The best thing about overseas travel is that it highlights just how different your world is to other places across the globe.

University of Newcastle PhD student and intrepid traveller, Alix Hall, will head to Hanoi soon to compare cancer patients perceptions of their care and experiences in Australia and Vietnam.

Alix, who is completing her PhD in Behavioural Science, won a 2012 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award earlier this year, which allows her to spend the next 12 months collecting data at Hanoi Medical University.

“My study aims to identify and compare the experiences and perceptions of cancer patients in Vietnam and Australia in relation to the Institute of Medicine’s six domains of quality in health care: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity,” Alix said.

The Institute of Medicine is the health arm of America’s National Academy of Sciences and is an independent voice on international health issues.

“It is imperative that we understand what patients perceive as ideal cancer care and how culture may influence their perceptions,” Alix said.

Alix Hall is one of 20 postgraduate recipients of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Awards. The Awards provide scholarships for postgraduates and undergraduates from Australia and Asia to undertake not only international study and research, but also internships or work placements.