Written by Jade
BSc (Hons) Public Relations
The Global Festival of Learning is based on Bournemouth University’s successful UK based Festival, and is a platform that celebrates learning, disseminates cutting edge research and delivers impact across borders. And when I received an email offering any students undertaking the Global Talent Programme the opportunity to apply for this year’s festival, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss out on.
The selection process was an online application and then an interview, and to my complete surprise I found out a few days after my interview that I had been successful. Leading up to the festival we were given a lot of support and training to ensure we were best prepared. Then fast forward three months, and me and the team embarked on a trip of a lifetime.
The trip started on the Saturday with a stopover flight at Doha International then straight to Hanoi. One of the (many) reasons I was excited for the trip was because I had visited Vietnam before during my gap year, however Hanoi was a place I didn’t get the chance to explore and I had been dreaming of going back ever since. And on arrival, Vietnam was just as beautiful as I had remembered, the food was just as incredible, and the roads were just as crazy!
It was a whirlwind week; each day was completely different and just as exciting. This year’s theme was ‘Global Talent for the World of Work’ and all of the discussions and different engagement sessions were so insightful, and seeing lecturers present to our partner universities made it very clear how passionate they all are about their jobs. Something I am so grateful for is networking with the Vietnamese students, they all had such a strong work ethic and it was really special to know we had all been brought together at the festival because of higher education.
In between the four days of the festival we also had the chance to explore both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and we spent our last day enjoying picturesque Ben Tre including a boat trip down the river. The trip also brought many opportunities to me, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel alongside inspiring academics in front of over 300 people and got to speak on the radio for the first time ever! I have developed so many invaluable skills too such as my cultural awareness and networking skills. All the while making new friends and feeling like one big family. It was such a pleasure to work with such a supportive and humble team.
A piece of advice I would love to finish with is “When you least expect it, something great will come along. Something better than you ever planned for. Be patient. Be smart. Stay focused”. Before submitting my application for the Global Festival of Learning I wasn’t feeling very confident in myself, I posted this quote on my Instagram to remind myself of my goals and to give me some motivation, and then submitted my application. If you’re reading now and maybe in a similar headspace, you won’t know unless you try!