When I applied through Projects Abroad to do an occupational therapy internship in Vietnam I was looking to travel while also gaining experience to make my graduate school applications more... Chelsea Day
Health and Safety
My experience in Vietnam
Submitted by Chelsea Day - Salt Lake City University of Utah | November 01, 2015
When I applied through Projects Abroad to do an occupational therapy internship in Vietnam I was looking to travel while also gaining experience to make my graduate school applications more competitive. When I left Vietnam I found that I achieved both of those things, but it was so much more valuable than I thought it would be in so many different ways.
As a person who had never left the U.S. prior to going to Vietnam I can honestly say that the staff at Projects Abroad did an amazing job before, during and after I went to Vietnam. If you want to be sure that you have a solid support system during your time abroad Projects Abroad is something that you should look into.
After I had been accepted into the program the staff immediately started helping me prepare. Months before I left I felt like I had a good understanding of what to expect when I arrived in Vietnam. They give you your own personal web page that you can log into and see all of the specific details of your placement, what to expect about the culture, what to bring etc.. My favorite part about the website was the fundraising portion where friends and family could directly donate money to my project fees. More than half of my program fees were paid through the fundraising page. That was amazing!
When I arrived in Vietnam I was able to meet many of the staff in person and got a personal tour of the city and a detailed explanation of my placement. I was placed at rehabilitation center for children with disabilities in a rural part of Hanoi. During the weekdays I lived at the rehabilitation center in a simple living accommodation. It was great to be completely immersed in the culture in that way. Those of us working there ate homemade Vietnamese food every day and were able to build close relationships with each other. During the weekends we lived in a beautiful house in the center of Hanoi with volunteers working in different placements. During the weekend we were able to travel and explore.
During my time in Vietnam I never felt like I didn't have support. I cannot stress enough how hard the staff work to ensure that their volunteers/interns have the support they need while also allowing them to independently work in and explore the country.
I would not trade my experience with Projects Abroad for anything!