Sun, December 1, 2019
The Sheldon College Vietnam Expedition 2019 commenced a fascinating journey this week, which culminates in an extraordinary experience overseas. The 54 students and 8 teachers departed for an adventure of a lifetime, where they will be supporting a local family in Chieng Chau who are very much in need, by building them a house and a bathroom. 

The Vietnam Expedition will see our staff and students experience service learning, with the The Community Service Teams away for 10 days and a group of 18 students who will experience three phases; the rewarding Community Project with true cultural immersion, a scenic team trek and back-packer style exploration. The program aims to develop the student’s leadership, resilience and mindfulness during this lifechanging 10 day – 3 week journey.

During their Community Project, 36 of the students and 6 of the teachers will build a house and bathroom to support the family of an elderly couple in their eighties and their son and daughter-in-law who are in their sixties. Due to the family’s current low standard of living, they are often sick and unable to work, making it difficult for them to afford basic living.

The cost to complete a house and bathroom build is quite substantial and due to the large fundraising efforts by the Sheldon College teams it has made the dream of having a brick-built house for this family a reality. As this is a large task, it is planned that both the Sheldon College Expedition team and Community Service Tour team 1 will work on these builds one after the other.

During the Community Project build tasks include:

• Transferring sand and bricks

• Measuring areas

• Mixing sand and cement

• Laying bricks

• Rendering

The Community Project will have a profound impact on the global perspective of each student.  For many it is the central focus of the Expedition. The opportunity to spend time with a local community provides students with real cultural insights and a better understanding of the world. The 4-6 day project is carefully developed by local community members to ensure students are making a sustainable and genuine contribution, whilst enjoying a wonderful cultural experience with plenty of time to interact with the local community, swap stories and exchange smiles.

Students will be immersed in Vietnamese culture whilst they are hosted by their homestay families, both during the project work and during their trek. The trek teams will discover the natural beauty of their destination, from mountains to dense jungles to traditional farmlands hosting fields of rice and corn. The team will prepare for and overcome challenges, become more resilient, grow in confidence and experience a sense of achievement as a team.

During the Vietnam Expedition there will be exploration of rice fields, limestone mountains, museums, palaces, temples, cathedrals, theatres, underground tunnels, river cruises, night markets and even kayaking and swimming in the famous Ha Long Bay. Participants will also learn new skills such as Tai Chi classes, making lanterns, attending cooking classes and experiencing traditional dance, music and cultural activities with the local people.

Sheldon College students have helped to design the itinerary before they travel and once overseas, they decide how to spend the team budget, they organise team transport, they choose where they’ll get their next meal and delegate roles at the project and trek. The Expedition is designed to be fun-filled, challenging and ultimately the most rewarding experience of the student’s school life.

We wish you all a safe and enjoyable time and look forward to hearing about all your exciting adventures upon your return.