A group of Chisholm Institute Early Childhood Education students and two of their teachers recently embarked on a study tour of Vietnam and Cambodia to experience how children in other countries learn.
The adventure begun with an 18 hour trip from Melbourne to Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. For many students it was their first trip overseas, and everyone’s first time in Vietnam.
Heading straight out into the bustling streets, it wasn’t long before one of the students joined in on a game of jumping bamboo sticks with the local children.
This set the tone for the rest of the trip, which emphasised engaging with children, Vietnamese early childhood educators, and both urban and rural communities in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Chisholm’s students received warm welcomes at several early education centres, where they observed local early childhood practices, joined in, and led activities of their own.
The group also answered many questions about early childhood practices in Australia and presented centres with copies of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework.
Manager of the Department of Early Childhood Education at Chisholm, Sue Wyatt, said the trip gave students a new perspective that will influence the impact they have on children’s lives.
‘Everyone discussed their routines and shared their philosophies of educating and caring for children, and afterwards we reflected deeply on the similarities and differences in our culture.’
The recent history of the two countries also made for valuable reflection that the students can apply in the workplace.
‘In the Early Childhood industry we deal a lot with migrant families with complex issues, and it’s important for us to understand the plight of other cultures’ said Ms Wyatt.
The trip was made possible through an Endeavour Mobility Grant, now known as the Endeavour Leadership Program (ELP). The ELP supports Australian undergraduate, postgraduate and VET students to have an overseas study experience that contributes to their Australian qualification.