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Getting to Your Location


After knowing the placement for your program in Vietnam, you will be closely instructed by our Program Coordinator on what to do next in terms of pre-departure preparation. The first four things that we will need to get done are applying for a visa, purchasing travel insurance, booking your flights and budgeting for your stay in Vietnam. Further details on each of these four things can be found as below:

Getting a visa to go on your internship, study abroad or service-learning program in Vietnam can sometimes be  tricky and overwhelming if you do it all by yourself, but ABROADER is here to help you out in two ways:

1. If you choose the “full package” option for your program, ABROADER will take care of your whole visa application process and you will only need pick up the visa upon arrival in one of Vietnam’s three main international airports, which are Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi (HAN), Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Da Nang International Airport in Da Nang (DAD).

What do I need to do if I choose the “FULL PACKAGE” option?

Step 1: You will provide ABROADER with:

  • Your scanned passport copy 

  • Your home country information

  • Your university/ institute information (major/ year - semester/ current degree)

  • Your family’s contact information (in case of emergencies)

Step 2: Wait for ABROADER’s Letter of approval and Visa Application form (via Email) and prepare these documents:

  • Your passport

  • Completed and signed Visa Application Form (known as Entry and Exit form)

  • Visa approval letter with your name (printed in advance)

  • 2 personal photos (4x6cm). One photo to be glued to your Visa application form

  • Stamping fee in cash: USD $25 (for 1-month and 3-month Single entry Visa) or USD $50 (for 1-month and 3-month Multiple entry Visa).

Step 3: Upon arrival

  • Get off flight

  • Go to Immigration Checkpoint

  • Find the "Visa on arrival" counter, present the documents prepared in step 2 and ask for further instruction (if needed).

* Note: This process may take up to 2 hours

2. If you choose to only have us help you with getting a placement for your program, you will do the visa process on your own. ABROADER will instruct you with the procedures and documents needed for your visa application.

Important things to know if you take the second option:

Visa type

If you come on an internship or service-learning program, you will need to apply for a single-entry/multiple-entry business visa (DN) which allows you to enter Vietnam for interning or joining a service-learning program.  A multiple-entry DN visa usually costs more than a single-entry one.

If you come on a semester exchange program, you will need a single-entry/multiple-entry study visa (DH) which allows you to enter Vietnam for  study purposes. 

*Important Note: Sometimes international students interning or joining service-learning programs at NGOs in Vietnam may need to get a different type of visa with the support/sponsor from the NGOs.  

Visa documents

The visa application requirements and procedures will vary depending on your nationalities, purpose of entry into Vietnam. However, generally you will be asked to provide the following documents when applying for a visa at the Vietnamese embassies or general consulate(s) in your home country (click here for the directory of all Vietnamese Embassies and Consulates abroad):

  • Original passport valid for a minimum of 6 months at the date of entry and with at least one blank page available for the Vietnam Visa

  • Vietnamese Visa application form (click here for the online Visa form)

  • Passport photo(s) taken within the last 01 year and 4 x 6cm in size

  • An official letter of acceptance/invitation from the Vietnamese host school/company/NGO

  • A proof of tuition fees payment ( for study in Vietnam applicants)

Length of stay and Visa fee

Vietnamese visas are generally issued (single or multiple entries) with a validity of  3 months, 6 months or 1 year. It is likely that the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your home country will decide the maximum length of your visa based on the length of the program you have signed up for through ABROADER.

You will also be asked to pay the visa fee upon the submission of your visa application at the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate. Check out the following table of reference on visa to Vietnam fees:

Types of VisaFee (estimated & varies by embassies/consulaté )
Single-entry (1 - 3 months) USD $25 - USD $45
Multiple entries (1 month) USD $70
Multiple entries (3 - 6 months) USD $95
6-month to 1-year Visa USD $135

Processing time

Visas to Vietnam are usually processed within 5 to 14 business days*. The process time varies  depending on the foreign embassies and consulates of Vietnam. It is also possible to opt for rush or emergency visa service with additional fees.

*Note: Business day = Mon - Fri

Picking up your visa

In case you cannot collect your visa at the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home country, it is possible to do it at the Immigration Checkpoint in one of Vietnam’s 3 main international airports in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City upon your arrival and with a special approval letter.

Step 1: Before arrival

You should receive your Letter of approval via E-mail after your application is successfully processed. Print it out.

