Read the first part of my trip here.
The schedules in Vietnam started quite early in the morning as we need to follow the international schools’ timetables. So around 8am on the 12th January, my second day in Ho Chi Minh City, I got ready and took the taxi to British Council office for the Welcome and Logistics Briefing at 8.15. I was handed an information pack including the profiles of other 11 universities attended as well as a staff card. I’m not gonna lie, the card got me so excited about the upcoming events.
According to the programming, we will travel to 2 schools that day: the ABC International School and the British International School. It was really great to meet and talk to schools’ counsellors and especially quite a lot of senior students who wanted to study at a UK University. Some of them have already had a clear plan for themselves and asked us lots of questions about student life in the UK and at the University of Gloucestershire which made it so much easier for us. The schools also helped us a lot in terms of event organising such as setting, refreshing and students timetables planning, allowing us to make the most out of the time there.
Later that day, we headed to the networking event at Ly Club where we got the chance to meet and talk to 10 international schools’ principals and counsellors, or just get to know about other Universities’ representatives. I never thought I would have a great time mingling, but it was actually quite interesting, especially with the amazing finger food and watermelon juice they served.
The next day was a quite packed as we had to transfer between 3 different international schools. I was a bit nervous as well as I was booked to do my presentation at 2 seminars at Vietnam Australian International School, the first school we visited. Although the setting up took a bit of time which resulted in the fact that we were a bit late, the seminars went really well. The students were so lovely and enthusiastic which set me at ease that I was at least doing a good job.
Later in the afternoon, after visiting the other two schools, International School HCMC and British Vietnamese International School, while others quickly transferred to the airport for their flights to Hanoi, Hoa and I got back to the city centre for dinner as our flight was quite late at night. Hoa took me to a restaurant called “Mon Hue”, which specialised in traditional dishes from the Hue- a beautiful city in the middle part of Vietnam, where I had an amazing bowl of grilled pork with rice vermicelli, fresh guava juice and some traditional desserts. We then walked to the nearby alley which is famous for its nails shops to have our nails done (obviously). It was quite random, I know, but we had plenty of free time while Hoa wanted to get her nails painted and I just wanted to fix two of my acrylic nails as I just picked them up early that day. It was really pleasant, I have to admit, and the nails technicians were really lovely!
After that, we rushed to the airport to find out both our flights were delayed so Hoa’s flight would depart around 10pm while mine would be around 12am (!!!). So I just sat at the airport, as Hoa went first, waited for my flight and got to Hanoi Noibai airport at 2ish to find out the banner standee was stuck at Ho Chi Minh airport and won’t arrive until 3am. All I remembered about that experience was endless waiting and the fact that it was 4:30am that I got home. I woke up at 9am the same day to realise it’s impossible for me to get up and follow the schedule. Fortunately, Hoa completed understood my excuse and got me half a day off. I just simply got back to sleep and only got up for our seminar at ISC-UKEAS Hanoi at 5pm.
So I arrived at the ISC-UKEAS office in Hanoi first as Hoa was still stuck in the traffic jam somewhere out there. Some of the students were there already and they have been waiting for a while so I had to start the presentation first. Hoa arrived about half an hour later to catch up with her part, so everything was still quite smooth!
The next day went past quite well with 2 international schools, Singapore International School and United Nation International School, which were both really nice and we had some good time talking and taking selfies with students.
Later in the afternoon, I had a seminar at British Council office in Hanoi to deliver our presentation again. This time it was quite a big seminar, compared to the others, as British Council did some promotion on their official social networks and the media came. It was really great and about 20 students with their parents came. I kinda enjoyed that five minutes of fame when they asked me for a quick interview for the TV news. However, it was completely cut out when they broadcasted it a day later (JUST WHY???),
Anyway, I had the next morning off which I spent wandering around with my friends at The Yard before getting ready for the Vietint Fair Hanoi at 2pm. I had a great time there, as well as at the Vietint Fair in Ho Chi Minh in the next day, while talking and taking selfies with lots of students. It was quite embarrassing when we first asked them for the pose, but they were really friendly and nice enough to get along with us.
My flight from Ho Chi Minh back to Hanoi on the 17th was delayed again (It was the 4th time now!!!) and I got home around 12am on the 18th, realising I only had 1 day left to enjoy my wonderful life as an unemployed student at home before coming back to UK.
It was one of the best holidays I’ve taken, since I could not only fulfil my life-long dream of visiting South Korea but also I had a great chance to learn a lot more about one of our marketing and recruitment activities. I also found myself taking to people a lot, which was never my strength. That working trip definitely pushed me off my comfort zone, but it worked as a miracle that helped me learn more about myself and my limit.
At the end of the day, I just hope that I won’t never ever forget how confident I used to be while talking others, and could use that as a source of strength whenever needed.