RMIT students from Melbourne and Vietnam have gathered on the Hanoi City campus to focus on a project that may have far-reaching effects for RMIT Vietnam.
The 2015 Interdisciplinary Project study tour kicked off at RMIT Hanoi City campus early November, with ten Melbourne students working on a two week intensive project with 14 of their colleagues from the RMIT Vietnam Professional Communication degree.
The project brief is to develop a communications strategy for Hanoi City Campus to attract more exchange students from Melbourne. The students are working in groups of five to develop strategies and to produce some prototype tools to use in the campaigns.
Tim Costigan, Head of the Professional Communication Department and one of the ICP course lecturers believes that the study tour has so far been an overwhelming success.
“We have put Melbourne and Hanoi RMIT students together in a ‘hot lab’ where they must perform fast creative and fast execution under industry-type conditions,” he said.
The students have formed project working groups across cultural and disciplinary lines and have already produced strategies and draft prototype communication tools.
“It's been amazing watching these groups form and perform and to see how well the students are adapting to these exciting but tough conditions.”
Both groups of students are learning about each others’ cultures through the collaboration.
Melbourne student Madison O’Riordan said: “My experience with the study tour so far has been one of collaboration and learning in all senses of the word.
“It has been so easy to immerse myself in the Hanoi lifestyle and by working and socialising with my Vietnamese peers I am better able to understand the culture and the work ethic of people that are different from myself.
“The food has been great, but the people have been even better!”
Hanoi student Hien Nhu agreed: “Working on how to attract Melbourne students to go to Hanoi gives me chances to explore aspects of Melbourne students' lifestyle such as their favourite social activities and cuisine.
“And I found out that we have many things in common, such as the 'coffee culture' - we love to hang out with friends at beautifully designed cafes!”
The three main stages in the project have consisted of pre-arrival activities with background research on the exchange program and the city of Hanoi; two weeks intensive study, and post-study tour activities, including students writing reflections.
The students will present the campaign strategies and tools they developed to various stakeholders in RMIT University.