Hi everyone!

My name is Jess and I will be travelling to Vietnam this January and taking you along for the ride! I’ll be studying in Hanoi and the surrounds as part of CASS’ new summer course- Global Vietnam: Gender, Labour and Migration. I was also lucky enough to receive a DFAT New Colombo Plan Grant, so the course and all my travel expenses are paid for -#blessed!

Now, just a little bit about me: I’m going into my fourth and final year in my B. International Relations / B. International Security Studies degree. I’ve spent the past three years living on campus at Bruce Hall, and also had the chance to study in Lyon, France for my exchange semester in 2017. I’ve had some incredible experiences at ANU since I moved interstate from Brisbane, and I’m excited to add another to the list.

The course in Vietnam will focus on several specific topics, including factory work; marriage migration; human trafficking; development and sustainability; youth, gender identity and social mobility/displacement.

But since I’m not in Hanoi quite yet, I thought I would share what I’m taking with me on the journey, and why.

1 x Kathmandu Rucksack
I bought this backpack before I went on exchange- it’s the perfect size for 2 weeks, and has lots of great pockets for everything I need to bring.

2 x Cameras
I’m taking two camera’s with me: my nice “professional” camera to take some “nicer” shots; and my Polaroid because “retro is cool” apparently.

1 x Laptop
Apart from the sightseeing and great times, we actually have to do some work while we are in Hanoi. This includes Vietnamese language training, group presentations, and a final essay.

1 x Toiletries bag
Look, a girl has got to live.

1 x Phone and headphones
Get ready for some over-sharing of my adventures on the Global Programs Instagram page, as I take-over the account in January. Also headphones are ESSENTIAL for good tunes on the flight over. And did you even go abroad if you didn’t put it on snapchat?

1 x Lots of clothes
I have NO CLUE what the weather is going to be over in Vietnam, so I’m taking everything. T-shirts, jumpers, jackets, shoes, active-wear, pj’s, and everything else.

1 x Passport + Vietnam Visa
It was actually extremely easy to get a Visa for Vietnam if you have an Australian passport- especially in Canberra. You can either apply online, or go to the Embassy and get your passport back THE NEXT DAY. It allows you to stay 30 days in the country, and I would definitely recommend getting a Visa beforehand and not when you get to the airport #triggeredfrompastexperiences 1 x Lonely Planet Travel Book

For some destination information and inspiration. I’m planning on getting to Vietnam a few days before the course starts to explore Hanoi by myself. I’ve booked a mixed-dorm hostel and going to just see what happening when I get there. (PSA travelling solo was the single best experience I had during my exchange semester, and I found it super liberating.)

1 x Plane ticket
Thanks DFAT!

1 x Sunglasses
They’re blue and look cool.

1 x Hat
Because sun safety is a thing.

1 x Positive attitude
I am so excited for this course to begin, to meet all my fellow ANU students, and to get to know Vietnam a little better. Cheesy, I know, but absolutely true.

Of course there are some other things I still need to pack, but for the moment that’s it!

Talk to you soon,