Prepare these documents with you:

  • Your passport

  • Completed and signed Visa Application Form (known as Entry and Exit form)

  • Visa approval letter with your name (printed in advance)

  • 2 personal photos (4x6cm). One photo to be glued to your Visa application form

  • Stamping fee in cash: USD $25 (for 1-month and 3-month Single entry Visa) or USD $50 (for 1-month and 3-month Multiple entry Visa).

Step 2: Upon arrival

  • Get off flight.

  • Go to Immigration Checkpoint.

  • Find the "Visa on arrival" counter, present the documents prepared in step 2 and ask for further instruction (if needed).

* Note: This process may take up to 2 hours.

Visa extension

In case you cannot get a  visa valid for your desired duration when applying in your home country, it is possible to get it extended after you come to Vietnam. This can be done by Vietnam Immigration Departments in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City, and you are suggested to ask your host schools/companies/NGOs to support or sponsor your visa extension.

Visa exemption

Vietnamese residents overseas can get a visa exemption certificate to visit Vietnam as instructed in this page. For students with other nationalities, check out this link to know if you can visit Vietnam without a visa for a certain period of time.

Additional resources

Why is travel insurance a must-have when studying abroad?

Although it is true that Vietnam has been ranked one of the most peaceful (#57 - GPI, 2019) and safest places (#9, Asia Peace Index ranking, 2020) in the world, unexpected things can still happen. While we do everything we can to ensure your trip to Vietnam goes smoothly and safely it is imperative to ensure you have adequate travel insurance should you fall sick, your bags go missing, or something is stolen. Please note that travel insurance is mandatory for you to participate in any of ABRODER’s programs. However, we do not provide insurance in our standard programs. You will need to purchase this prior to your departure for Vietnam and be solely responsible for evaluating and determining the type, extent and levels of any insurance plan you need/ desire for your planned travel period.

The reason why we do NOT include travel insurance in our fees is because it is usually more convenient for students to purchase their insurance in their home country. In the case that you want us to purchase insurance for you, we can still provide the service.

Below are some tips when you are looking for a travel insurance:.

Time Issue

It is highly recommended that you purchase the travel insurance as soon as you make any payment for your trip (program fee, accommodations, etc). Please pay attention to the valid dates of the insurance and what it covers, to see whether you can claim the program’s irrecoverable fees in case of cancelling your trip, or whether your insurance is valid from the time you check out from your home country or check in the host country, etc.

Types of insurance

Typically, services depend on the insurance provider that you choose, but  there are three most popular types:

  • Single Trip insurance: is applied for one trip of up to 3 months. This will not cover your traveling to various countries

  • Annual Multi Trip insurance: covers multiple trips for one year, with a maximum duration of 45 days/trip

  • Backpacker insurance: covers up to 2 years, including 1 trip home for your study break and other trips within the covered geographical area

Wear a helmet, sit in the back and keep yourself safe!
(Photo credit: Sebastian Jonshoej)

Insurance Fee

The fee depends on the company you work with, but it mostly varies based on the specific policies attached, so please pay attention to the terms of contract. The common rate is USD $50/month.

What should be cover

  • Medical Emergencies: Illness, accidents which lead to medical treatments and even repatriation.

  • Personal Possessions: Lost and stolen luggage/belongings when abroad (phone, passport, laptop, etc.)

  • Sport Activities: Sports-related accidents,  except for adventurous sports

  • Cancellation: In case of unexpected events such as illness or family issues (which must be proven), students would have to cancel the trip. In that case, make sure that the insurance will cover the irrecoverable fees for you.

  • Emergency Assistance: The insurance company has staffs in charge to deal with your specific case when needed

What are (usually) not covered

  • Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: You must be transparent with your insurance company about your medical conditions, or else your purchased insurance would be fully invalid

  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse or other Law-breaking behaviors: Insurance is not valid for those who break the law. So make sure that you are not involved in using drug, alcohol, driving without license, etc

  • Driving motorcycles: In Vietnam, motorbike is the most popular means of transportation. However, even if you are an experienced rider in your country, that does not mean you could or should ride in in traffic like Vietnam’s.

Recommended Providers


Once you got your visa figured out, you should proceed with booking your flights to and from Vietnam simultaneously with buying your travel insurance. Generally, our students will

  • Start booking flights immediately after receiving their Visa Approval Letter.

  • Book their flights at least 1 month in advance to get the best prices and to ensure availability.

  • Arrive in Vietnam on a Thursday to receive Orientation on Friday, go on a  City tour on Saturday and have a full Sunday resting before starting their program at their host organization on Monday

  • Depart from Vietnam on a Sunday after having their end-of-program evaluation with ABROADER and their host organization on Friday and bidding farewells to the special people who have been part of their journey abroad on Saturday.

