Anh Vu was part of the team that created Cultural Exchange Kitchen and won Second Place at HUBBUB. Ahn has shared more about her CityStudio experience. 

 Could you tell me a bit about yourself?  

My name is Anh Vu, an international student from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. I have been living in Vancouver for almost 4 years now and currently in my final year of the Bachelor of Communications studies program at CapU. My background is actually English studies, but I changed to Communications after finishing a cultural exchange program at Belgium. It’s a long history as to why I changed my major, but the main reason is that I found beauty in intercultural exchange, cultural diversity, equality and sustainability. Currently, I’m volunteering to work as a social media and marketing assistant at a new-opening business. I’m helping them build their brand, social media presence and e-commerce. In my near future, I hope to know all the ins and outs of the marketing and communication industry.

Tell us a bit about your CityStudio project? 

When I was tasked to develop an idea that we can incorporate an equity and health lens into the City’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan, I immediately said to myself that I should find a solution that has three main elements: community involvement, cultural diversity, and community gardening. However, one of the problems that the City is facing is that it has more and more newcomers arriving from more than 25 countries with differences in culture, language, economic stability, etc. With differences in background, they might face barriers knowing about community gardening or local projects that their community is running. As an international student coming to a totally different country to start over, I understand the hardship of newcomers when it comes to adapting to a new culture and being involved in local community. With this in mind, Cultural Exchange Kitchen was born. The project serves three main criteria: raising awareness about community garden, sharing knowledge in gardening, and attracting newcomers in the local community.

How did the CityStudio experience differ from other university group projects you have done?

Participating in CItyStudio’s project is actually the highlight of my university experiences.  Even though we were just doing everything on screen, I’ve learnt plenty from other students’ projects and received a lot of feedback from guests. The most challenging part was when I got some of questions that I’ve never thought of. One of which was about paperwork when it comes to making or serving food outdoor at an event. As my project is a food event, certain certifications or documents need to be done. I appreciated that the issue was raised, and I can learn from it. The best part of my CityStudio experience would be I got the chance to speak to some professionals in my industry. I also got to know and meet guests who love my project and share their opinions.   

Tell us a bit about your experience at HUBBUB how did it feel to be one of the showcase groups?  

 I honestly didn’t think I would be chosen to be one of the showcase groups as my project was so simple compared to my classmates’. I felt so grateful that my hard work was realized, but at the same I didn’t think my project will be elected as a representative to showcase at HUBBUB. I guess I didn’t have confidence at all. The most memorable part of my experience at HUBBUB is also when I was announced as a second winner! You can see my eyes wide open when the announcement was made. It was beyond my expectation!

I think CityStudio has affected me personally. My confidence has grown dramatically after my project was placed second. I believe in myself more and felt more positive.  

What would your advice be to any student interested in pursuing a CityStudio project? 

I would say do your best! You will never know. Put entire your effort, be willing to face criticism and feedback, and learn from it

Connor’s CityStudio experience was the result of a collaboration between Bo Ocampo, Caroline Jackson, Larisa Lensink (City of North Vancouver) and Cheryl Schreader Instructor at Capilano University. Learn more about Anh’s project here.