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Local Buddy


ABROADER's must-have

What makes ABROADER’s programs stand out in service quality is our Local Buddy Program,  designed to help make it easier for you to integrate with locals and find your way around in a whole new living environment. Specifically, the program is built to give you the opportunity to make friends with your local peers while giving them the exposure to your  cultures. It is a must-have in all of our programs, for we would love to make your time in Vietnam full of memorable experiences. Hear from some of our past students on what they have to say about the local buddies below:

"During the trip I always felt safe thanks to the local buddies and our program coordinator. Provided you use a little bit of travelling smarts I cannot see any problems that should arise on your trip. Each and every one of the local buddies, (our coordinator included), were so kind and caring. You should really give it your best effort to open up and engage with each of them. They are all such great and unique people and provide the best way to truly immerse yourself in the adventure. Furthermore, they are so selfless and are always able to provide advice or help you out with literally anything. You have a golden opportunity to make some truly long-lasting friendships."

Calen, University of Newcastle, Australia

Vietnam & Singapore Study tour

"I am really thankful to have the support from the local buddies. Even though their service is voluntary, I am very happy that they took their time to support us throughout our internship here."

Kelvin On Zhi Xiang, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

Biology & Environment Internship

Who are they?

Oftentimes, your local buddies would be university students currently residing in your program location. They are among the most active and energetic students who are eager to  befriend with peers from different parts of the world to learn about diverse cultures. Having a great interest in studying and working abroad in the future, these Vietnamese youngsters seize the chance of meeting you to gain exposure to international cross-cultural communication and develop their skill sets. Ultimately, they are more eager than anyone to show you the best of Vietnam with a hope that you could fall in love with Vietnam as they do. 

Your local buddies are carefully selected and  trained by ABROADER’s program coordinator before they could take the job. While you are in the country, they will help organize several exciting activities for you to participate in, for example orientation day, city tour, and Vietnamese cooking class. Besides regular communication on various online channels like email, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, weekly/monthly offline meetings are held between them and our program coordinator to ensure every aspect of your program is going on the right track.

What do they do?

The role of the local buddies will vary slightly depending on the type of program you are enrolled in, be it an internship, study abroad, service-learning or faculty-led program. Basically, they will provide you with tremendous support in your daily life, helping you immerse as quickly as possible into the Vietnamese lifestyle. They will show you how to get to different spots in the city, where to get tasty local food and drinks, how to behave properly in Vietnam, and all other matters arising during your time here. They are delighted to spend time with you, share with you about the people and the cultures, and listen to you  on your blue days.

Do our local buddies enjoy their jobs!

YEP! Because they…

  • Are trained with working skills in an international community through our programs

  • Can improve their language communication (English, Japanese, Chinese, etc.) via daily conversation with you, the students

  • Participate in cultural exchange and excursion activities with international students like you for  zero cost

  • Become a member of ABROADER’s international network and get updated information on scholarships and opportunities to go abroad

  • Are awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by ABROADER.

Hear from our local buddies and students about their experience:

"We shared stories with each other and had many treasured memories. Interestingly, we have still texted each other after the trip and promised for one day that we will meet again. To me, they are all priceless, these friends and these memories. In every process of making the program work, there are always hardships, however, they are just very small sacrifices made for the bigger, better the things that I have achieved during the program. And I know for sure that in the future if I want to be a local buddy/volunteer again, I would put ABROADER as my number 1 option."
Giang Huong Nguyen, ABROADER's Past Local Buddy 

How can you best benefit from the program?

When applying for one of ABROADER’s programs, you probably have this thought of challenging yourself in another country. Since your local buddies are ready to open up, there is no reason for you to hesitate and stay in your comfort zone. Step out and explore a new you. Let it all out: your questions, your curiosity, and your feelings. Be yourself with an open heart, then you will see how easy it is to connect with your local buddies since they will always do the same.

Sign up for an internship, study abroad or service-learning program with ABROADER today as the first exciting step to get matched to your amazing local buddies!

Interested in learning more about what our past students had to say about their local buddies? Click here.

ABROADER, you have made my experience in Vietnam an incredible one!! For me, having a local buddy as a support system during my Social Work internship in Vietnam has been the most helpful. My work at CSAGA helped me understand social services from a Eastern Asian perspective, helped me acclimate to Vietnamese lifestyle, and understand the process that non-profits go through to obtain funding. ABROADER is always so supportive and has made me feel at home. Thank you so much and I encourage you all to keep changing lives and doing what you do.