* Important Note: Your dates of arrival and departure may be a little different depending on:

  • The length of your visa

  • Whether you want to be in Vietnam early or stay  a little longer for some personal exploration or just in time to start/finish your program

Recommended flights booking sites

Below are some sites to help you find airlines at a reasonable price to book flights for your upcoming internship, semester exchange or service-learning program in Vietnam through ABROADER:

Airports on arrival

Usually, our students will arrive in Vietnam at one of the following international airports:

  • North: Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi (HAN)

  • Center: Da Nang International Airport in Da Nang (DAD)

  • South: Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)

If you get a on-arrival visa, it is required that you arrive in Vietnam by flight and at one of the above  three airports.

* Fun facts: Noi Bai Airport is about 30km away from the city center, while TSN Airport is about 10km, and Da Nang Airport tops them all, being just 3km away from the city center.

Getting out of and to the airport

If you registered for the “full package” option

  • Airport pick-up: If you arrive between 8 AM and 8 PM local Vietnam time, our Program Coordinator/Program Assistant will pick you up at the airport and bring you to your accommodation. If your arrival time is outside of that time frame, our designated private driver will pick you up outside of the Arrival Hall of the airport. In both cases:

    • Look for Pick-up sign with Your Name

    • If you cannot find our program coordinator or designated driver, please try to reach us at our emergency contact. Please do not catch any taxi/bus by yourself without contacting us first.

  • Airport drop-off: our designated private driver will pick you up at your accommodation and drop you off outside the Departure Hall of the airport. Depending on your departure time, your Program Coordinator/Program Assistant, local buddies and sometimes host family (if applicable) will be able to accompany you to the airport as well.

If you go with the “Placement only” option

If you go with this option and do not register for airport pick-up and drop-off services, you are expected to arrange them on your own, if you need support, please follow our guidance below:

  • Taxi: as obvious as it is, getting a cab to and from where you will be staying is easy, or is it? There are about 20 taxi brands working in International Airports in Vietnam, some of them can be trusted but others might not have a very good reputation. Our recommended taxis are:

    • Hanoi:

      • Mai Linh: call 1055 or 024.38.333.333. Fare from the Airport back to Ha Noi is from VND 250.000 (USD $11) to VND 350.000 (USD $15) depending on where you are staying.

      • Taxi Nội Bài: call 0243.886.8888. Fare should be around VND 350.000 - 375.000 (~USD $16)

    • Danang:

      • Mai Linh: call 1055 or 0511.356.56.56. Fare is from VND 9.000 (~40 cents) to 14.000 (~50 cents) per kilometer.

      • Taxi Tiên Sa: call 0511.379.79.79. Fare is quite similar to Mai Linh’s.

    • Ho Chi Minh City:

      • Mai Linh: call 1055 or Fare is from VND 15.000 (~60 cents) per kilometer.

      • Vinasun: call Fare is from VND 14.500 (~60 cents) per kilometer.

* Important Note: Taxi drivers don’t normally speak English, so prepare your address in writing and hand it to them or call our Program Coordinator to help you with the taxi.
  • Ride hailing apps:
    Currently, the dominant ride hailing apps in Vietnam are Grab and Bee (equivalent to Uber and Lyft) with their Grab and Bee car options. Their fares are lower than traditional taxi brands of about 30%. However, in prime time (or rush hours - early morning, 7 am - 9 am, 5 pm - 7 pm, and late night), their fares are about the same or even 20% - 30% higher than regular taxi brands.u

  • Local bus:
    An inexpensive and comfortable option. Check the bus map of Ha Noi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City here. Fare can be as cheap as VND 5.000 (20 cents) up to VND 40.000  (USD $1,5) from the airport where you land to the closest bus stops to your designated accommodation. Sometimes you might need to get a car to drive you to/from the bus stop if it’s not within walking distance to/from where you stay.

Apart from our program fees that help you get settled in Vietnam, it is suggested that you always carry a certain amount of pocket money so as to survive here during the time of your program. Generally speaking, Vietnam is an inexpensive country to stay in, even when you are traveling for leisure. This means it can cost much less to be here as a student. Check out the following information on estimated cost of living to know how much to prepare in advance of your internship, semester exchange or service-learning program in Vietnam. Be advised that the prices down here are averaged to a normal foreign traveller (about twice the regular Vietnamese’s spending), and if you’re living in a more rural, non-tourist area, the cost of living can be much cheaper.

