It’s a long way from the boulevards of Paris to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, but for a group of RMIT University Vietnam’s newest exchange students it was an opportunity they could not pass up.
Arthur Delbosco, Arnaud Ruyant, Maxime Nguyen, Raphael Chevalier, Marie-Camille Feuga and Charlie Pruvost are all students at ESG Management School in Paris, but they will be spending the next two semesters at RMIT Unviersity Vietnam taking courses in Business, Accountancy and Professional Communication.
“Leaving France to move to Saigon was my first goal when I knew it was possible,” Delbosco says, “Though it’s never easy to make such a decision, being so far away from home and family, especially when you are going to a country that you know little about.”
“Having been in Saigon for two months now, I can say that I made the right decision. The whole experience so far has been absolutely amazing. I’ve always been excited to know more about Asian culture, and Vietnam is no doubt a good place to start.”
Arriving in Ho Chi Minh City in early September, the intrepid students quickly started exploring the country by embarking on a number of tours of the city, Mekong Delta and other excursions arranged by the University as part of the exchange program.
Pruvost says he particularly enjoyed the city tour. “We had lots of fun competing in a bargaining competition at Ben Thanh market, which gave us not only bargaining experience but also some nice souvenirs to bring back home.”
A visit to the War Remnants Museum was an emotional experience for Chevalier. “We saw pictures of the war and realised that Vietnamese people suffered a lot. This is something we have not had the chance to study in France. Thanks to this visit we will be able to enjoy studying in Saigon while knowing the past of Vietnam,” he says.
The group has also explored further afield, already logging trips to Mui Ne, Da lat, Nha Trang, Hoi An and Hue. And while many other international students choose to stay in the on-campus residential facilities, they have opted to rent a house in a nearby neighbourhood to be more fully immersed in the local culture.
“We thought it would be much more interesting to get to know the culture by living among the local people. We also rent our own motorbikes for travelling,” says Nguyen.
“We were not familiar with the local food, even if we already know some Vietnamese dishes in Paris like pho. It’s very difficult to make a comparison between France and Vietnam, because almost everything is different. “
“This is an amazing campus with fine, modern and beautiful facilities,” Delbosco says. “We saw the new sport hall, the lab rooms and also the many tasty restaurants. We are surrounded by staff, lecturers and students who are very inviting and warming. RMIT University Vietnam makes us believe that we made the right choice and the University will have a bright future.”