Internships in Vietnam 2022
Gilman Scholarship | Alumni Story
ABROADER March 23, 2022 5 minute read
Interning and studying abroad is once-in-a-life-time experience for students to learn how to navigate cross-cultural communication, gain necessary work skill sets, boost their self-confidence, and independence.
Acknowledging the importance of having study abroad experience, many scholarships were founded to assist students financially to make their dream come true. As you may know, one of the well-known scholarships, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, is an opportunity for students to take a step closer to their dream of an internship or study abroad.
Let’s learn more about Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship through our alumni’s stories.
Meet Olivia Ellis
My name is Olivia Ellis. I graduated with a B.A. in International & Global Studies at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro (UNCG). I received the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship in 2020.
A brief about Gilman Scholarship
The Gilman Scholarship is a national, highly competitive, government-funded scholarship that aids students to study abroad. Students who identify as a racial or ethnic minority, first-generation students, in high financial need are eligible for the Gilman scholarship. Only 1 in 4 applicants get selected in each application season.
My fate with Gilman Scholarship
I first heard about the scholarship from my study abroad advisor. Then, I attended an information meeting hosted by Gilman alumni, who presented her experience abroad and gave helpful tips for the application. When I began the application essays, I went to the university’s writing center. They helped me structure my essays clearly and concisely to share my story and why studying abroad was essential for my future career.
In the first place, my study abroad program was in Seoul, South Korea. Due to the pandemic, the program got canceled. I immediately searched for new opportunities. It was my first time receiving a scholarship award, and I did not want to lose the chance to participate in a cultural exchange program. I reached out to my International Program Center (IPC) at UNCG. My study abroad advisor gave me resources for virtual programs, and I applied with ISA Internships – who paired me with ABROADER for a virtual internship in Vietnam.
My virtual experience
I interned as an English as a Second language (ESL) teacher for a non-profit organization in Hanoi, Vietnam. I taught English to adults, created lesson plans for my classes, and edited the organization’s English- translated webpage.
As an intern, I taught a weekly English class to beginner-level students. I created lesson plans, including bi-weekly lessons focused on stress relief and mental health improvement. Additionally, I edited the host company’s English – translation webpage for clarity and conciseness. During this experience, I learned time management, leadership, and creativity skills that I later utilized in a new teaching position. I grasped the best teaching style that works for me to guide my students to learn English. A memorable moment for me was when my students would draw photos of me and share them with me after class. My students brought a lot of happiness to me. I was grateful for all of their efforts and positive energy.
After the internship
After you finish your study abroad program, you will have to do a follow-on service project. This project is a way for you to share your experience with people on your campus about studying abroad and your host country’s culture.
What I did was to write a blog to share about my experience. You can read my story featured on Gilman blog to learn about the people I met in the program.
Connection & Network Growing
After my internship, I decided to get my TEFL/TESOL teaching certification. I want to teach English abroad, in-person, one day. I have made many connections with people from my host company and ABROADER, who helped me find more teaching opportunities. This past winter, I taught English at a non-profit library in Hanoi, Vietnam, to advanced-level students. I was referred to another English center by my students-where I presented on Black Culture.
All in all, a quote that resonates with me a lot is, “Do not be afraid to be a beginner.” We all are beginners when we start something new. We do not have to be perfect, but we should be open to learning and changing. I suggest not letting fear hold you back from having different opportunities.
Internships and study abroad can be more than traveling across borders. It’s about who you meet, what impact you create on the community development, and how you reflect upon the experience for take-aways.
If you have a thirst for an experience abroad in Vietnam this Summer, check out these opportunities from ABROADER: