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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

I am thankful to God that my daughter had an opportunity to be in Vietnam for 3 months through ABROADER. She stayed with a host family for a month and half and was able to learn a lot about the culture and the food. She loved her host family and misses them. Then she had traveled to Hanoi and worked with ABROADER. The staff was very friendly, caring, and hospitable. After 3 months in Vietnam, I had noticed the changes in my daughter about her outlook of life. She is no longer as much of a picky eater and her compassion and understanding of the Vietnamese people, the culture, and the food has greatly increased. I believe that this experience has helped her grow fast in her journey of life. Thanks ABROADER!!

Maryann Mohney

Marketing Internship ,Natasha Mohney’s mother

The placement I received was great. ABROADER Vietnam has helped me the whole way! I would recommend this program if they are looking to go somewhere completely different and cool!

Cole McDougall

Optometry Internship ,South Dakota State University, USA

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

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

No matter how much I fear working with a group, I realized, through my internship in Vietnam, that teamwork is key to success and you would be surprised how much opening your mind and listening to people’s opinions can get you far. Before the internship in Vietnam, I have always been interested in being a teacher of Japanese and this internship has made me realize how hard it can be teaching someone my own language but also how fun it can be. For anyone who are not used to working in groups, this program pushes you to, a lot of times, with your students, with your fellow interns and with your supervisor.

Yumi Kaneyama

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

Everything so far, from preparation before departure to the whole internship execution has been good. But what I am most satisfied with must be the helpfullness from the local buddy and coordinators through the whole process. Eventhough I am a more independent individual and have no problem exploring new places alone, I felt that their presence made me feel more safe and that I have friends in this new environment. All in all a great experience that I would not have gone without. One of the best experiences I have had. For my internship, however, there was a big part of the different tasks I could not be involved in because of the language barrier. They have given me a great experience and done at great deal to show me the process from how everything works in the different departments/shops to taken me out to see the farm where the organic products grow. They have kept me well informed and all in all been a great place to work. If there is anything I would suggest for improvement it would be better if there were more tasks that could be done in English. I am really happy with my experience and definitely will recommend it to anyone friends who are interested.

Trine Hansen

Marketing Internship ,Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

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

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

I have always been an extremely shy person, when I was small, my face would turn red and I even cried in front of people. Now that I’m a grown up, I want to become more confident, make friends and talk with them like other people do after one-month internship here in Vietnam.

Miho Matsui

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan