Student Exchange Vietnam - Abroader

Student Exchange Vietnam - Abroader

About

Student Exchange Vietnam (SE Vietnam) - Abroader was established with the mission of supporting international students to gain global awareness and local insights from ongoing engagement via Internship, Semester Abroad, Faculty-led Programs (Short Courses) in Vietnam. We have a strong commitment to offering reliable, flexible and affordable international education programs. Just share with us your expectation and let us help start your meaningful journey.

Currently, we are a member of VCCI (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry), NAFSA (Association of International Educators, US), Forum on Education Abroad (US), the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative and have partnership with the International Education Exchange Forum (IEEF) from Japan, Global link from Korea. We are also a partner of a wide range of universities & education organizations in Vietnam, Japan, Australia, the U.K, Singapore, the US, Canada, etc.

Founded
2014
Headquarters

A31D11, Alley 66/1, Tran Thai Tong, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam
Ha Noi
Hanoi City 10000
Vietnam

Reviews

Default avatar
Leechen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I took a 12-week internship this summer with a commercial/residential architecture office. It took me about a month to acclimate to the rhythm of the office. Throughout, I was kept busy working on concept stages of a real project. Was wonderful to actually have concrete evidence of my contribution by the end.

Highly recommend doing internships through Abroader. The team is supportive and responsive, regularly checking in and always willing to help if something's not going well. One of my favorite things was their local buddy program, in which they introduce interns to local university students to help us acclimate. I was able to reach out to them for anything from impromptu tours around the city to long chats in coffee shops. Along with several other interns that lived with me, they became my first friends here. Organized trips and get-togethers were especially great to keep up with other Abroader interns and students that I didn't regularly see. While I was here, I got to participate in an egg coffee + bowling day, the Mekong Delta excursion, a cooking day, and a cultural exchange day at a local university.

