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.
Medical Internship ,Loyola University Chicago, USA
When people ask me how I changed this summer, I tell them I aged eight years. Because the best way I know how to encompass all that I learned and how I matured is to change my ‘real’ age from 20 to someone much older. I feel wise in the least pretentious way and armed with enough life knowledge to take on the world. I know I could not have gained this much independence in Corvallis and I doubt I could have achieved it anywhere else in the world. Still, Vietnam taught me that simplicity does not repel complexity, that I can do anything, and, most importantly, that there is a big world out there to explore. “My first internship placement, at Bac Lung Secondary School, was excellent. I love living and teaching there, and I wish I could have stayed the entire time. I felt like I was making an important contribution in the community in allowing the students to learn English from a foreigner when they might not get that chance otherwise. Obviously, having to move and change everything halfway through my internship was not ideal. Since I came to Vietnam expecting to live in the countryside and teach English the entire time, the move to the city, where I could no longer teach, was frustrating. That being said, my experience in Hanoi ended up much better than I could have expected, and I am grateful for the opportunity to go outside my comfort zone living in the city. One of the best parts of my experience was the local buddy system. […] it was invaluable for me to have him (the local buddy) as a support and confidant. My experience would not have been the same without him.
Education Internship ,Oregon State University, USA
I enjoyed my time and the program greatly in Vietnam. It seemed as if the program tried its best to guide all interns in the right direction and was helpful when needed. The thing I will remember most about the internship will be the people I met, specifically the other interns and the patients I worked with. The various interns I met throughout the hospital taught me how to think in a different mindset in order to problem solve and treat a patient. As for the patients, they taught me their culture, and to always shave a positive attitude and outlook on things. Each of the patients had suffered an accident that had effected their capability to live their lives, and yet each patient had such a positive attitude.
Medical Internship ,Iowa State University, 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
The service provided by ABROADER Vietnam is really good. Especially until I get used to living here, I asked support from ABROADER so much. Now I can manage my own life by myself thanks to them.
IT Internship ,Chuo University, Japan
My Internship here was an incredible time. It was educational, stuffed to the brim with wonderful experiences, new friendships and so much more. I am glad to have had ABROADER Vietnam supporting me with adjusting to the lifestyle here, and have already recommended it to colleagues from home. I was impressed by how fast they were to help, and how far they went to help me fix things, if problems occured
The only problem I ran into was during my internship, you can imagine the amount of people with adequate english was limited, especially those that were able to give me clear instructions on what to do. As a result, a measurable amount of time was spent observing and helping out with small scale procedures within the departements. This was not the case in all eight of them, so at times I was able to work just like back home, provide valuable assistance to the Nurses in the departement work as an integral part of the team. I believe the internship provided the patients, and the Nurses with a valuable experience. Besides the occasional english lesson for the nurses, being the caregiver to children should expand their cultural horizon. The individuals I worked with, on the other hand provided me with as much attention and chances to learn as possible. In the future, expanding their english knowledge can only improve relations to students.
All in all, I am certain that anyone who will be working with them for an internship will see how hardworking they are in making the experience here in vietnam as flawless as possible.
Nursing Internship ,FH Campus Wien, Austria
ABROADER helped me come to Vietnam, they found an internship for me, found work so I can learn about agriculture, organized my arrival, accommodation, first days guidance, sight-seeing, excursions, gave recommendations how to live and react in certain situations, gave me lessons about their language, welcomed me as I never could imagine and more. Simply said, their service was excellent. Like others have said, after coming to Vietnam they were available all the time and offered help with anything. Right now I can’t imagine how I could manage this alone. I was so amazed how fast they did things at ABROADER and how organized they were. I must confess at first I didn’t expect this. I have experience with similar organizations in Europe and I must write how great ABROADER was compared to them.
this is not everything. After I came to Hanoi I also heard about this organization’s background. For them it is not just about making money. Because many students from Vietnam can’t afford traveling to other countries, ABROADER actually helps them learn about other cultures and languages. They directly cooperate with students. So, with coming here I didn’t just help myself, I also helped others to gain more knowledge. And getting a local buddy is also an excellent idea. You can never learn so much about the foreign country if you travel as a tourist. You have to become part of it, then you can learn about the real culture. Your local buddy helps you do this and in the end you might even find a new friend, like I did. I made many new good friends.
In general, you might think that internship with ABROADER will bring you more knowledge and experience in your profession. It will, because they really search for the best possible internship position. But you can’t imagine how much other experience you also gain just by crossing the street or ordering food, being independent here. And be part of them.
I won’t be writing how beautiful this country is, how friendly people are and how good the food is, you will just have to come here and find out by yourself. :)
Thank you ABROADER!
Agriculture Internship ,Master's Degree at University of Maribor, Slovenia
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
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.
Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan
Great internship in Vietnam! I recommend Westerners to go there at least one time to see things differently. ABROADER is very helpful (even if there is only women here haha) and found me a very decent internship. Time flies very fast, so you know what to do if you like the heat and cheep beers. À bientôt Vietnam!
Environment Internship ,Polytech Montpellier, France