my networks, gained confidence and greater cross-cultural understanding and inter-personal skills.”

Rahul Kumar

LBS’ new partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management

Recently, La Trobe Business School and the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) launched their new partnership for Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) and Bachelor of Business (Event Management) Top Up programs in Singapore. Students with an accredited diploma or advanced diploma are given 12 subjects advanced standing, which requires a further 12 subjects to Top Up their qualification to a degree awarded by La Trobe University.

Some students of the first intake

The Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) provides students with the skills needed for hospitality and tourism supervision with business management skills and an understanding of the dynamics of the tourism industry. The Bachelor of Business (Event Management) is designed to produce future leaders for the special events sector. It emphasises the application of theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for the effective management of events.

The subjects are being taught by both LBS lecturers and SIM lecturers in intensive block mode, online, face-to-face and blended learning.

Paul Strickland, Programme Director of the Bachelor of Business (Tourism & Hospitality) said:

“The course has embedded the fundamentals of business plus tourism and hospitality subjects that prepare students for all aspects of the sectors. Students can then choose which direction they would like to pursue as there are no limits”.

Additionally, for the Bachelor of Business (Event Management), Paul stated:

“Working in the events sector leads to working in a variety of jobs including events management, human resourcing and volunteering. Students are prepared for managerial roles to oversee small community-based events and festivals but also large-scale mega-events”.

Two student intakes per year in both Top Up programs will occur in January and July from 2020.

Dining in the Dark during Orientation

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