Despite an initial shock with the heat and heavy traffic, Inés De Condé said she’s having the time of her life as an exchange student at RMIT Vietnam.
Inés, a business student from ESG Business School in France, said she initially felt overwhelmed on her arrival as she travelled by taxi from Tan Son Nhat Airport to her hotel.
“All I could see were streets packed with motorbikes rushing in every direction,” the 20-year-old French woman said.
“At the time, I never imagined I would one day be in the thick of it.”
But eventually she did, immersing herself in the traffic just like a Vietnamese woman.
When asked about the reasons for choosing RMIT Vietnam for her study exchange, Inés said part of the program at RMIT Vietnam relates to her dream career in the wine industry.
But mostly she wanted to discover a different culture and become more independent while living in a foreign country on her own.
Inés’ decision to study in Vietnam also came from her memories of living in the country’s north as a teenager.
“My father worked in Hanoi seven years ago and I’ve always remembered Vietnam as a beautiful country with many open-minded, friendly and smiling people,” she said.
“A study exchange gives me the opportunity to discover more of this wonderful country and culture.”
After four months of living and studying in Vietnam, Inés has discovered many things about herself.
Renting an apartment with two other French friends close to RMIT Vietnam Saigon South, Inés said she has become more responsible as well as independent.
“A motorbike has made my life easier when I need to travel somewhere,” Inés said.
“It’s so different to Paris where we have to catch the underground train to get between places.
“Learning to ride a motorbike in this crowded city was challenging but interesting at the same time.
“Now I blend into this crazy traffic and can drive anywhere on my own,” she said.
“I can’t wait to give my mother a city tour in the near future.”
This story was first published in RMIT Vietnam's Exchange magazine.