Students in Hue join internship programme in Japan, Israel

(VNF) – The year 2017 marks the first time students of the University of Agriculture and Forestry (Hue University – Thua Thien – Hue) had the opportunities to study abroad and get access to a professional work environment.

(VNF) – The year 2017 marks the first time students of the University of Agriculture and Forestry (Hue University, Thua Thien – Hue) have the opportunity to study abroad and get access to a professional working environment.

A promising programme

We arrived in the University of Agriculture and Forestry on the day the students send home report on their internship in Japan. Email, phone call, social network, that’s how the university keeps in touch with the students who are thousands miles away from home.

Students in Hue join internship programme in Japan, Israel

Students in an agricultural internship programme in Japan (source: University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue)

This is the update from one of them. Doan Kim Huong, a 4th year student, majoring in food technology, described her internship life in a food processing factory: “The facilities and infrastructures here are very modern. In the factory, there are relaxing room, massage machine for the staff. In the factory, we have the chance to observe closely every step in the confectionary manufacturing process. We are paid by the company. They also provide us with medical insurance and health checkup service. In terms of accomodation, we are arranged to stay in the factory’s dormitory, which is located 2.5km from our workplace. The room is large, fully furnished and convenient. Each of us is provided with a bike to facilitate traveling on our own. When the weather is not fine, we will be taken to the factory by shuttle bus.”

According to Head of the university’s department of students affairs, Tran Vo Van May, the academic year 2017 – 2018 marks the debut of the overseas internship programme in two foreign countries: Japan and Israel. The number of students participating in the internship programme in Japan is 11. In order to prepare for the trip to Japan in September, interviews, immigration procedures, language training class were launched in March.

The internship programme is the result of the partnership among three parties: a Japanese food enterprise, the University of Agriculture and Forestry (Hue University) and an agent company.

Prior to the programme, the university had already inspected the company’s legal document, drafting an agreement with the participation of three parties to ensure the interests of students. After the internship ends, the university will be responsible for acknowledging the internship result of the students.

Throughout the one-year internship, students are supported by staff in the agent company’s Japan-based office. They are the one who directly participate in managing students affairs, and will instantly provide assistance for the students in case any problem arises.

Students in Hue join internship programme in Japan, Israel

Students works as intern in a confectionary factory in Japan (source: University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue)

The second internship program launched by the University of Agriculture and Forestry was conducted in Israel, from February to August 2017. The programme was part of the cooperation on training and agricultural technology application between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and the Ministry of Agriculture of Israel. In comparison with the internship in Japan, the biggest difference of the programme in Israel is: besides exposing to the real operation of the enterprise, the students were brought to specializing institutions to acquire knowledges of hi-tech agriculture. “At the moment, there are 54 students taking part in this course. They are taking different modules, as perse as agricultural science, mechanic, food technology, veterinary, husbandary, etc.

Most of the students gave positive feedback on the programme. Similar to the programme in Japan, in Israel, the students could earn an income of up to VND 200 million/ year.

According to Dr.Nguyen Van Hue, Vice Head of the Mechanic-Technology, the University of Agriculture and Forestry, the two greatest benefits offered by the overseas intern programme is: the students can get first-hand experience with progressive work environment abroad, which boost their capability in their major.

Secondly, the internship programme also helps them earn a relatively high income, and open more employment opportunities after graduation.

Challenges remain

According to May, since the debut of the programme, some training centers in the country have contacted the University on the programme, and spoken highly of it, as a great opportunity to improve students’ capability in international integration, while serves as a beneficial career orientation for future. “If the students are able to capture the opportunity, and prove their capabilities to the recruiting firm, they may be accepted to work officially there.”, May said.

However, the road to overseas internship is not easy to many.

First of all, it is the fee students need to pay. The fee paid for agent company varies, based on the services it offers. “Actually, despite the opportunity to learn and earn income, to some families, dozens of VND million is not affordable”, May said

Another limitation hindering students' participation in overseas internship is the lack of adequate language skill. Before leaving Vietnam, the students are provided with 6-month preparatory course, but that is only enough for basic conversation, while participants of overseas internship are required to be able to use the language fluently, including expertise-related terms.

In order to tackle those shortcomings, the school is working on several solutions, such as looking for partners who are capable of subsidizing part of the student’s internship fee (e.g; partnering with a Danish agricultural enterprise which is willing to sponsor students with part of visa fee; at the same time, the school is seeking opportunity to work with partners from Australia, etc.)

The school also works with its own center for foreign language intensive training to help students improve required language skills, and encourage them to proactively learn language seriously since the first school year.

Besides the school’s efforts, faculties will also come up with their own solutions. According to Hue, in the time to come, faculties will actively expand their partner network and work on information sharing for students of overseas intern programme, to help them prepare thoroughly for the programme./.

( Translated by Phi Yen )

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