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GUIDE TO HOST FOREIGN INTERNS

ABROADER's Know-Hows

“Your company has never hosted an international intern? No need to worry, we have many best practices to share.
Need advice on what benefits to provide for the intern? We have you covered! Visa paperwork?
Don’t panic, we know what to do!”
Welcoming an international newcomer to your organization would spark a lot of joy and excitement, however, it sometimes can also come with unexpected inconveniences when there is a lack of mindset and logistical preparation. After 6 years of sending international interns to more than 150 organizations in different locations in Vietnam, we have gained several valuable lessons, now composed into a guide to help both our partner organizations and interns to get the most out of their hosting/interning experience. As an upcoming or prospective host organization, it is highly recommended that you check out our guide to host to have a full look at what is expected of you and what to prepare before, during and after hosting an international intern. A summary of the guide is  as below.

EXPECTATIONS FOR HOST ORGANIZATION:

  • Provide meaningful work experience and work benefits for the intern as agreed upon and described in the Internship Offer Letter

  • Assist the intern in integrating with your organization’s work environment, staff and day-to-day business, including providing them with an “induction and orientation on general work procedures,” “workplace safety” and “who is who” on their first day and throughout their first week
    For a list of what information the intern needs to know when arriving at your organization, please refer to Appendix 2-Orientation Checklist in this guide to host

  • Appoint a supervisor to oversee the intern and guide  them through the assigned tasks and adjusting to the organization’s work culture
    For more information on the role of the intern supervisor, please refer to Appendix 1 - Tips when working with international interns in this guide to host

  • Provide necessary resources or equipments required for the intern to perform their tasks or execute their projects

  • Communicate with the intern about the right kind of work attitudes and professionalism through interactions with other people in your organization

  • Provide the intern with on-going evaluation on their performance and progress and support them when needed: 
    The 3 main checkpoints for the intern’s performance evaluations are

    • After week 1 (as the first week is key to setting foundation for the internship); and after the first month
    • Mid-internship evaluation (if specified)
    • End-of-internship evaluation where the your organization, the intern and ABROADER together conduct a final evaluation of the program 

End-of-internship Evaluation


*On occasions, the intern will be on a credit-bearing internship and your organisation may be required to complete some forms from their home university apart from our end-of-internship evaluation form. ABROADER will always explain the whole process fully and try hard to answer any questions you may have.

Other than these scheduled evaluations, you are encouraged to talk informally with the intern and ABROADER throughout the internship to provide feedback whenever needed.

  • Stay in close contact with ABROADER’s Program Coordinator throughout the internship for any matters related to the intern 

  • Other logistics: You can rest assured that all support services needed for the intern to arrive  and be able to do an internship at your organization, including visa application, accommodation, travel insurance, onsite support, and career/cultural training, will be arranged by ABROADER. In some cases, we may need to ask for your assistance in arranging some of these logistics. For example, regarding the visa application, we will support the intern in applying for a business visa, which allows them to work at companies in Vietnam with or without a stipend. In this process, you may be asked to provide us with papers to verify that the intern is accepted to do the internship at your organization. 

EXPECTATION FOR INTERN'S SUPERVISOR(S):

  • Speak good English

  • Communicate with the intern regularly

  • Arrange at least 1 weekly meeting with the intern (about one hour) to check on their progresses and give feedback

  • Set up clear work plan

  • Express clearly and directly what the intern is expected to do

  • Provide clear deadlines for tasks

  • Give the intern direct, timely feedback for their works

  • Give compliments when the intern does a good job – Everyone wants positive encouragement when it is due. This also encourages students to try harder and to improve!
    In the case that the supervisor is absent/ away from work: big tasks should be assigned to the intern so that they have something to work on while the supervisor is away and  a second supervisor/contact person should be assigned; the intern should report back to their main supervisor as well as their temporary supervisor.

  • Take part in a face-to-face end-of-internship evaluation session whereby the intern, ABROADER and the supervisor(s) will sit down together to review the internship program and areas to keep and/ or improve.
    Per the requirement of the Internship Program, the intern’s performance in the internship will be evaluated based on their abilities, skills, attitude, teamwork and attendance record. The supervisor(s) are therefore invited to complete an Intern Evaluation Form and return it to ABROADER prior to the day of the evaluation session.

WORKING STYLE OF INTERNATIONAL INTERNS:

Generally, international interns, especially those from Western countries like the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, etc tend to:

  • Be able to work independently if their supervisors give them authority and clear deadlines

  • Like being given variety of different tasks

  • Be more direct in communication. They may not know when Vietnamese are not happy with them if they do not speak it out loud.

