“The Vietnam- Korea workcamp 2019 has ended and left us unforgettable memories. The two-week workcamp is not such a long or short time but it was enough for us to learn new things, gain more interesting experiences and bring more values to our society. Thanks to this program, we seem to grow up a lot by learning the way to sympathize, sharing and helping other people as well as gaining so much precious knowledge. All the things staying inside of us now are beautiful friendships, gratefulness and many valuable lessons to become a global citizen in the near future.”
Let’s listen to the sharing of Thanh Hieu, Minh Thanh, Tieu Ngoc and Thuy Duong regarding their experience in joining STEP’s Korea -Vietnam Summer Camp 2019!
The reasons why we decide to join the camp
Korea is a country which has unique culture. We really wanted to have the chance to experience that culture in real life. And... Korea-Vietnam Summer Workcamp has appeared like a miracle to us. We believed this camp would be an ideal environment to improve ourselves, try out different things and discover new hobbies or passions. It would be not only a good opportunity for us to cultivate our mind but also give us favorable conditions to make friends with awesome people and understand more about the lifestyle and thoughts of Korean people.
Activities we did in order to preparing for the camp
To us, those time was really such the most exciting and nervous, as we had to prepare everything for the program so that it would run as smoothly as possible. Under the guideline from STEP, we spent a lot of time together making plans, creating the content for daily activities, managing the budget and planning the timetable for sustainable tours, as well as searching for restaurants and shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh city, … We also decorated 22 palm-leaf conical hats as gifts to welcome Korean volunteers at the airport. We believed that they would feel the closeness and hospitality when coming to our country.
Our activities during the camp
Before starting volunteering in Thao Dan Center, each team had to discuss and make decision for each day working schedule. We had one week volunteering and working with small children with many interesting activities: ice breaking, teaching Korean language and K-pop dancing, making handmade stuffs and a small library for the kids, exchanging cuisine and performances.
Besides working at Thao Dan center, our volunteers also had some interesting activities at nights: cooking Korean dishes together, writing letters to each other, sharing each person’s thoughts and impressions after a hard working day or playing some exciting games to get closer to each other.
To get to know more about the Vietnamese people’ lifestyle, we organized some sustainable tours visiting famous destinations of Ho Chi Minh City such as: The War Museum, Saigon Central Post Office, Ben Thanh Market or Cu Chi Tunnel. The Korean volunteers also had opportunities to enjoy traditional cuisine of Vietnam such as: Pho, Banh Xeo (sizzling cake), Bun Cha,... We really had many interesting experiences and explored new things together through these tours.
Of course, we also faced several challenges because of the different in cultures
However, during the workcamp, we also faced with some difficulties due to the differences in culture between Vietnam and Korea. Vietnamese volunteers did not get accustomed to Korean food, or Korean people could not adjust to the tropical climate in Vietnam, as well as the diferences in daily routine. Moreover, because of the language barrier, we sometimes had difficulties in understanding each other thoughts. But as international volunteers, we could quickly adapted to the new environment, solve problems and work efficiently.
And here are what we have learned through the camp:
The two-week camp gave us valuable lessons, exciting experiences as well as precious memories. Working in such an international environment actually helped us enhance our foreign language skills, teamwork skills and inquire more about the working methods of Korean people. That was also a great chance for our volunteers from Korea and Vietnam to get to know deeply about each country’s cultural features. Moreover, we could also learn how to sympathize with each other so we can share and work effectively together. Those lessons were really meaningful to us that it boost our confidence while working in an international and professional environment.
Thanks again STEP for the great experience!
Written by Duong Tieu Ngoc, Nguyen Ngoc Thuy Duong, Tran Thi Minh Thanh and Bui Thanh Hieu - Vietnamese participant in STEP Korea-Vietnam Summer Camp 2019
PS: To know more about our experiences, let’s take a look in this video as well!:D