Singaporean, Thai and Vietnamese students participate in an online exchange program

From September 14 to 24, 2021, The 2019 – 2021 Temasek Foundation Specialists’ Community Action and Leadership Exchange program (TF-SCALE) successfully took place, which is co-organized between the International School, Vietnam National University, Hanoi; Ngee Ann Polytechnic (Singapore) and Chiang Mai University (Thailand). This program is sponsored by the Temasek Foundation (Singapore).

In 2019, from August 24 to September 14, there were 36 VNU students visited Singapore to experience a 3-week exchange program (Inbound Program).

This Inbound Program had a lasting influence on the participants since they had the opportunity to learn, socialize, and mature after the 3-week trip to Singapore. The successive exchange program in Vietnam (Outbound Program) was expected to take place in March, 2020. However, due to the long delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Organizing Committee decided to organize a hybrid program of both online and face-to-face learning experiences.

With a view to maintaining meaningful activities during the pandemic for students to learn about cultural, socio-economic, human-related issues of ASEAN countries as well as their people, the Temasek Foundation has decided to maintain its sponsorship for the TF SCALE Program 2021.

The highlight of the 2021 Program is its complete online format with the joint collaboration between 03 training institutions from Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This program lasted for 12 days, including a wide variety of activities that were designed for students to learn about the economy, culture, and people of Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Furthermore, students had the opportunities to learn, exchange and improve soft skills by engaging in group work and group discussion.

Thus, due to the widespread pandemic, the “Specialists’ Community Action and Leadership Exchange” program was organized virtually for the first time with the participation of over 100 students from 03 training institutions of 03 different countries.

Despite meeting each other only via the computer screen, visiting Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand on the small screen has left good memories in the hearts of students from the 03 countries. As the program concluded, students felt regretful and hoped that the program could last a bit longer.

With each hour of the webinar, students gain more knowledge about the economy, society, culture, history, country and people of Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. An interesting fact is that the information about Singapore is collected by students themselves to introduce to their peers. Apart from the webinars, the “Show and tell” section is equally exciting and attractive.

Sitting in Vietnam, students can visit every corner of the Lion City, enjoy delicious and new food, get acquainted with the culture and people of Singapore. On the other hand, Singaporean students really admired the sidewalk iced tea, train street cafe or Vietnamese street food. They also get acquainted with the city where their Vietnamese friends reside, and feel what the streets of Vietnam are like in these days of social distancing. And just like that, students participating in the exchange program have the opportunity to walk in new places, listen to the hit songs of each country and enjoy the specialties of the ethnic groups everyday. “I have learned many interesting things through each class, understanding more about the culture and custom of Vietnam. I hope the pandemic will be over soon so I can come here to enjoy the food that I find very delicious and walk with my friends on the streets of Hanoi”, said Cassie Ng, a student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

“Through this exchange program, I have learned essential soft skills such as teamwork, time managements, and presentation skills. I also learned a lot from my Singaporean and Vietnamese friends. I feel like I have become more matured after just 02 weeks”, said Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son, a student at VNU University of Engineering and Technology.