Students of Tra Vinh University and Students of Vancouver Island University get together to experience activities for community


The group of 18 students from Vancouver Island University (VIU) – Canada and Tra Vinh University (TVU) has experienced cultural and academic activities within the framework of cultural and educational exchange program ( Field school) between Tra Vinh University’s students and Vancouver Island University’s students which was organized from May 13th, 2019 to June 2nd, 2019.

On the first week of the program, the students of  two universities spent time together in eating, staying, exchanging and learning from each other on living and studying, studying as well as experiencing language, culture and outdoor activities… Then, they continued to take part in designing toys from recycled materials for students of preschool and primary school, repairing and consulting electricity for households.

The second week of the program was also time for teamwork. The students worked together to implement a number of technical projects contributing to the community.

The “Play Ground” project which was designing toys from recycled materials for preschool and elementary school, was invested carefully in design with full of technical and safe design process from customer demand survey, estimating. The technical design was based on the applicability, safety, creativity and aesthetics to implement, install and operate.

The students went to Tra Vinh Pedagogical Practice School to survey location and interview to find out the needs of users including the school Board, the teachers of preschool and primary school and to talk to the children of preschool and primary school. At the time, the students of VIU and TVU were able to exchange with the children of preschool and primary school many souvenirs such as pencils and small pads having the symbols of kangaroo and maple leaves, which are the two typical symbols of Canada.

The students has designed, set up and operated many interesting game products for the children of preschool and elementary school. As soon as the toys have been installed, the children have tried in a fun and exciting way. At the end of the project, the groups of students made a presentation on each group’s product in English with the attendance for giving marks of instructors and those who are the teachers and the students using products. The project was highly evaluated by using teachers for its applicability and effectiveness. Besides bringing to the community many useful products from recycled materials, the project contributes to educate an awareness of environmental protection for students and parents.

Ms. Pham Thi Truc Mai, Vice Principal of Tra Vinh Pedagogical Practice said: “I am really surprised with such kind of meaningful project. The children have experienced new game products and interacted with older domestic and foreign students. All the products were installed and ensured its safety and its creativity from recycled items… They seem to bring a new breeze to make the playground of the schools be more diverse and indirectly to teach children the awareness of environmental protection.”

During the time, the students also participated in teaching English, arousing the passion in learning foreign languages for students of An Phu Tan B Primary School, Tan Quy commune, Cau Ke district, Tra Vinh. The children were taught how to name fruits around their homeland, animals, utensils … and played games as well as sang many English and Vietnamese funny songs. The freshness of the students helped the atmosphere be more exciting and friendly, from that the children were sowed a special passion for learning foreign languages.

The last week of the program ended with the most technical project which was free designing, repairing and replacing electrical equipment for 10 households in Dai Phuc commune, Cang Long district. The project was implemented in full process, technical standard and safe insurance to set up a lighting system in households such as LEDs, electrical shockproof sockets, automatic switches, … with the support of final year students who major in electricity from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. Each group of students was entrusted with the task of surveying current status of house’s design and how to use electricity. Based on the survey, the groups made a drawing to arrange power line, electrical equipment for each household with a list of specific supplies and equipment. Then they bought materials and made installing assignment plan according to completing progress from 3 to 4 households in a working day for each group.

During repairing and replacing electrical equipment at households, the students witnessed a case of Mr. Pham Thanh Hai whose daughter had leukemia. The household was really in a misserable situation, so the students from the two universities have collected VND 2,500,000 to support this family.

At the closing meeting of the cultural and educational exchange program (Field school) between students of Tra Vinh University and students of Vancourver Island University, the groups of students made reports and shared in English all experiences that they have learnt in three weeks of eating, staying and working together.

At the report, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Tiet Khanh, Principal of Tra Vinh University, said: “Through the program, the students of the two univeristies are not only able to improve their knowledge, skills and technical expertise, but their language skill has also been markedly improved. Vietnamese students improve their English language while VIU students learn how to speak Vietnamese as well as understand more about Vietnamese culture and people. This is the greatest goal which the universities have set in the beginning.”

The cultural and academic exchange program closed with a night of musical performance created by students from both universities.

Morris, Michael VI, freshman of VIU, said: “One year ago, when Nik and I received information about the cultural exchange, we were very excited to imagine about all activities and view of Vietnam. We decided to join and waited this time every day. Time flies fast, and today I have to say goodbye. In fact, everything went better than our imagination. We want to send our thanks to all program’s organizers. Of course, I deeply thank our TVU friends, during the past time, you had played many different roles to be with us including a partner, a guide, an alarm clock in every morning and a funny and enthusiatic interpreter when we were in the market. We really thank the program, thank you everyone. See you all. For sure, I will come back in the most recent day.”

Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang, TVU freshman, added: “In addition to the specialized knowledge and skills which were practically improved, we also have a great friendship with VIU students. After the program, although we donot say, but every TVU student are aware of learning English to increase our communication ability with international friends. I look forward to seeing those lovely VIU friends again.”

The program closed after three weeks working excitedly, the students had to say goodbye with tears behind the tight handshakes, the hands clasped to keep exchanging gifts with the flag of Vietnam and Canada. Their friendship is a clear evidence of a successful educational and cultural exchange program.