Building a culture of diversity and inclusion is one of RMIT’s core values.
“Cultural diversity is such an important aspect of a strong university community,” says Le Lam Viet Trang, RMIT Vietnam’s Student Activities Manager.
“It helps students build bridges, and teaches them to trust and respect other cultures. And it opens them up to new ways of thinking.”
Last week Ms Le and the University’s Student Life team, along with numerous student clubs, hosted RMIT’s annual International Festival at its Saigon South campus. The event brought together more than 2000 staff and students from different backgrounds, and featured cultural booths, activities and performances to celebrate RMIT Vietnam’s increasingly multicultural community.
Jogvan Klein, RMIT Vietnam’s Director, International, noted that the number of international students was on the rise.
“This semester, nearly 20 per cent of all new students were international, which is a 61 per cent increase from just two years ago,” he said.
“Our international students come from around the world, most notably South Korea, France, Germany, Sri Lanka, and of course Australia.
“And let’s not forget that many of our Vietnamese students go abroad to study in Melbourne or at one of our 200 exchange partners around the world, and then bring this experience back to our Vietnam campuses. You really get a sense of how global our community is at an event like International Festival.”
Sang Yeon Lee, a Bachelor of Information Technology student from South Korea, said he was impressed with the cultural activities and traditional costumes prepared by students for the International Festival.
“I had the opportunity to try out the traditional Vietnamese bamboo stick dance. I also got to understand more about the beauty of other cultures from their unique food and costumes,” Lee said.
“The RMIT International Fest 2019 is one of many activities for me and other international friends to join in since my arrival six months ago.”
Pierre-Mael Dousson, an exchange student from the PSB Paris School of Business in France said that he had a chance to share his country’s culture and work with Vietnamese students during the festival.
“I love to say “hello” to everybody in French, and also introduce the Louvre Museum or even romantic parts of Paris,” Pierre said.
“It is a wonderful experience for me to exchange to study at a modern campus of Vietnam where I am able to work, share ideas with many students from different countries, and enjoy helpful services offered from the University such as mobility services, sport and cultural activities.”
Story: Le Mong Thuy