The study tour was a great was to experience Vietnam. The academic industry visits provided insights into how the manufacturing industry operates in SE Asia, relevant to our engineering course on Control Systems. Then many cultural experiences helped out understanding of the Vietnamese people and how the modern country has been shaped through the conflicts of the 20th century. Visiting the Mekong Delta was a highlight of the trip, living at a homestead and preparing/cooking a tradition Vietnamese meal was amazing. Overall the local buddies that helped us on our trip were amazing, providing us an insight into Vietnam through the eyes of other young adults.
Electrical Engineering and Computing Study Tour ,University of Newcastle, Australia
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
ABROADER, you have made my experience in Vietnam an incredible one!!
For me, having a local buddy as a support system during my Social Work internship in Vietnam has been the most helpful. My work at CSAGA helped me understand social services from a Eastern Asian perspective, helped me acclimate to Vietnamese lifestyle, and understand the process that non-profits go through to obtain funding.
ABROADER is always so supportive and has made me feel at home. Thank you so much and I encourage you all to keep changing lives and doing what you do.
Social Work Internship ,University of Oregon, USA
Joining this internship in Vietnam with SEND, I made a very important realization that is I can’t do everything on my own. The challenges presented during this internship got me to talk to other people, hear their ideas and craft up a conclusion. I learnt to cooperate with friends instead of struggling with any probem alone and we were able to find a solution to almost any problem that we encountered.
Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan
It was an overall enjoyable experience having my internship done through ABROADER Vietnam. The host company that they connected me with has been welcoming, friendly, I have been able to experience a lot of different elements of the company’s culture, helping different people and learning new things about not only the company but also working in general.
I felt that I contributed to the host company and my particular help with the MWRP (checking English) was of great importance to them as the deadline approached. They have given me feedback and said that some of my research into potential donors and other youth initiatives in climate change adaptation has been of use to them too. Regarding ABROADER Vietnam intern service was my placement and the amazing support from local staff and volunteer in Hanoi. Would I recommend the internship to anyone interested, definitely!
Maarten Van Balen
Environmental Engineering Internship ,University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Everything so far, from preparation before departure to the whole internship execution has been good. But what I am most satisfied with must be the helpfullness from the local buddy and coordinators through the whole process. Eventhough I am a more independent individual and have no problem exploring new places alone, I felt that their presence made me feel more safe and that I have friends in this new environment.
All in all a great experience that I would not have gone without. One of the best experiences I have had. For my internship, however, there was a big part of the different tasks I could not be involved in because of the language barrier. They have given me a great experience and done at great deal to show me the process from how everything works in the different departments/shops to taken me out to see the farm where the organic products grow. They have kept me well informed and all in all been a great place to work. If there is anything I would suggest for improvement it would be better if there were more tasks that could be done in English.
I am really happy with my experience and definitely will recommend it to anyone friends who are interested.
Marketing Internship ,Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
I was happy with everything else including in-country logistics and visa support, orientation and city tour and I would definitely recommend this internship in Vietnam to my friends or students who are interested. Though most of my work was limited to observation depending on what department I was placed in, I was able to contribute to the nursing staff by other means (i.e. sorting through medicine to be used for the next day). However, in the ICU, I got to perform all nursing tasks except for mixing drugs as only head nurses could do that task. In addition, I found it really helpful that I had many supervisors at work and they all cared that I learned from this experience. Regarding my experience with ABROADER Vietnam service, what I appreciated the most was probably the local buddy they paired me with here.
Nursing Internship ,University of Texas in Austin, USA
I have found myself such wonderful friends who share the same interest. What is more precious to explore an unfamiliar place, do what you love and make friends with such awesome people?
The damp and blistering air on the first day of June still hasn’t slipped my mind. A summer internship at the Center for Sustainable Rural Development, under the scorching sun of Ha Noi, is filled with salutary experiences. A unique task I am responsible for was to compile “Planting life, Planting tree”, a photo book that describes changes in farmers’ behavior after seeing the benefits of living harmoniously with Mother Nature. It is not simply putting captions under images. Rather, it is a whole process of doing research, understanding the project and cultural background, working closely with the program officers, local agencies, and villagers to complete the book. Thus, climate change, for me, is no longer only about ice being melted in Antarctica. The rising temperature effects have to be seen right in the field where farmers’ livelihood is being taken away by deforestation, natural disasters, and water shortage. The knowledge and skills I have gained from the internship surpass the classroom environment and definitely will set a firm base for me in my future career plan.
Apart from my Climate Change Internship in Vietnam, I came to Ha Noi without any expectation for long-lasting relationships rather than professional ones. Yet, ABROADER staff and local buddies have completely changed my mind. Their support and welcoming outshine my worries and loneliness. Also, during my internship time, living in the apartment for ABROADER's interns, I have found myself such wonderful friends who share the same interest. What is more precious to explore an unfamiliar place, do what you love and make friends with such awesome people?
Nguyen Chau Bao
Climate Change Internship ,The College of Wooster, USA
This internship in Vietnam with SEND offers me just that and I am grateful for the experience to teach, make friends and be in Vietnam. I’ve always wanted to become an educator but I often feel like the teachers in Japan lack the international and cultural experience to make lessons more interactive. I try to allow myself the chance of going to another country, experience another culture and become a better-equipped teacher.
Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan
Having an Internship program away from home is not an easy decision because you have to think of so many aspects like entering a new culture, encountering language differences, living in a new environment and so many other things. At first, I was very nervous because it was my first time in Vietnam, but ABROADER made me feel that I made a right decision to come for an internship here. They will not let you feel away from your home as they will treat you not just like a student intern but as a part of the ABROADER family. I never felt alone as they are always there to guide and support me during my internship despite of the culture differences. The very good news is I am starting to learn and immerse myself into the Vietnamese life with the help of not only my on-site program coordinator but also my lovely Vietnamese co-workers in Ha Long Bay. My program started with an orientation on my internship in Vietnam at ABROADER’s office, during which they also taught me some basic Vietnamese language that is very helpful while I am here. Afterwards, we had a welcome dinner where I tried different Vietnamese dishes which I immediately fell in love with. They were all very “ngon” which means delicious in Vietnamese :) . The next day we had a day of city tour with my local buddy – Ngan where she showed me around tourists spots in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and French Quarter. During the tour, Ngan also brought me to local restaurants to enjoy traditional Vietnamese foods and drinks like Egg coffee which I like best. To make it even better, she took me to a place near Hoan Kiem Lake where I got to discover the most delicious ice cream I have ever tasted in my life.
Marvin M. Napi
Hospitality - Cruise Management Internship ,Mariners' Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, Philippines