  • Need clear deadlines and work plan so they know what they are working towards


You are clear about what is expected of a host organization and want to proceed?
INQUIRE NOW to become an ABROADER Partner Employer!
Or email our Program Coordinator at partner@abroader.org if you still have any questions.

I really did not expect that they can whip up a guidebook for gender- based victim confidants in like 7 weeks. Researchers on gender issues in Vietnam is very rare so when I saw students CV, I was like “This is it. They are iSEE intern.” It was very helpful to have them as the researchers on this project, and for them to chase after me for deadlines (laugh). Another thing I valued in students is that they do not come here with the “western justice savior” attitude and instead, was very respectful of the local cultures and be humble.

iSEE

Social Work Internship Host ,Hanoi, Vietnam

We hosted 3 Singaporean students in our testing lab. Their main tasks are helping with our lab services team, conducting experiments on food, air and water samples. We also helped in one of our research with literature review. Since only part of our team speak English, there was a language barrier, but the students manage to overcome through body languages and Google Translation. They also bonded with our staff by going for lunch together. Overall, they are good students and we hope there will be more such collaborations in the future.

HANOI UNIVERSITY OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Pharmacy & Biology Internship Host ,Hanoi, Vietnam

I worked with Ain, an environmental sciences student from Singapore for 5 months. Ain had left a lasting impression on our team, standing out for her work ethics and friendliness. She never missed a deadline and always asked for more ways she can help. During her time, she had contributed to 2 of our projects working on efficient and affordable ways to collect floating trash in the coastal area of Northern Vietnam. She also joined our onsite trip to Nam Dinh to conduct experiments and surveys with local fishermen. I can see she is passionate about the environment and hope we can work together in the future as she further her career in conservation.

MCD

Environment Internship Host ,Hanoi, Vietnam

We hosted 1 bio-med student from Singapore for 5 months. Since our research areas are mostly high-level stem cell research, we normally recruited master or PhD students. Since Adriel is still an undergrad, at first there was a lack of background knowledge and we needed to give him a lot of additional readings. Adriel was very hard working, actively educating himself by taking online classes and seminars. By the second month, he was able to join our research works and conduct lab experiments by himself. By the end, he had contributed to 2 of our research projects on improving stem cell analysis technologies’ efficiency, co-authored 1 research paper and joined 1 national conference on stem cell. I am very happy with his results and can see that he can go far in the future. I encouraged him to study PhD in the UK in the program I did previously as he furthers his study in bio-med.

VINMEC RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Biology Internship Host ,Hanoi, Vietnam

We wish to have more opportunity to collaboration with ABROADER in hosting interns/volunteers in the coming time. However, if it is possible, we would like the internship duration to be longer. ABROADER Vietnam and their staff have provided a valuable support on facilitation process of this program. We are much appreciated their good arrangement and well-facilitation.

SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT (SRD)

Sustainable Agriculture Internship Host ,Hanoi, Vietnam

We have benefited from exchanging languages, cultures and work environments. Also from the assignments given to interns, we would use them for our next short and long-term strategic developments.

ARDOR Architects

Architect Internship Host ,HCMC, Vietnam

Lily is a Marketing Intern at HG Holdings. She knows what to do and she can work with the team very well. We appreciate her enthusiasm and interest in making the work smoothly. Her biggest strengths are her positive nature and openness to learn. She has good editorial skills in all communications related areas. Lily contributes with her work to the company and brought an interesting and refreshing cultural aspect to the team.

HG HOLDINGS

Marketing Internship Host ,Hanoi, Vietnam

Brian Tieu delivered above and beyond and really took steps to show his proactive initiative and desire to learn and absorb as much out of this experience as possible. He was really dependable and delivered under pressure which is essential in communications!

WWF Vietnam

Communiations Internship Host ,Ha Noi, Vietnam

Great effort by the staff to match the intern with our organization, along with helping the intern to get to know more about Vietnamese culture. I understand the limitation of online platform in implementing programs like this, so kudos to the team for the great transition.

iSEE

LGBT Internship Host ,Ha Noi, Vietnam

We have received interns from ABROADER twice since last 2019. Thanks to the students, we could systemize our structure and training documentation. Right now, event management is a growing industry with not many real institutes so the staff might not be 100% trained to their potential. However, these Singaporean interns help us with understand what course of actions should be taken. Even though some students seemed stress at first and became passive, we tried to give them some encouragement and support from all of our team. They've become better and start to progress profoundly. Some designer interns weren't best with their English while we only know English as our main foreign communication, we still managed to break the language barrier together. Moreover, that the interns speak Chinese helped us do business with many Chinese customers.

Kingsmen

Business & Marketing Internship Host ,HCMC, Vietnam