RMIT Vietnam NewsA journey of friendship

A journey of friendship

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 11:01
Nguyen Le Thai Giang
Tran Nhat Ha
Vu Pham Ngoc Ha

Travelling through many countries and joining in multi-cultural activities are among the amazing things that three RMIT students will experience on the upcoming Ship for South East Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP).

After competing against 4,000 other hopefuls, Vu Pham Ngoc Ha (Bachelor of Business), Nguyen Le Thai Giang (Bachelor of Communication), and Tran Nhat Ha (Bachelor of Communication graduate) were chosen as three of 28 youths selected to represent Vietnam on the 40th Ship for South East Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP).

"I first heard about SSEAYP when I was in grade 11. Back then, I was brave enough to apply to be a volunteer to welcome the 38th Ship to Vietnam. I was determined to be on board one day, and now I finally am," Giang said.

Both Giang and Ngoc Ha are RMIT scholarship holders with impressive academic and community engagement backgrounds. Ngoc Ha was part of the team that won the Nielsen Case Study Competition in 2012, while Giang has been the Secretary of the RMIT Chess club and has played key roles in many other projects around campus. Coincidentally, Ngoc Ha also decided she wanted to be a SSEAYP representative when she was a volunteer welcoming the ship in 2012.

"SSEAYP is the most popular and biggest activity of Vietnam Communist Youth Union. Joining in this program will be an unforgettable experience. I have been eager to join this program since I was much younger and I was always trying to becoming a part of it," Ngoc Ha said.

"The education we received from RMIT encouraged us to advance our strengths and to make the most out of them," said Bachelor of Communication alumna, Tran Nhat Ha, who also co-founded the RMIT Music Club. "That's the reason why I could confidently use my singing ability to gain more points from the judges."

Last year, Nhat Ha's confidence in her talent also won her a full scholarship to MPU music school.

Those chosen to join the 40th SSEAYP are now undergoing intensive preparation for the journey which includes collecting the necessary documents for discussion sessions on board, practicing national dances, preparing for cultural exhibitions, designing national uniforms and seeking sponsors. All the delegates will gather in Hanoi for two weeks to train before leaving for Japan to begin their amazing journey.

First conducted in 1974, SSEAYP is an annual cultural exchange program aiming to promote and strengthen friendship among young people from participating ASEAN countries and Japan. Each year, 320 youth participants are selected from 10 Southeast Asian countries and Japan to come together on board. Now in its 40th year, the ship will visit six countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, and the Philippines after departing from Japan. The journey lasts 51 days with various activities such as homestays, exhibitions, Royal Palace visits, and a Japan-ASEAN Youth Leader Summit.