UEF students completing the "Sustainability & Innovation Short-term Immersion program" at Arizona State University (ASU) had a golden opportunity to gain global knowledge, practical skills, and significant experiences, all of which will be etched on their minds long after the program.
The program provided these students with insightful knowledge, helping them acquire a global perspective through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, defined by 169 specific targets and 232 unique indicators. These SDGs aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for everyone by 2030.
The greatest treasure and unforgettable memories
Each of the students got their own favorite things and feelings in their journey at ASU besides the valuable knowledge of SDGs
Bao Tran was interested in lessons about the cultural uniqueness of each country
“I have learned a lot of useful lessons about Sustainable Development Goals and how to apply them in life. But for me, the most interesting things were the lessons about the different cultures of each country shared by other international friends as well as the language lessons. I learned to speak a sentence in 3 languages,” said Dang Bao Tran.
Huynh Thanh Phu Qui, on the other hand, feels teamwork activities engrossed him immensely as those activities helped him and his friends gain a better understanding of each other’s country through discussing academic and social issues.
Students also participated in extracurricular activities and visited special destinations during their time at ASU.
“The activity that reminded me the most was the Guest Speaker program. ASU always invites inspiring speakers to its program to motivate us to think more positively and help us understand the education, the environment, and the health system of the world. In particular, ASU invited a Vietnamese-American speaker living in the US to the meeting. He is a doctor in the US and heads lots of medical charities for poor patients around the world. I learned lots of things from him, and I hope that one day I will be able to have a positive impact on society and the lives of others as he did," expressed Minh Nhut.
Phu Qui, a first-year student received various valuable experiences from the program
The Downtown Campus Tour, according to Minh Thu, was an unforgettable experience: “We visited Thunderbird’s modern learning environment, experienced virtual reality and unique cultures, and went to the museum together, which was a giant space with magical things inside. That field trip inspired and motivated me to keep trying on my journey to conquer knowledge and explore the world.”
Meaningful values from the experiences
Wonderful and friendly were two words that these UEF students gave to everyone at ASU, from leaders, lecturers, and students, to the dormitory staff. Saying "Thank you" and "Sorry", and regularly greeting each other helped them learn more positive cultural values and daily communication skills.
Minh Thu feels like she has grown a lot after the course
“Through this trip, I learned more about the differences in culture, people, and language. In addition, it helped me improve my English skills, and become more confident and brave. I also had a golden opportunity to give an English presentations in the US, which was the proudest moment that would remain in my memory forever," emphasized Bao Tran.
Phu Qui shared his feeling: “This program helped me gain a very valuable experience, making my first year extremely vivid and memorable. Although we were together for a short time, it was very difficult to say goodbye when we became close friends. I am happy and delighted to have these wonderful feelings.”
Fear of being alone, rarely walking and hardly knowing how to travel by public transport completely changed with Minh Thu after studying at ASU. She could come to America by herself and complete the program proudly. She could sleep alone in the large space of the hotel without feeling anxious or afraid. She could walk to school every day in hot weather with international friends without feeling exhausted. She knew how to take the train and bus to move alone to the dormitory for group meetings. "I find myself growing up more from the lessons and values that ASU brings," Minh Thu expressed.
The victory of the environmental project was a pride for Minh Nhut
UEFers participated in discussions with international students about the perspectives, causes, and solutions for each specific objective every school day. At the end of each lecture, students worked together on a small project aiming to find future solutions to improve the problem.
Minh Nhut, who won the final group project, talked about how he felt: "I was most proud of the environmental protection project I did with two Filipino and Indonesian friends on "Sustainable consumption and production." With so many countries taking part, this was the most important final presentation of the program. I was proud to be a Vietnamese who brought victory to UEF as well as Vietnam. I hope this is a present for UEF, and I want to thank UEF very much for helping me through this course."
These UEFers learned valuable lessons during 15 meaningful days program
The saying “An investment in knowledge is the greatest gift ever!” that an Indian friend gave Minh Thu is probably the greatest value of all UEFers after finishing this program. Regardless of language barriers or geographical boundaries, the desire to learn and the spirit of progress are always the best guideline to help them meet like-minded friends who have gone a long way together realizing big dreams. This program and UEF’s activities have given UEFers the opportunity to see the world, grow and understand themselves better.
Photos: From UEFers at Arizona State University (ASU)