MORE than a dozen students returned to school this week with expanded horizons after visiting Vietnam during the school holiday break.
Fifteen Noosa District State High School students from Years 10 to 12 visited schools, children's organisations and important sites while on the exciting trip.
The students took part in a variety of projects including building bicycles for a Vietnamese school, cooking alongside Vietnamese students, teaching and learning languages and visiting historical monuments.
Year 11 coordinator Bridge Muir said the students spent their first days learning about Vietnamese culture.
"Students spent their first full day in Vietnam exploring some of the city's important sites in the morning,” Ms Muir said.
"The afternoon was much more casual with a visit to the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, where the students donated gifts from Australia.
"The students learnt about Hanoi's ancient history and the value placed on education and respect, with a visit to the Temple of Literature and The One Pillar Pagoda.”
Ms Muir said one of the students' favourite visits was to a school outside of Ho Chi Minh City, where students interacted with each other and donated items.
"Students, four teachers and a lecturer from the University of the Sunshine Coast spent a morning at Ngô Quyên Secondary School in Cam My, Dong Nai, undertaking cultural service learning activities with the school's pupils,” Ms Muir said.
"The Australian students donated 10 Samsung tablets from Dr Chandra Vinesh and his team at the Queensland University of Technology, as well as toiletries, 10 bicycles, stationery, a first aid kit, books, toys, food items, and t-shirts gifted from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
"The gifts were graciously accepted, with XO Travel tour leader Jerry describing the students from NDSHS has having big hearts.”
Other highlights were learning traditional cooking at a cooking school, and visiting the Cu Chi tunnels used in the Vietnam War.
"The students spent a half day undertaking a Vietnamese cooking lesson at Hoa Sua School in Hanoi,” Ms Muir said.
"The students were taught by the vocational training teachers and assisted by the Vietnamese students, who are all from disadvantaged families.
"Vietnam trip participants enjoyed a very interactive history lesson in the Cu Chi Tunnels.
"The students saw the weapons and artillery used by the American soldiers and Viet Cong, and heard about the conditions and living underground during the Vietnam War from a former Viet Cong soldier, affectionately known as Uncle Nam.”