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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 had a great experience interning in Vietnam, I made new friends, experienced new things and learned a lot through the program. ABROADER's staff were really helpful and friendly, making me and the other interns here get used to life in Vietnam. Being an engineering student, I was placed in an engineering company. There, I learned a lot about working life and knowledge that would help me in my future. I also got to experience Vietnam's culture, their way of life and explored the country. Overall, I had a good time over the 5 months I was in Vietnam, experiences good or bad, will likely stick with me for the rest of my life.

Harris Bin Hazri

Technical Sales in Engineering Internship ,Republic Polytechnic, Singapore

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

The local buddies were amazing!! Such a wonderful experience!! I would recommend to everyone, even if you don’t know anyone else. Was such a great time meeting new people and exploring a culture that was so welcoming. Due to the local buddies we got to experience the local side of Vietnam and all the places the average tourist won’t get to see. I also know my class mates at lot better. I have made connections with industry professionals that will stay with me after I graduate. Loved it!!!!!!!!!!

Baillie Wheatly

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

The industry visits provided real-world experience and foresight into our future careers. The field trips gave us a new insight into a rich, deep culture, and ABROADER organised parties were heaps of fun... They usually ended up turning into a very late night as well. During the trip I always felt safe thanks to the local buddies and our program coordinator. Before I left for this trip, I could not help but feel nervous. It was my first time travelling overseas and I was about to leave my home country for ~one month. I did not know what to expect from Vietnam/Singapore, the people I was travelling with, or the countless people I would meet overseas. Since the very first moment that I arrived the local buddies welcomed me with open arms. The entirety of the group that I came over with also bonded so much quicker than I thought possible. From the start we were exploring Ho Chi Minh City, while introducing ourselves to the locals and the nightlife. All the activities on the trip were great and we were all kept busy. This was a really big positive in my opinion as, had a tentative schedule have not been organised, it may have become easy to 'waste' a day or more relaxing. That being said, there were some free days designated throughout the trip should you wish to catch up on some sleep ;). 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. Both Vietnam and Singapore themselves were amazing countries to visit. There is an aura about both that gives you the feeling that something is always happening. Particularly in Vietnam, most local places are open at almost all hours of the day and deep into the night. However, this never left me feeling as though the cities we visited were too busy. Being in a largish group of good friends and exploring was completely fun and relaxing too. The visits to more discrete locations were also beautiful and completely peaceful. Finally, the local civilians were so kind, welcoming and genuinely happy that we were experiencing their culture and lifestyle. Now that the trip is over all I can think about is how I wish it had gone for longer. How I wish I had extended my trip even further, and how I am already planning to meet with the friends I have made on this journey for further travel. So, if you are worried or nervous about any parts of this trip, all I can say is that it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There are so many friends and stories to be made. Get out there, take every opportunity you can, don't overthink it and just do it!

Calen Blake

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

I just wanted to say a Warm Thanks to the ABROADER team for creating an amazing experience for Zach. Kasia and your team went above and beyond and should be so proud of bringing the amazing experience of living in Vietnam to my son. Your buddy program was amazing and we met his Buddy several times. He even came to the airport at 7 AM this past Saturday as Zach left Vietnam. Zach learned so much about Vietnam this summer - about its amazing culture, food, how people live and of course Grab, and the crazy life of the traffic. This family has fallen in love with Vietnam.

Barry Vlessing

Business Development Internship ,Zachary Vlessing's Father

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 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

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

Doing my internship Vietnam, will be an unforgettable experience for me because reflecting back to the past 4 months staying in Vietnam I have learned quite a lot in Vietnam in terms of culture, people, work ethics and values, it grows me as a person to become a better person with the way I interact with people, working with them on a project and how to deal with problems whether big or small. At the end of day, people are people, they are not going to be your ideal circle of friends or co-workers that is going to go your way all the time, but what you can do is to make the best out of it and always end on a positive note :)

Kang Feng Wei (Derek)

IT Internship ,Republic Polytechnic, Singapore