Ten Diploma of Nursing students from Victoria University's St Albans campus will head to Vietnam from 21st September to 4th October 2012, as part of the inaugural Victoria University Vietnam Study Tour.
The study tour will help the students to understand and accept cultural diversity and challenge them to think critically. Knowledge and experience of a different culture is often valued by potential employers.
Coordinator and study tour leader Dr Sue Kristy said, "Students will be challenged physically, academically and emotionally in a supported environment. My experience on previous study tours has been that students improve significantly in their ability to work in culturally diverse and challenging environments."
The ideal environment for addressing cultural perspectives is the physical reality of a different culture. Students will be volunteering to work in the National Paediatric Hospital in Hanoi; in Hoa Binh Peace Village, which is an orphanage for disabled child victims of Agent Orange; and at the Blue Dragon, an NGO working primarily to give trafficked children an education and return them to their homes.
All students will be accompanied by a Victoria University registered nurse when volunteering in health facilities.
Students will also examine health issues of minority hill tribe communities.
Student nurse Kellie McWilliam, said, "I am looking forward to the experience. This trip is a fantastic opportunity to use the skills we have learned so far in our nursing course and to experience the difficulties faced in a health care setting completely different to ours."
If, on their return, the students go on to work as nurses in western Melbourne they will care for people from different religious and cultural backgrounds and will benefit from their Vietnam experience. The study tour reflects Victoria University's objective to train nurses for employment in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
Twenty three student nurses applied for the tour and ten students will be participating. The students contribute to their own airfares and costs.
Kellie McWilliam is available for interview.
Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University,
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