Haley Perry

Social Work Internship ,University of Oregon, USA

I was very appreciated and valued at the host school, they were extremely welcoming and friendly. The teachers provided me with plenty of opportunities to interact with different year levels and observe classes. In addition, even though it is not their responsibility to, they were also very keen on showing me Vietnam and making me comfortable, I got to go on a trip to pagodas in Ho Chi Minh where I got to wear ao dai and get to know more about another aspect of Vietnamese life. One inconvenience I had would be that my accommodation was quite far from the school and I was by myself. But overall, this can be improved on and I would recommend the internship program to anyone interested.

Alexandra Baulch

Education Internship ,Monash University, Australia

I am satisfied with the internship in Vietnam provided by ABROADER Vietnam. The internship placement was ideal and my local buddy was great. During the internship I worked at Ho Chi Minh Hospital of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. At the host organization, I was clear about the responsibilities & rules expected to accomplish & follow. I had a lot of supervisors who were all very caring. The doctors there were very gracious and explained a lot of cases to me; all in all I was well equipped to perform the job at my best.

Andrew Nguyen

Surgical Internship ,University of Oregon, USA

Joining this internship in Vietnam with SEND, I made a very important realization that is I can’t do everything on my own. The challenges presented during this internship got me to talk to other people, hear their ideas and craft up a conclusion. I learnt to cooperate with friends instead of struggling with any probem alone and we were able to find a solution to almost any problem that we encountered.

Ryosuke Asai

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

My internship has been a very fruitful journey, and I have learnt many things from my colleagues at NashTech Hanoi. Many of my skills have improved considerably, especially my communication skills. The working environment in Hanoi is very different from my experience in Singapore, and it has been a breath of fresh air for me. The staff and local buddies at ABROADER have also been immensely helpful! They always go the extra mile for us, and my time in Hanoi would have been very different if not for them, thank you very much!

Ho Hao Keet (Max)

IT Internship ,Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

Before, I didn’t really like my personality as I was a timid girl and afraid to speak up for myself. I am also a perfectionist and would like to spend as much time for preparation as possible before I do something. However, the internship in Vietnam changed that for me. Through interacting with my students and fellow interns I opened up a lot and become more outgoing. In my work, after going through some troubles with cultural difference, I realize one thing for myself that is: Preparation is not always good and if you don’t prepare you are given the chance to do things more freely and more out of the box, so next time even if you’re asked to do something when you’re not prepared “Just Do It"

Nana Mihara

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

I had an amazing experience with ABROADER Vietnam. They organized me a great internship placement and took very well care of me. I am so happy I chose this organization for my internship abroad. I loved the feeling of having people around that support me and that they were checking in regularly on me, organizing events, etc. It felt a little like family with which you can share every little problem, your experiences, etc. and I think that is the strongest and best part about ABROADER. Overall, I had a great experience with ABROADER Vietnam and I can only recommend it to others!

Selda Nur

Water Pollution Internship ,University of Zurich, Switzerland

I enjoyed my time and the program greatly in Vietnam. It seemed as if the program tried its best to guide all interns in the right direction and was helpful when needed. The thing I will remember most about the internship will be the people I met, specifically the other interns and the patients I worked with. The various interns I met throughout the hospital taught me how to think in a different mindset in order to problem solve and treat a patient. As for the patients, they taught me their culture, and to always shave a positive attitude and outlook on things. Each of the patients had suffered an accident that had effected their capability to live their lives, and yet each patient had such a positive attitude.

Rylie Dunn

Medical Internship ,Iowa State University, USA

The best thing about ABROADER Vietnam was being able to plan events with other interns and with local buddy. I depended on these events to originally get out of my shell in Vietnam while I was adjusting to the new language and culture. Especially with being able to offer perspective on Vietnamese culture with schooling, media/entertainment, government, and with great local attractions in Ho Chi Minh.

Patrick West

Environment Internship ,University of Notre Dame, USA

Pursuing overseas intern in the healthcare industry is learning the difference between the healthcare system of your country and theirs. In the hospital I worked in, I was given the chance to hop between different sub departments in the Pharmacy department to learn and complete the usual work routine. Although this was a wholesome experience it would have been better if I could speak Vietnamese, their local language, as this would enable me to perform more tasks such as administrative work or communicating with patients. If you would like to experience overseas internship, know that you will have addition tasks to do. In addition, be prepared to learn the local language.

Shiraishi Kei

Healthcare & Pharmacy Internship ,Republic Polytechnic, Singapore