Students compare and contrast real estate in Vietnam

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June 6, 2017
Second-year students of Lakeland College’s real estate appraisal and assessment business major adopted a global mindset on real estate following a class trip to Vietnam from April 26 to May 6.
The student-led journey took 13 students and two Lakeland College business instructors to Ho Chi Minh City to study property taxation assessment, financing, values and ownership, and other real estate topics.

“The purpose was to offer a student-led experience in a different country to compare and contrast their real estate systems to ours in Canada,” says
instructor Ken Rutherford. He added, Vietnam’s real estate system is unlike Canada’s, because their land is government owned and has limited data on sales and land title.

“It is to my understanding people can lease portions of land for their own personal use, but the land is always owned by the government. In short, there is always a lack of data because the sales don't transfer and there is no record keeping system that monitors titles.”


Student Hyunki Jung said the experience was one he was looking forward to, because of the opportunity to learn how appraisal and assessment was conducted in a communist country like Vietnam.


“Their appraisal methods seemed to be primitive compared to Canada's, which was very interesting to see, as well as how they file their property tax while it is owned by the government,” Jung says. “The things we take for granted is not available in that part of the world.”


Although their system was different and made data comparisons difficult, Rutherford says it was a good opportunity for the students to see a system such as that, and made for a more interesting experience.


The group also met and engaged with professors and students of t
he University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City’s real estate major. The university is considered one of the 15 key national universities of Vietnam.

The university was extremely friendly to us. The professors and students were excellent - they taught us and in return asked us to teach them,” says Rutherford.

Rutherford previously accompanied a class to Thailand in 2015 and another to Brazil in 2016, both of which offered the opportunity for students to learn about real estate programs outside of Canada.


The students also
embarked on cultural experiences in the city of Da Nang, the ancient city of Hoi An and other cultural landmarks, such as the War Museum of Ho Chi Men City and a Buddhist temple.

I am so proud of some of these students. It is so good to experience the world and get out of your comfort zone,” Rutherford says.

Leading up to the trip, Rutherford
left all of the planning to the students starting with a democratic voting system to dwindle a list of 70 countries down to four. At four, Rutherford instructed the students to divide to their desired country, and then gave them a two-week period to prepare a presentation on their country.

class trip to Vietnam from April 26 to May 6“He just dropped the ball, and we rolled it,” Jung says. “He offered the opportunity for us to get real world skills and we took advantage of it, which was a positive experience.”


Rutherford added that whether or not the students went on the trip, it was still “a way of having them understand that the world is bigger than Canada.”


Aside from the trip, Jung appreciated that Rutherford’ s teaching methods often went off book, and shared his industry experience.


“Not only from the theory, he shared a lot of off the book experience, how the real world works, which is amazing. It is something that students need in order to lead and learn by doing.”


Since introducing the class trip in 2015, Rutherford said he has seen an increase in interest from both potential and current students.


Photo
: Second-year students of Lakeland College’s real estate appraisal and assessment business major met with professors and students of the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, during their class trip to Vietnam from April 26 to May 6.


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