OIP 2023: A very different Vietnam in the eyes of Singapore students

From March 14th to March 24th, 2023, The International School, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore, organized the “Overseas Immersion Programme” (OIP).

OIP is a cultural exchange program for Ngee Ann Polytechnic students in which the Singapore students are able to immerse themselves in the culture, lifestyle, and practices of the host country through learning and exchanging programs across the world.

OIP 2023 officially ended with memorable memories between Vietnamese students and Singaporean students.

OIP 2021 was the first cultural exchange program designed and held 100% online by the International School and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. In 2023, when the pandemic situation got better, it was a perfect chance for both Vietnamese and Singapore students to meet and bond with each other, and they all had a great time together.

Students of Ngee Ann Polytechnic visit the cultural heritage in Hanoi.

10 days of extensive experience visits

OIP is a cultural exchange program in which Ngee Ann Polytechnic students come to Vietnam to learn about the history, culture, people, and socio-economic background. So what is the mission of Vietnamese students in this program? They are the tour guides who will introduce and share information about our nation, culture, and people, especially the Vietnamese youth generation. Workshops are also held during the program by lecturers from Vietnam National University Hanoi. These lectures would help Singapore and Vietnamese students better grasp the culture, history, and economic status, as well as the modern youth community.

Hanoi’s cuisine does not disappoint young Singaporeans.

Our tour guides did not disappoint the Ngee Ann Polytechnic students with their devoted guidance and support. Students learn more about Vietnamese culture and traditions through numerous cultural visits to museums and tourist attractions in Hanoi. They also become acquainted with the Vietnamese sidewalk cafe and iced tea culture, the junk food, and also many favorite destinations and activities of young people. The cultural exchange program drew a large number of registrations from international students at the International School. They had made a good impression on Ngee Ann Polytechnic students and became the ambassadors connecting Singaporean students with Vietnam.

A very different Vietnam
“This trip significantly broadened my perspectives. Before coming to OIP 2023, I did research on Vietnam on the Internet, but from what I read and what I experienced here were quite different”, Joan, a student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, shared.

A close friendship was formed after 10 days together.

After 10 days of learning and experiencing, Joan and his friends changed the way they view Vietnam. Vietnam is a country that has a diverse culture and dynamic economy, making it a potential land for any investors who are looking for an opportunity to build and develop a career.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am truly grateful to the International School students as our companions on this trip; they helped us to understand better about the country, cuisine, culture, and people here, as well as sharing many stories that we have never heard before,” Joan said.

The farewell was extremely emotional thrilling.

“OIP 2023 was a fantastic trip because I was able to try many traditional dishes that I had previously discovered on the Internet. Furthermore, I also had a chance to learn about the history of Vietnam after visiting several cultural heritage sites. I found it interesting and also admire Vietnam because of its powerful determination to thrive after the war. I am really grateful because we had the International School students to help us overcome the language barrier to enjoy the trip”, Li jun, the third-year student, shared.

Hanoi, Vietnam, VNU-IS hopes to see the Singaporean students again in 2024.

10 days of the cultural exchange program OIP officially ended, yet, it left a good impression in the hearts of Singaporian students. The program changed their perspective on the country and people of Vietnam, particularly the International School students, who are enthusiastic, energetic, friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to support others. As can be seen, the cultural exchange program has truly broadened the view and brought students from both nations together.