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5 Most Common Regrets of Intern Abroad Alumni

ABROADER Team January 15, 2023 5 minute read

Are there things alumni might regret about doing intern abroad? If you have a plan, learn from their experiences and make your trip enjoyable.

No one says, “If only I hadn’t traveled.” Regret may be too strong of a word. But when our alumni were asked, “What is one thing you would have done differently during your internship in Vietnam?” several responses popped up repeatedly. Find out what they were and learn from the mistakes of fellow world travelers.

I should have let loose earlier.

Traveling to another country on your own can be difficult. You may imagine yourself being very excited about discovering new places and learning bits of a new language. However, things rarely go as planned. And you will find yourself being intimidated by the new culture, the new people, and even the food. Many interns said they stayed in their comfort zone for too long. They would turn down invitations to a party, meet-up, or try new cuisine because they are concerned about safety standards. They may refuse to ride on the back of one’s motorbike because it looks dangerous and it doesn’t looks comfortable. Although many alumni said that they did eventually break out of their shells, which is when the real regret began.

Let loose and try as many fun experiences as you can during your internship in Vietnam.

I should have spent more time out and about.

Going around by yourself in a strange country can be intimidating, especially if you don’t speak the language. It’s hard to bargain while grocery shopping, you don’t know the way around. All these regrets might deter you from getting out there and having as much fun as you can.

Many alumni say they may try new food with the people they know from the internship provider, like the program coordinator, local buddy, or colleagues. As soon as they are on their own, they slip back to only trying out what is safe. Many built a fortress at the comfy apartment, only ventured within a few blocks around, or shopped at the same place every day. This is quite understandable! After a hard week of work, you simply just want that “me” time where you can chill on the couch in your air-conditioned apartment and forget about the crazy world out there.

However, Vietnam has so much to offer. From the stunning landscape to the kind people, and of course, the amazingly diverse Vietnamese cuisine. You will need to pick up your backpack and go see. You can explore the city center area which you have never been to and try out some activities that locals recommend. Take a chance on the experience’s alumni, regret nothing!

Go out and discover tons of exciting things in Vietnam.

I wanted to take many memories home but didn’t take enough pictures or record anything.

Recording the memories during your internship in Vietnam can be tricky if you are by yourself. You’d like to take as many photos as you can, but it is awkward to have the camera out with you everywhere you go.

Pictures are important memories keepers

I wish I had lived with a stranger.

Another common regret our intern alumni have is that they didn’t make more friends in the country. Many students choose to live in a single apartment on their individual internship. This may be great if you want more personal space and privacy. And, it is not the best option if you want to make a close connection with other people during your internship.

Sharing a room with someone might be a novel experience but a very worthwhile one. You will get to share all of the strange things you encounter day to day, and explore the country together. And when you get back home, you might even have a reunion with that person to celebrate all the amazing memories you had in Vietnam.

Sharing an apartment with other students while abroad can be really fun

I should have tried harder to learn the language.

Learning a foreign language is one of the nicest mementos you can give yourself and others when you are back home. Learning Vietnamese can be difficult, and it is all too easy to rely on English to get around. Our alumni, on the other hand, may all agree that learning short Vietnamese slang can be rewarding when you return and you will never regret learning it. You can impress the locals with your slang word and attempt teaching those slang to friends back home.

Obviously one can never avoid having some regrets after an internship abroad. However, at ABROADER, we try to maximize your “wow, I’m glad I did this” moments and minimize those “Well, I wish I had done that” moments.

At ABROADER, we aim to help as many young people as possible enjoy as many meaningful, profound educational experiences of an internship in Vietnam as possible. With our local buddies, you won’t have to explore and navigate your internship in Vietnam alone. Your fellow interns and our local buddies team will push you to open up and let loose, learn Vietnamese slang, spend more time out, and take awesome pictures at home. We want to help you be the hero in your story, and we’ll be here afterward to connect you with our network of international students and share your new insights with future adventurers.

What would be your biggest do-over if given the chance? Or was your experience too good to second guess? Discover more about our Internship Vietnam programs:

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