Oregon State University, 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.
University of Findlay, USA
Let's Vietnam 2016 Faculty-led Program
Doing a big trip like this will make you learn about yourself whether you realize it or not. Being in the culture that is so different from what you are used to will really make you think about the world as a whole. My favorite part was meeting new people and getting to know their background and future exciting plans. THANK YOU SO MUCH! The program was busy, yet still had the right amount of freedom. I enjoyed all activities and had an AMAZING time in Vietnam!
University of Oregon, USA
Hospitality & Tourism Internship
Vietnam, from my experience, is a very work-oriented and relationship-oriented country. You must come prepared to work a lot, learn a lot, and you absolutely must not try to apply the logic or expectation that you would have in the West. This will do little to nothing to help you and will hinder your ability to learn. Come here with the mindset of a student, not an authoritative figure. There is much to learn in Vietnam that will be very valuable to you wherever you work or live, and it is important that you come to Vietnam with an open and unexpecting mind, so that when you go home you will have been able to learn, enjoy and apply your experiences to your future in a positive way. Come to Vietnam with the ability to motivate and add value to people’s lives. Set an example for people, and remember that you are at all times representing you country, university and culture, so make an impression that will stand out as a positive one. Make friends as much as possible and when you can try to study the language as much as possible, even if it is just the language that relates to your job. Doing these two basic things will make living and working here quite enjoyable.
Pennsylvania State University, USA
Being in Vietnam is the best experience in my life so far!!! I cannot believe 6 weeks have actually gone by. I love my internship at Siten. People in the company are really helpful and understanding. They are like a family. Like when I was sick and asked for a morning off, they told me to stay at home for the afternoon so that I can truly feel better. My Thuan – my supervisor has taught me so much. He actually encouraged me to go explore Vietnam – so different from other leaders I know. He let me do what I want to do. The largest problem was the language barrier but we managed to communicate with each other quite well. They said I inspire them to learn English. So yeah, everything is pretty perfect. The best experience in my life so far! At Siten I worked on a project for learning English in which I helped develop the website and prototyped games. The staff also me HTML which I really enjoyed learning. Besides going to work, I spent all of my weekend travel to new places like Sapa, Hoian, Danang, Ha Long Bay. I met with so many nice people who are so friendly and they really want you to immerse into the culture. If there is one thing I feel that I have grown, it must be my ability to talk with people, to be more open towards anything. Before coming here I knew pretty much nothing about Vietnam. Still I managed to live here and was actually never lonely my whole time being in Vietnam. I am glad that I came here. I cannot believe I am gonna leave this place so soon. Thank you all so much!
Colorado State University, USA
There are few words that could describe my time here this summer. The time I have spent here has been priceless and life changing, even more than I thought it could be. I learned so much from my nursing internship in Vietnam that will help me very much in my future. However, the life experience I’ve learned, through adapting to another culture, traveling alone to beautiful places and having a sense of home here is something I’ll never forget. The people here have touched my heart, and I’ll have these memories forever. This country, these places and people are beautiful, and I am so happy I came here. It’s inspired me to always follow my dreams, no matter how big they are, and that I can do anything.