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Local Buddy

Our Local Buddy

A Volunteer (or Local Buddy) in Abroader Program is defined as a person who will assist international students in Vietnam in terms of getting used to the accommodation, transportation, food, providing them guidance and timely support, hanging out and helping them socialize with the community around. We study the volunteers’ profiles and conduct an interview with them before inviting them in our program. All volunteers will be provided with guidelines and orientation before taking the job.

Your internship in Vietnam won't be a lonely experience

Do our volunteers enjoy their jobs?

YEP! Because they…
– Are trained with working skills in an international community
– Can improve their language communication (English, Japanese, etc.) via daily conversation
– Participate in culture exchange and excursion with international students/interns (free of charge!)
– Become a member of Abroader network, get updated information on scholarships and opportunities to go abroad
– Are awarded Honor Certificate by Abroader

Have an enriching internship in Vietnam with Our Local Buddy Network

Want to be a part of our Local Buddy System? Send us your application at apply@abroader.org! 

Stay updated with the latest news on our blog here

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. 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.

SO SADAMOTO

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

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 School of Nursing, U.S.A

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.

HALEY PERRY

Social Work Internship ,University of Oregon, U.S.A

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.

ALISON BURELBACH

Medical Internship ,Loyola University Chicago

I have always been an extremely shy person, when I was small, my face would turn red and I even cried in front of people. Now that I’m a grown up, I want to become more confident, make friends and talk with them like other people do after one-month internship here in Vietnam.

MIHO MATSUI

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

I did a 4 months internship, in the National Childrens Hospital in Vietnam. The entire organization for me went really well, all you need is time and patience but when you reach the point where all is setteled it went really smooth and if you have problems you will get help asap and they will find a solution for you. I gained alot of new experience and was suprised by the high pratical skills of the Nurses and Doctors. Even though not everybody could speak propper english and sometimes communication was hard, there were ways to communicate with the colleagues (Googe Translate, Body language). All in all I just can say I would do it again, and I wouldnt be the person I am today with out going on this adventure. The way I see things definitely changed and I go home with newe knowledge and some wonderful memories. A big thank you to ABROADER Vietnam and especialy Miss Ha who made this all possible.

JAPHETH URUEJOMA

Nursing Internship ,FH Campus Wien

I did have a bit of trouble with my original internship, but the Abroader team was very supportive and active in ensuring I got the best experience and helped me switch to a different company. My new company became a place where I learned about company life and got to work on independent projects. It was also great to have the local buddies with us, as they went around town and did different activities with us. The local buddies definitely made my experience here more fun and made it easier for me to acclimate to life here. Also, going around Ho Chi Minh City was actually much safer than I had imagined, and people here are usually very friendly to help out foreigners. My time here went by very quickly, and my summer experience of growing, learning, exploring, and lots of eating is definitely one I will remember!

Jamie Kim

Communication internship ,PRINCETION UNIVERSITY

For starters, having gone into this with the full expectation of entering a foreign country for the sole purpose of working, I am thoroughly surprised by the amount of affection and care given through each and every step in more aspects than just work. When people hear the term agency they expect a common, lackadaisical, professional agency that only assists you for queries and links you to your job, but otherwise expresses a rather hands-off approach when it comes to the external factors, such as the things to do on your free time or the places to visit, etc. Maybe I am alone in this thought but through my 5 months internship, ABROADER has given me the opposite of my expectations during the process. Anything wrong with the experience and they're there, anytime you have inquiries they're right at your doorstep, anytime you need a recommendation for a place to cut your hair you got it. They've given me more care, more concern and more assistance in this trip than I can ever ask for, and also an opportunity, not just in a work aspect but in other ways like the opportunity to make friends, an opportunity to explore Vietnam not for what it seems but for what it is, together. Sure, while it is like this it is still a professional establishment, but, what makes them unique and above the rest is that they remember to also keep it personal. It's been a privilege to experience Vietnam with ABROADER and I extend my gratitude. I think the only advice I can give to people coming on this trip is to have an open-mind and to enjoy the process because time passes way too fast if you don't take the time to enjoy the moment.

Adriel Peng Guo Jun

Biology & Environment Internship ,Republic Polytechnics Singapore

I’ve always loved leaving my country (the US) and having new experience, so I wanted to do an internship abroad. Having already spent a semester in Europe, I wanted something really different. My mom was born in Saigon and lived there before coming to the United States with her family. So I felt like a good way to get in touch with my culture and my roots would be to spend three months living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In my internship in Vietnam, I have helped with various marketing efforts by giving ideas or designing things. I have learned that, of course, there is a different way of doing business here compared to the United States. Things are run differently, there’s a different office culture, there are just always many cultural differences to keep in mind when doing business in a different country, and Vietnam has not been an exception. The people ABROADER have set me up with have been beyond wonderful. Coming to Vietnam on my own seemed very daunting and intimidating, but ABROADER has helped make the transition smooth and seamless. They helped take care of everything I would need during my time here and have gone above and beyond to assure that things continue to go smoothly. I am very appreciative of their support, and it makes the whole thing a little less scary. My local buddies have been so helpful for everything, and I really feel like they are becoming genuine friends. I am generally pretty shy, so it was nice to have friends before even arriving to help introduce me to more people and get me out there. Overall the people have exceeded my expectations, and they are really what’s going to help make my experience in Vietnam a great one.

NATASHA NGUYEN MOHNEY

Marketing Intern ,Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A

I enjoyed the time in Ho Chi Minh city. The experience was much better than I expected. I came with an open mind to face anything, but everything was smooth and easy. The host organisation is satisfying. They tried their best to help me learn. It was satisfying. I would do this again if I get the chance. The abroader staff was really friendly and they prepared everything for me before I landed in Vietnam. So I did not have to worry about anything. I am satisfied with the program and I would recommend this program 100%.

Dan Fernando

Trainer & Communication Internship ,Deakin University