Exchange rates between Vietnamese Dong (VND) and major foreign currencies as of April 2020:

JPY 1 ~ VND 219 

CNY 1 ~ VND 3.300

AUD 1 ~ VND 15.000

SGD 1 ~ VND 17.000

CAD 1 ~ VND 17.000

USD  1 ~ VND 24.000 

EUR 1 ~ VND 26.000 

GBP 1 ~ VND 30.000

Daily cost of living

  • Meal: Street food/ inexpensive places: from VND 30.000/ meal (~ USD $1.2)

  • Transportation:

    • Taxis: VND 120.000/ day (USD $5)

    • Grab/Bee car: VND 100.000/ day (USD $4)

    • Grab/Bee bike: VND 50.000/ day (USD $2)

    • Local bus: VND 20.000/ day (~ USD $1)

  • Grocery: VND 100.000/ day (USD $4) (rice, pork, chicken, vegetable, hygiene…) 

  • Coffee & Refreshment:

    • Vietnamese coffee: from VND 20.000/ cup (~ USD $1)

    • Beer: from VND 10.000/ can (~50 cents)

    • Tea: from VND 30.000/ cup (USD $1.2)

    • Coke: VND 12.000/ bottle (50 cents)

    • Local desserts: starting from VND 10.000 depending on what type (~50 cents)

  • Communication:

    • Wifi: available for free at your accommodation (be it a serviced apartment or a homestay) and at almost every stores, shops, restaurants in major cities)

    • SIM Card: from VND 90.000/sim card (~USD $4), topping up with VND 100.000/ month (USD $4) for call/text credit, data plan starting from VND 70.000/month (USD $3)

Rent (only if  you choose the Placement only option)

Rent in Vietnam is comparatively  affordable for foreigners. You could find a 20m2 studio with rent as low as USD $350 a month to a more luxurious 45m2 serviced apartment with price starting from USD $550 a month. Below are what our past students who did not go with the full-package option paid for their accommodation in Vietnam:

  • Average 20m2 studio, 1 bed, serviced: from USD $350/ month

  • 25m2 studio, 1 bed, balcony, serviced: from USD $450/ month

  • 45m2 apartment, 1 bed, living room, balcony, serviced: from USD $550/ month
    * These prices are applicable for housing within central districts of Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang and usually cover most utilities like running water, gas, TV, wifi, washing machine, kitchenware, etc but NOT electricity which costs more or less than USD $20/month depending on your power consumption.

It is not  difficult to find housing in major cities in Vietnam, though it could be tough sometimes because of the language barrier and the fact that you are not staying long-term. ABROADER’s ”full package” option provides you a hassle-free solution to many logistics needed for your trip to Vietnam, which include finding, leasing, and paying for your accommodation. Click here to learn more about associated fees

Sports and Leisure

  • Sports:

    • Swimming pool: from VND 50.000/ ticket (USD $2)

    • Gym: From VND 250.000/ month (USD $11) (regular) - VND 600.000/ month (USD $25) (chain)

  • Leisure:

    • Movie: from VND 40.000/ticket (USD $1.5)

    • Bar/pub: from VND 200.000/drink (USD $8)

    • Indoor rock climbing: from VND 250.000/2 hours (USD $11)


  • Transportation:

    • Seat bus: from VND 100.000/ ride (USD $4) (within 90km) to VND 250.000/ ride (USD $11) (Less than 150km)

    • Sleep bus: from VND 150.000/ ride (USD $6) (within 150km) to VND 400.000/ ride (USD $17) (150km - 300km)

    • Train: varied depending on the distance to your destination, one-way ticket can be as cheap as VND 30.000 (USD $1.2)

    • Flight: varies depending on where you want to go. Return tickets can be as cheap as VND 1.500.000 (~USD $60) with taxes and fees both included. The most popular airlines in Vietnam are: VietJet (number 1 budget airline in Vietnam), Vietnam Airlines (state-owned, 4-star quality), JetStar Pacific (budget airline, joint venture), and Bamboo Airways (private-owned, 4-star quality, the newest joining the market). If you are lucky, you can “hunt” for VND 0 tickets (taxes and fees not included) on some special occasions.

  • Hotel:

    • Regular hotel and hostel: from VND 250.000/ night (USD $11)

    • Bunk: from VND 100.000/ night (USD $4)

    • 2-stars: from VND 600.000/ night (USD $25)

    • 3-stars: from VND 900.000/ night (USD $38)

  • Food: Regular meal from VND 50.000/ meal (USD $2)

In total, it is recommended that for a month of living in Vietnam you should prepare approximately:

  • USD $700 if you registered the “placement only” option

  • USD $350 if you registered the “full package” option

We hope that the information provided throughout this page will help your journey of getting to your program location be as simple as possible. Interested in knowing what life in your program location is like? Check out this article.

Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us or our Program Coordinator at

In general, I am satisfied with the Internship Service provided by ABROADER before I came to Vietnam. My host family placement exceeded my expectations. My host mother and father were all very friendly and helpful; they really made me feel at home. My local buddy Linh, even though she lived 2 hours away, she still made efforts in taking me on day-trips that catered to my interest in Vietnamese Cuisine. I contacted ABROADER for the Culinary Internship in Vietnam on my own and and given the amount of money and time I will be investing, it was extremely important for me to feel that I can trust ABROADER Vietnam. My host for the internship was Ngon Villa Restaurant. The host company staffs were very friendly and welcoming, one chef at the restaurant was in charge of my internship. However, due to perhaps unforeseeable needs in the company, my supervisor was not able to spend more than a day with me. ABROADER Vietnam found an excellent opportunity for internship in Vietnam for me; however, the host company was not able to fully deliver the experience I was looking for.

Jinhua Zhang

Culinary Internship ,City College of San Francisco, 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

Words cannot describe how much I gain from this internship. The time here have been productive, meaningful and of course an unforgettable one! When I first came to Ho Chi Minh City for the internship, I was overwhelmed by the culture difference. To the roads packed with motorcycles to the food, everything was different for me. Honestly, I thought it would be very hard for me to adapt to the culture in Vietnam, however, ABROADER Vietnam provide us with a lot of support! They have local buddies that bought us around Ho Chi Minh City, teach us their culture and are very open and happy going! They even bought us to grocery shopping which we needed desperately! :) What’s more they gave me an internship in one of Vietnam’s top IT outsourcing company! The team was professional, always looking for ways to improve and welcoming! They always try their best that i am doing great! Thank You ABROADER Vietnam!

Gerald Heng

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

There were definitely times during my internship that the cultural difference between Vietnam and Japan made my internship here challenging. However, I was able to be in a team of amazing people and I learnt to accept the difference of opinions within my team and be patient to avoid any conflict. For me, being in a harmonious team motivated me to be positive, work harder and be a more productive person in general.

Reina Takahashi

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

I enjoyed the time in Ho Chi Minh city. The experience was much better than I expected. I came with an open mind to face anything, but everything was smooth and easy. The host organisation is satisfying. They tried their best to help me learn. It was satisfying. I would do this again if I get the chance. The abroader staff was really friendly and they prepared everything for me before I landed in Vietnam. So I did not have to worry about anything. I am satisfied with the program and I would recommend this program 100%.

Dan Fernando

Trainer & Communication Internship ,Deakin University, Australia

The study tour was a fantastic program full of cultural and fun experiences in both Vietnam and Singapore. Before the trip both of these places had been on my travel list, so when the opportunity for this trip came up I couldn't say no and I'm so glad that I did it. The buddies, the people I travelled with and the organisers made the trip even better. Industries in both countries were super helpful and our visits to these factories was one of the highlights. Networking with these companies, the food, cultural exposure, the people and the organisers made it a beautiful way to study our university course!! The most unfamiliar food that I tried was definitely chicken feet! Sugar cane drinks were also unusual but they tasted awesome! Thank you!!!!

Jared Haysman

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

The people at ABROADER helped me transition into moving to Hanoi and beginning my internship. They helped me find a homestay at this place called Bui Xuyen Viet Travel Coffee, which is a small coffee shop that is all about travel. I really love my home stay. The people are some of the kindest I have met in Vietnam and extremely helpful in helping me navigate through the city and experience a local perspective of life in Hanoi. As for my internship, the staff has been very supportive and encouraging. They have helped challenge me and encourage me at the same time to contribute in any way I can to the company. After only a few days there, I could tell that I would really like my co-workers. They are a young, energetic, and sarcastic bunch who truly care about the company. It definitely feels like a team at the office. I know that I can talk to them about any questions I may have, and they are patient in letting me learn along the way. The experience that I have so far at ABROADER has been helpful in get a better idea of what I want to pursue after I go back home to the U.S., and my experiences overall in Vietnam that were very much made possible by ABROADER are experiences that are invaluable and that I will cherish for a lifetime. Vietnam is a beautiful country, with its breathtaking nature and tropical beaches, there is no doubt about it. But what really makes Vietnam feel like home and a place that I have become fond of is the people, the friends that I have made along the journey.

Nancy Vazquez

Marketing Internship ,University of California, San Diego, USA

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