ABROADER team including staff, local buddies and students from Republic Polytechnic students just had a visit to Social Service Center 4th in Bavi, Son Tay, Hanoi last week.
- A chance to appreciate
Nestled in Ba Vi, Hanoi, Social Service Center 4th is home to children with disabilities and homeless people. The center was established by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Welfare, aiming to help people of minority groups. Students from Singapore Polytechnic and ABROADER team came to visit them on the occasion of Christmas with engaging and interactive English-learning games and entertaining sports.
On our way back, what lingers was the smiles and gentle kisses on the cheeks from the children - adorable and hospitable with radiant smiles despite the circumstances. They welcomed us with hearty and affectionate hugs. In the coming of Christmas, the visit is such an occasion to reflect on and truly appreciate what we’re given and taking for granted. It reminds us how easy it is to be unappreciative of a life of normalcy. Just like my favorite writer, Chelsea Fagan, put it, “The idea that I am here, today, breathing this air and sitting in this sun, that should be enough for anyone — really, what more can we ask for in life? [...] The very ability to go home after a long day of beautiful normalcy and predictability and immediately begin to complain about it is such a profound luxury in itself, and one we won’t be afforded one day.”. We could stand to appreciate it more!
- A chance to immerse locally
In this occasion, our students from Republic Polytechnic and local buddies joined hands and built a plan to teach children English - this was a great fun. The cooking team was the most hardworking one as they woke up at 3 and fried sausages at 4 in the morning. And we all know the things about the most memorable memories, we never know they are when they’re happening. However, we’re sure our students, on looking back on their journey in Vietnam, may think about fried sausages ;)!
Student’s local engagement is not confined to local buddies and host family but also people of all walks of life. Volunteer Day helps students to be aware of social context of Vietnam - an insight into different groups of Vietnamese people living together in society. In fact, lots of children in Vietnam are suffering from what is called the remnants of wars; and others are abandoned since poverty still casts its shadow over part of the population. Students could experience then construct their own view of Vietnam and this should be more valuable than any information covered by the media.
- What makes an enriching internship/ study abroad?
The fact that an internship or study abroad program brings you hands-on experience of your field of knowledge is well-perceived by many. However, the socio-economic context of the country the students have an internship in also plays an important role in making your internship meaningful. Being part of the local community allows more insight into a culture and its people, which helps one to have a more realistic view of the world and realize how small a place he or she occupies.
Local immersion is one of core values ABROADER’s internship and study abroad program is committed to embedd into our internship and study abroad programs.
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