Vietnam itself is a safe place to travel, even solo, as long as you're informed and prepared when you hit remote areas. Saigon is very livable. Not so walkable, but Grab is available almost every minute. I was placed in District 8, which is not so central, but nonetheless a busy local residence. Sea snail restaurants lined my alley, vendors set up shop on the wet market alleys a block away every day, and tech stores and bakeries were a five minute walk away on the main street. I lived about a ten-minute ride from districts 1 and 5 and didn't lack for anything.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Travel lots while you're here. Vietnam is in a good location for flights or buses to the rest of Asia. Weekend trips are totally doable if you're not planning to take time off; Central Vietnam and Hanoi are just a short flight away.
Take the time to get to know coworkers if they can speak English, and get to know the local buddies too. Explore the city or go on trips with them!
That said, travelling alone has its own rewards. Go to walking street or live music cafes to strike up conversations with local people. Explore the alleyways (during the day) to find hidden pagodas and local eats. I met some of my most interesting experiences this way.
Specifically to those interested in architecture: be aware that at this moment, architecture is still developing in Vietnam. Be flexible -- goals and expectations may change. It's an interesting change to witness and take part of, but may feel unfamiliar if your home country is already well developed in architecture.
Default avatar
Nur Hadirah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had my internship here in Ho Chi Minh city for 6 months, and Abroader has been helpful from the very start. Abroader was there to pick us up from the airport, provided sim cards and even gave us some tips on the life here in HCMC. This included a booklet with important numbers, some basic Vietnamese language etc. They also conducted several outings for us such as a trip to Mekong Delta. I really enjoyed myself and appreciated the effort that they have put in, in ensuring that we were able to get accustomed to the life here. Despite their busy schedules, they were always ready to attend to any of our queries and offer help. I would not have been able to settle down as quick without the help of Abroader, and I would highly recommend travellers to take up Abroader if they are coming to Vietnam! Thank you and kudos to the Abroader team!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Step out of your comfort zone and explore whenever you can!
Default avatar
Ali
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My 7 week program with Abroader flew by! This program gave me the opportunity to learn applicable business skills in southeast Asia, as well as work with a social enterprise that supported a cause I cared about. Like many people will say, it takes about 2-3 weeks to adjust to the new cultural norms. Once you've done this and figured out your place in your organization, you will have more confidence to lead your own projects. Abroader makes sure you have plenty of resources to explore Vietnam fully, while also having a professionally rewarding experience. The program also organizes a few "get to know eachother" retreats throughout your time there, so you'll get to make connections with other international interns. I met a bunch of great friends from Vietnam and other countries, and owe it to the dedication of Abroader staff.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take the chance, take the leap :)
If you are considering doing something, just do it. Life's too short.
Default avatar
Yu Ning
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For the past 5 months, Abroader had helped ensure that everything is smooth-sailing for the duration of my internship. From landing in Vietnam till my return trip to Singapore. My transport pick-up from airport and accommodation were already well-planned and I settle down comfortably.
However, a problem I encountered was language barrier. Only a small portion of Vietnamese is able to converse in English or Chinese. Fortunately, basic Vietnamese lesson were provided to us by Abroaders before we venture alone. Beside the above mentioned, a booklet filled with contacts, places to go and common Viet phrases were also provided. The agents were really passionate and tried their best to meet my needs and hear my concerns. I would like to specially mention Mia and Kasia for going the extra miles.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
One of the most unfamiliar food I've tried is snail. I have never imagine myself giving snail a try my entire life. I remember being really very reluctant and hesitated for quite awhile when my friend told me to try it. I am glad that I finally gave in and try it. Another thing one should definitely try if they pay Vietnam a visit will be Bap Xao. It is a simple mixture of corn and shrimp but surprisingly delicious.
Default avatar
HuiXin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Abroader is a trustworthy and reliable organisation. They have helped us to settle down in Vietnam. I do not need to worry as all were provided once I arrive in Vietnam. To name a few, they arranged airport picked up, prepared local sim card, settling our accommodation for us. They even took a step further and gave us Vietnamese crash course, learning basic Vietnamese which has helped me a lot. These have helped me to settle down in Vietnam quickly.
Other than that, there were also fun times. They organised events for us to bond and meet new friends. They have brought us around to explore Vietnam such as the Mekong River. They also planned an amazing race for us to explore the various tourist attractions in Vietnam.
They are always there to guide and help us whenever we needed.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I have tried balut. It does not taste as bad as it looks. It was an interesting experience.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Dante Staneke

Dante is a diligent young adult who is passionate about problem solving and learning, always ready to stretch himself, and always ready to be challenged. He is excited about travelling the world to see what the next big journey offers.

Why did you choose this program?

The South East Asia study tour looked like a great opportunity to explore both Singapore and Vietnam in an organized and exciting way. The prospect of having local buddies to show us around the city and help with the language barrier was a great relief. The university staff never hesitated to help the students when needed and provided good plans to mitigate any unforeseen problems that could occur while being overseas.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The University of Newcastle providers created a pre-departure guide to help give the students an understanding of what was required in Vietnam, what to expect and areas of concern to watch for. Additionally, prior to leaving Australia, there was a pre-departure meeting where things such as insurance and the must go places were discussed. The program provider and other university staff basically set up the entire trip; all that was required to organise on our own was the flights and vaccines required, making it nice and easy on the students.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My advice for students wanting to go on the South East Asia study tour would be to just enjoy the trip while it lasts and take as many photos as possible, because, as cliché as it sounds, the time over there will go so quick.

It is important to remember that going on an overseas study tour is not just about studying the whole time. People are there to forge new friendships and experience a different culture. On this note, I challenge you to take the opportunity to study overseas if it is available to you.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The study tour will have the whole week planned out for you, so there is no need to worry about not knowing what to do.

In one week, there will generally be two eight hour classes and four industry visits. In between these, the week will be filled with cultural events, city tours, possibly some volunteer work and free time in the afternoon for you to explore the city on your own volition.

A typical afternoon could be spent walking the streets to find some great bargains at local markets, to eating the best traditional foods at the nearest food market, to playing indoor soccer with your mates at a local sports centre. The best thing is, you get to choose what you want to do.

