THE ABROADER STORY
ABROADER was established to first serve the local community in Vietnam. The heart of the community is Vietnamese college students who are going to be the future leaders of the nation. We realize that the youth in South East Asia’s developing countries, young Vietnamese included, have limited chances of going overseas to view the world. For many of them, a trip abroad is likely to be a distant dream. That urges us to bring YOU, international students from different parts of the world to our region. With our offer of internship, semester exchange, faculty-led, service learning and other types of study abroad programs, we aim to create an open and dynamic space for international and local students to exchange their diverse cultures, their fresh ideas, and learn from each other. Besides Vietnam, we have already developed programs in Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore and aim to spread ABROADER’s spirit to Myanmar as well. This is how the journey of going abroad in their own country for Southeast Asian youngsters starts.
ABROADER's 2020 Year-end Party with our local & international communities
ABROADER is one of the first local-led companies in the field of international education in Vietnam, and probably the only woman-led one. Through all programs provided, we – the local founder and staff, hope you can experience the country with care, love and friendliness from people you’ve never met before. Have you ever wondered what truly connects you with a country? Is it simply just because of a good accommodation, a convenient transportation system, or a fine cuisine? Probably not. We believe it is first and foremost the local people who bring you the feeling of being home though you are thousands of miles away from your homeland. That is how we, together with the people at your program’s location, create stories for you to bring home.
Mo Nguyen - the founder of ABROADER
“I started up ABROADER simply in favor of the local community”
Going international is a dream of many young hearts in Vietnam, Mo included. Having grown up in a mountainous area where access to a quality education is limited, she knows how hard it is for many young Vietnamese college students to make their dreams of going abroad come true. That brings her to the determination of establishing Student Exchange Vietnam (the former name of ABROADER from 2014 to 2018) to serve the local community of university students. With the advent of globalization, it is necessary for students to gain more exposure to the international environment. That is why Mo designed ABROADER’s unique local buddy program, where every Vietnamese student is paired with an international student to offer friendship and support throughout their stay in Vietnam. Through this special program, Vietnamese students make new international friends without having to go abroad, enjoy the opportunities to broaden their minds about new cultures , and improve their soft skills by participating in activities designed to connect international students with their local peers.
The sense of “local community” also lies in the benefits of other stakeholders that collaborate with us to organize successful study abroad programs for you and hundreds of other international students. These stakeholders include local companies, host families, and service providers. In the long run, Mo believes that Vietnam education and the local business environment will be more internationalized thanks to the kind of work ABROADER and other similar organizations have been doing in the country. This is what she envisioned how the company’s social contribution would be on the very first days of our establishment. Join us, we need your help in our community development work.
“Just do it!”
Back when Mo was still the Director of International Cooperation at a leading private university in Vietnam, she had a visit to the top 8 universities in Thailand. The idea of doing something helpful for Vietnam’s education hit her after the visit as she kept questioning “Why can’t Vietnam attract as many international students as Thailand despite all the similarities that the two countries have?” The key answer lies in building the country’s brand name which Vietnam did not have back at the time. This, however, did not give Mo 100% clarity of what exactly to do next as more and more questions kept coming to her, including “How to let people know and trust Vietnam education?”, “What program to start with?”, and more importantly, “How much does it cost to start a business?”. There goes a saying where there is a will, there's a way. Her strong passion and spirit of devotion to the community sparked the idea of providing International Internship programs, which she believed is needed for young people everywhere, especially for college undergraduates. If she only had the idea and waited until she felt Vietnam and our education system were ready, then there might not be the existence of ABROADER. Her messages to the young people who have a bunch of brilliant ideas that the community needs are: don’t wait until you think you are perfect because you never know when it’s a good time for it. Start broadening your horizons today, and don’t let your inner fear stop you from doing what you are passionate about. It is a journey that you learn and explore yourself at every single step to reach your destination!
Start-up is never an easy path, what helped Mo go through the obstacles she faced?
“Resilience is what the youth need”
No funding. No proper office. No budget for a business trip. No customer for the first six months of operation back in 2014. When there are so many “No”s at the start, many may choose to step back but it wasn’t what Mo and her team of 4 did. They worked hard and stayed determined with their goals. What they did for the first six months was sending emails to seek for partners. Many emails were sent without response back, or received a polite turndown. Imagine one of the four people was not resilient enough, then there would be no today’s ABROADER. The hard work pays off later if you never quit. At the end of the year, ABROADER welcomed Hajime Kimura, the very first program participant, and guess what? His name in Japanese means “the start”.
Hajime - ABROADER’s first participant
After a dozen years in the professional world, Mo observed that nowadays, many young people are getting used to a more and more comfortable and convenient life that they seem to lack resilience if any difficulties arise. Through study abroad programs at ABROADER, Mo hopes to help both domestic and international students like you build up resilience in your personalities. You will learn how to cope with many types of issues arising at work and in your daily life, with different people you may come across and more importantly, learn how to resolve those issues in harmony and humility. All the challenges while living abroad are set to make you grow stronger.
ABROADER’S CORE VALUES
The spirits of ABROADER are truthfully depicted through the long story you just read. To cut a long story short, we have wrapped up our core values into these 3 most important ones: Local Community, Education, and International
We take the local community as a motivation to drive our work
As mentioned previously by Mo in her story, local community development was the key force in driving her to establish ABROADER. She has been doing all she can to inspire this value to all of us who work with her as a team and are proud to be called her colleagues, and make sure that it is incorporated in our work ethics. Here at ABROADER, many young dedicated hearts are connected to live and work under the same roof and we are all committed to putting the local community first. For the last 6 years, we have been honored to be able to serve not only that bigger community but also the smaller community that is our team. It is truly an honor to be able to serve.
At ABROADER, education is always in the spotlight
It is not an exaggeration to say education is the key factor in the upliftment of society. That’s why all of ABROADER’s programs are designed to focus on educational experiences of our program participants, both professionally and socially. We aim to develop educational programs that best prepare you and the local students for building a global career and enrich your knowledge of cultural diversity. The educational benefits are derived from numerous activities in our programs, ranging from city tours, cultural excursions, to onsite orientation, industry visits and any conversations that you have with locals. Through our programs, you are both academically and socially immersed. It is how ABROADER makes our education abroad experience different.
ABROADER shapes its own definition of International
You come a long way from your mother land to Vietnam, meaning you go International. From an ABROADER standpoint, you, yourself, create an international environment for Vietnamese people. Therefore, the “international experience” is established for both you and the Vietnamese students even when they haven’t stepped outside of the country. You helped make their “international experience” possible. We hope the international value we are chasing for will broaden the horizons of many young people all over the world.
More than six years of development, we are proud of what we have achieved so far, and we will make greater efforts to go further…
THE ABROADER TEAM
Learn from each other, grow together
ABROADER is home to many diligent, energetic, and open-minded leaders and staff who devote their talents and enthusiasm to helping others make positive life changes.
Meet the ABROADER Team at abroader.org/meetourteam