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Prior to arriving in Vietnam, I had never had a so-called “life-changing” experience. There is no guidebook on how to achieve one, nor was I able to grasp such a concept, moments so strong as to change the path for your life. That is until I went to Vietnam. There is so much more than meets the eye in the beautiful country of Vietnam. A tourist or temporary visitor may only be granted with picturesque views of rice fields and the women in their hats, the mountains of the north, or a steaming bowl of Pho placed on their plastic red table. And while these experiences are all incredible in their own right, there is so much more to discover, whether it be the story of the people under the hats, the sellers on the streets, or the history of the land that you have the opportunity to travel. ABROADER Vietnam granted me the opportunity to uncover such stories, and an internship with memories that has left me longing to go back since the moment I returned home. Vietnam has become my second home. Granted, I had gotten the opportunity to travel and become accustomed to Vietnam for about four months prior to starting the internship. My University had allowed me to study abroad during which time I adjusted to the food and language, learning about almost every aspect of Vietnam culture. But this was only a preview of what was to come. My time with the internship let me interact with the people, practice my Vietnamese, take trips with my coworkers, and uncover passions for things I didn’t know existed. I have too many incredible stories to be able to write them all throughout this review, and so I’ll pick a few of the mostly little interactions that really meant the most. ABROADER Vietnam set me up in a homestay, perhaps one of the highlights of my journey, and I can say with complete honesty that I felt like part of the family. There was a cook by the name of “Vui”, meaning happy in Vietnamese, and how appropriate as she radiated happiness onto me throughout my entire stay. She did not speak any English, but somehow I was able to coordinate trips to the market, request my favorite food for dinners, and convey to her how much I loved her country. She bought me 21 roses on my 21st birthday, only proving her kindness. The mother of the household, unlike Vui, spoke some English. She often taught me Vietnamese when I had free time, as well as took me to the market, and made me feel extremely welcome when I felt the slightest bit homesick. But as for the internship itself, I was placed in two hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, one directly in the center, and one located more on the outskirts. I’m not going to lie and say that there were no challenges. Originally people were confused to why I was there, I got lost several times, and some days I had no one to teach me, but those were a minuscule few days as most, out of a ten week internship. I made friends with the doctors who taught me about topics from infectious diseases in Vietnam, to the catheder lab, and even more in the surgical urology department.. We frequently went out to eat, where we exchanged stories, and I answered curious questions about my time in Vietnam thus far. Other friends I made were medical students, originally too shy to approach me, but through my time in the hospital gathered up the courage to speak to me. I served to help them practice their English and was happy about it as I know how many opportunities it can open up for them. They invited me for bubble tea, food, and even once to a Vietnamese fruit farm, two hours by train. I was gifted the opportunity to dress up in the MOST attractive brown cloth attire, and proceed to pick and eat as much fruit as humanly possible on perhaps one of the most humid days. While I felt almost at home, eating to my hearts desire, I most certainly looked out of place with the brown pants acting more like a short capri on my long legs. It was days like this that I got to thinking of how grateful I was for the opportunity to stay in Vietnam for a little bit longer. I learned lots about my friends, and one of my favorite aspects of their culture is how open they are to strangers; how they just immediately let them in to their personal lives, and are completely honest. It is something that I miss the most. And lastly, as I don’t want to write a novel here, I have to talk about my experiences with the nurses at the second hospital that I worked in. The first week as usual was slightly stressful with not much sense of direction, but I quickly made friends, and their generosity was incredible. My days consisted of learning from doctors for a few hours, walking from room to room, checking patients vitals, or just practicing Vietnamese. But as soon as I took a break in the nurses “lounge”, I was bombarded with different Vietnamese foods coming my way. Each nurse wanted to share with me a piece of their dish, and talk to me as much as they could. Each morning from there on I would be asked in Vietnamese “Ali an sang chua?”, a phrase meaning “have you eaten breakfast yet?” Per usual I had not, and my answer encouraged them to start making me a coffee, and once again piling different foods in my bowls and encouraging me to eat mysterious shaped foods. My response that the food was delicious, or “ngon”, only encouraged them more. This routine continued until the end of my internship. The goodbyes were not easy, and there were many I had to make. Each attempted goodbye always ended with another attempt by them to try and meet up once more, at which I sullenly had to refuse. There are only a few things I will say to end this review that went much too long. These moments that I experienced were granted to me due to my opportunity to take up an internship with ABROADER, who set me up in the select hospitals, with my host family, and opened the doors for me to make connections. And of course when you take on an internship you have to do your part. You must be open, able to laugh when things don’t go your way, and not let any roadblock deter you. Looking back I know that I have changed. While I couldn’t see it in the moment, the internship boosted my confidence and improved my relationship with failure. It also made my more open with myself and those that I met. I wished my internship could go longer, and perhaps I will find a job in Vietnam one day, so for now all I can do is reminisce through reviews about the most life-changing time I had with my internship and with ABROADER.

Alison Burelbach

Medical Internship ,Loyola University Chicago, USA

No words can represent how much experience I have gained throughout my internship in Vietnam. Working at my host company as a research assistant, I have gained many technical and soft skills, such as participating in lab undergraduate training courses, doing lab testing services and also learning the culture of Vietnam with the Vietnamese people. After this internship, I realized that I could adapt myself to a different and foreign environment. This enables me to be able to work with a more diverse environment, even with colleagues with different background and knowledge. This pushes me as an employee to learn and work even harder to cope and manage with different people and adapt accordingly to the needs of the company. All in all, I feel that it was a breathtaking experience for me to have this opportunity to immerse myself with the Vietnam culture with the Vietnamese people, and I am really thankful to have taken up this internship experience with ABROADER for letting me experience such a new life. The funniest moment I had during my internship experience was that I had to CHASE down a bus when I was on the way to work. It was a really funny one as I have this mindset that the buses in Vietnam would wait for you to board before it starts to drive again. However, the bus did not even stop moving and kept on driving, and left me behind the bus stop. Since that day onwards, I ensure myself not to miss the bus by chasing the bus down before the driver closes its door on me. Thank you ABROADER for this memorable experience!

Kelvin On

Biology & Environment Internship ,Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

The study tour was a great was to experience Vietnam. The academic industry visits provided insights into how the manufacturing industry operates in SE Asia, relevant to our engineering course on Control Systems. Then many cultural experiences helped out understanding of the Vietnamese people and how the modern country has been shaped through the conflicts of the 20th century. Visiting the Mekong Delta was a highlight of the trip, living at a homestead and preparing/cooking a tradition Vietnamese meal was amazing. Overall the local buddies that helped us on our trip were amazing, providing us an insight into Vietnam through the eyes of other young adults.

Nicholas Zander

Electrical Engineering and Computing Study Tour ,University of Newcastle, Australia

I would highly recommend this internship with ABROADER for my friends or anyone who is interested in doing an IT internship in Vietnam. My IT Internship was done at Global Cybersoft in Ho Chi Minh City, Global CyberSoft (GCS) is a leading global IT solutions provider founded in California. With extensive experiences and rich expertise, GCS poses as a major IT pioneer and trusted partner in Vietnam. The first team I was with (Business Analysis Team) went out of their way to give me responsibilities that challenged me to learn, and provided help for me to learn how to do these tasks, I felt my work on the Business Analysis team was important, and I made a significant contribution as an intern. Next, I was moved to programming team which I felt I did not have as much training compared to the first one. Given that the company was not used to having an intern like me, they did a good job giving me responsibilities that would help me learn. My supervisor was the local team manager and he helped me a lot during work and cared about my well-being. Among many concerns one has when deciding to do an internship, for me, the most important part was having as much help as possible getting into contact with prospective companies, and further set up with a bank account, etc. and felt very satisfied with the services provided by ABROADER concerning these procedures. The most helpful improvement would have been a more timely completion of all the steps so that there is the largest choice of companies to choose from, and one can prepare as soon as possible.

David Mechael Duplantier

IT Internship ,University of California, San Diego, USA

This internship in Vietnam with SEND offers me just that and I am grateful for the experience to teach, make friends and be in Vietnam. I’ve always wanted to become an educator but I often feel like the teachers in Japan lack the international and cultural experience to make lessons more interactive. I try to allow myself the chance of going to another country, experience another culture and become a better-equipped teacher.

So Sadamoto

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

I have found myself such wonderful friends who share the same interest. What is more precious to explore an unfamiliar place, do what you love and make friends with such awesome people? The damp and blistering air on the first day of June still hasn’t slipped my mind. A summer internship at the Center for Sustainable Rural Development, under the scorching sun of Ha Noi, is filled with salutary experiences. A unique task I am responsible for was to compile “Planting life, Planting tree”, a photo book that describes changes in farmers’ behavior after seeing the benefits of living harmoniously with Mother Nature. It is not simply putting captions under images. Rather, it is a whole process of doing research, understanding the project and cultural background, working closely with the program officers, local agencies, and villagers to complete the book. Thus, climate change, for me, is no longer only about ice being melted in Antarctica. The rising temperature effects have to be seen right in the field where farmers’ livelihood is being taken away by deforestation, natural disasters, and water shortage. The knowledge and skills I have gained from the internship surpass the classroom environment and definitely will set a firm base for me in my future career plan. Apart from my Climate Change Internship in Vietnam, I came to Ha Noi without any expectation for long-lasting relationships rather than professional ones. Yet, ABROADER staff and local buddies have completely changed my mind. Their support and welcoming outshine my worries and loneliness. Also, during my internship time, living in the apartment for ABROADER's interns, I have found myself such wonderful friends who share the same interest. What is more precious to explore an unfamiliar place, do what you love and make friends with such awesome people?

Nguyen Chau Bao

Climate Change Internship ,The College of Wooster, USA

There are few words that could describe my time here this summer. The time I have spent here has been priceless and life changing, even more than I thought it could be. I learned so much from my nursing internship in Vietnam that will help me very much in my future. However, the life experience I’ve learned, through adapting to another culture, traveling alone to beautiful places and having a sense of home here is something I’ll never forget. The people here have touched my heart, and I’ll have these memories forever. This country, these places and people are beautiful, and I am so happy I came here. It’s inspired me to always follow my dreams, no matter how big they are, and that I can do anything.

Elisa Wynne Durkin

Nursing Internship ,Colorado State University, USA

The host school was very welcoming and friendly, provided me with plenty of opportunities to interact with different year levels and observe classes, very keen on showing me Vietnam and making me comfortable. The teachers that we got to work with were very supportive – very kind and supportive! They welcomed us into their community and provided us with numerous opportunities to be in the classroom and teach. We get to receive feedbacks from teachers after the classes and it really helps a lot for us to make progress and improvement. I am also very grateful for the local buddies that support us throughout the program, they are all very kind and helpful.

Rachel Odam

Education Internship ,Monash University, Australia

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

Everyone from the program coordinator to my local buddy was extremely supportive! The experience would not have been as great as it has been if I was by myself. I felt very satisfied with the service ABROADER Vietnam provided for my Nursing Internship in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh Hopspital of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. I was clear about the rules and expectations required of me during my placement. My supervisors instructed me and helped me with language translation and clarifications of responsibilities. With their help, I felt I was well equipped for the job I was assigned. I brought my equipment from home to the workplace and it provided great assistance for my work. During the internship in Vietnam, I was glad I was able to learn technical skills from the nurses from the hospital. They have all been very supportive, friendly, patient and open to my help. They trained me with techniques quite different from how it is occasionally done back home. I will definitely recommend this program to my colleagues!

Sandra Gomez Vega

Nursing Internship ,University of Texas Austin, USA