A virtual English Teaching Internship in Vietnam
ABROADER March 29, 2022 5 minute read
What does a teaching internship in Vietnam look like? Where can you work as an English teaching intern? What can you do in the program? What is the cross-cultural environment like? Your curious mind might have many more questions. Therefore, we bring on our blog today Bailey – a virtual English teaching intern at Duong Lieu Library in Vietnam.
My name is Bailey LaPlante and I am a senior at Susquehanna University majoring in English & Secondary Education. I am currently interning for the Duonglieu Library as an English tutor, where I hold classes for both secondary education students and volunteer students.
For my secondary education class, I am trying to help them strengthen their English skills, while for the volunteer class we are focusing on critical-thinking and debate. The overall goal of the Duonglieu Library is to spread love for learning and education in countryside communities, as well as exchanging important cultural knowledge.
Why I chose Vietnam
I chose my internship in Vietnam for several reasons – the first couple are just logistical. The time zone was compatible with my schedule as a student and there was no language requirement to join the internship.
Outside of this, I decided to choose Vietnam because it is a culture I was not previously that educated on. I was very interested to learn about the culture, Vietnam’s people and their traditions. I also am hoping to travel to several different Asian countries in my future and I want to be educated during my travels.
Why I chose to do an internship with ABROADER
Admittedly I hadn’t chosen at first since my university had placed me into a program due to our abroad requirement. I will say that I am very happy to have joined an internship through ABROADER even through coincidence. Everyone has been a joy to work with, they are very friendly and respond quickly. In addition, I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I have been given through this virtual English teaching internship.
While most students I’ve spoken to haven’t enjoyed their virtual experience – I have not heard this from internships through ABROADER. The whole team really helps you to feel connected despite being online, and you are given incredible and meaningful tasks to work on throughout the internship that truly makes you feel connected to the Vietnamese community.
The most interesting thing about my internship
The most interesting thing about my internship is how equal all of the jobs come across while working with people from Vietnam. I went into my internship expecting to fill the role of a listener and a doer.
However, in some regards I was the one expected to run the meetings with my host organization. My opinion is very respected, and I just feel like part of the team which is really nice. It is just such a joy to work with everyone!
Hardships I’m facing doing a virtual internship
The main hardships I find when doing my virtual internship is transferring interpersonal activities into activities on Google Meet. A classroom is such an interpersonal space and it is hard to recreate that over an online format.
However, the energy of both the volunteers and the students have really helped to combat this. In addition, the staff is always very willing to offer me any help to make things easier.
Things I learned about my field of work, and about Vietnam
I have learned several things about my field of work. For example, as a future teacher – I really have a grasp now on how to run an online class. I also have learned about the tool Daulless which allows me to split the screen so I can see my class and the slides I am sharing at the same time which is very helpful.
I have also learned many wonderful things about Vietnam and its culture be it traditions, cuisine, music or other things! I am so grateful for what the students and the staff share with me! They have even taught me some Vietnamese.
Cultural sessions with local buddies from ABROADER
I really love the cultural sessions, I find them to be both educational and entertaining. Both the hosts of the cultural sessions and the local buddies are so welcoming and kind. Their loving and supporting energy is incredibly infectious!
The cultural sessions are biweekly, and I tend to really miss our meetings during the week I have off! The local buddies are very kind and outgoing. I have loved every conversation I have had with the local buddies – I just feel very connected to them!
What I want to learn more
While I can’t think of anything specific right now – I am very curious to continue to learn more about Vietnamese culture and I also hope to learn more Vietnamese!
I also think I want to learn more in-depth about the education system in Vietnam, just because I am curious as a future teacher! For the most part it seems pretty similar to here in the United States – but with no summers off which must be hard!
Some advice for future interns
My main advice for future interns is to try to forget your expectations and separate your home culture from your host culture. I went into my internship with some expectations about work from my experience in the United States which turned out to be very different from the work culture from Vietnam.
I had to learn how to be more flexible, to trust in myself and my team & to learn through trial and error! Do not feel afraid to ask either your host organization or your team from ABROADER for help – they will always be there for you! Have fun and make amazing memories. 🙂
Teaching abroad is about creating an impact on the local community where you travel to not just as a tourist but as an influencer. Don’t let your Summer pass by without a life changing experience in a tiny beautiful country in Asia – Vietnam!