While eight hours for a class may seem challenging, regular breaks are provided and the way the course is taught provides easier understanding of the content.

The industry visits are fantastic experiences and give insight into the workplaces outside of Australia. On these visits, you get to see the company/factory with a tour guide and ask all sorts of questions. The industry visits count to one weeks’ worth of mandatory workplace experience for the engineering degree, which is a great bonus.

Whether it's staying overnight at the Mekong delta or touring out to the Cu Chi tunnels, the study tour provides great cultural and historical experiences.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

The biggest fear I faced going into my overseas experience as an introvert was gaining independence. Throughout my life, I had grown accustomed to spending time at home with my family. I had never lived solely on my own before, and when I had gone on previous holidays, I was always with some members of my family. For the first time in my life, I was travelling to a different part of the world, just by myself, going to explore the unknown. This thought was daunting for me. Additionally, the language barrier was another small fear I had appropriated.

That thought process vanished in as little as a week into the trip. I made many new friends during the study tour through the orientation and welcome dinner, as well as group activities. The atmosphere and energy displayed by the Vietnamese local buddies at these events helped me to ignore the introvert side and to become more proactive with the other students. The local buddies taught us some fundamental Vietnamese words and phrases, and since they were with us on most activities, the language barrier was no longer an issue. Since both fears I initially had diminished, I was able to make the most of the trip and create many great memories.

How have your views/values changed after being on the SE Vietnam study tour?

The three weeks that I spent in Vietnam gave me a unique insight and greater appreciation into the world around me. Going to Vietnam has made me value the things I take for granted in Australia, such as just being able to drink clean water from the tap. I discovered that the people of Vietnam are so generous and forgiving. It was interesting to visit historical places such as the War Remnants Museum as I got to see a different perspective of the war invasion. Overall, the study tour provided me with a sense of gratification in both education and travel.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Ha Nguyen

Job Title
Program Assistant
Ha Nguyen is a recent graduate majoring in English Language Education from Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Since the first day at college, Ha has nurtured her dream of becoming an expert in the field of education. She also wishes to pursue higher education abroad to learn and experience herself how developed countries have succeeded in developing their education systems. Teaching is probably not Ha’s biggest interest, but being an education manager does sound great to her.
female headshot

What position do you hold at Student Exchange Vietnam? What has been your career path so far?

Ha: Currently, I am working as a Program Assistant at Student Exchange Vietnam whose main duties range from designing and packaging programs for international students coming to Vietnam on internship or study tour to supporting them in integration into the new life in Vienam. As mentioned above, I am interested in working as an education manager.

Particularly, my goal is to make better changes to the education system of the country, which has been considered inappropriate and not really ideal for students’ personal and professional development. What I am doing now at Student Exchange Vietnam greatly contributes to her big goal in a long term since I get the chance to work with international students coming from diverse educational backgrounds to understand more about their needs and competencies. That for sure will help me get deeper insights into what makes a strong education system in the world today.

What was your favorite traveling experience?

Ha: I am definitely into going visit new places. Before getting to work at Student Exchange Vietnam, I was involved in a similar job in an international organization named AIESEC for almost two years. Thanks to AIESEC, I got to travel to different places all over the country. Among those, the trip to Ho Chi Minh city to join the national conference of the whole AIESEC in Vietnam so far has been my most favorite.

Together with my teammates, I did experience the longest train in my life, which lasted for almost 40 hours from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. It also means that for two days I had no bathing at all (laugh out loud). However, the best thing was actually about getting closer to my friends when we had deep talks to understand more about each other along the way.

hanoi interns

What country have you always wanted to visit?

Ha: South Korea, yeah it is exactly my most favorite country in the world. In fact, I have been there oncefor a student forum, but it seems to me that it is just not enough to really enjoy the country within a week. Later when I get the chance to go back, I probably would love to stay much longer so that I can become half Korean (laugh).

I am interested in that fact that a country which has recovered from the civil war, just like my country,and now is always being endangered by the continuing war with the north, can still prosper and even greatly influence the world with Hallyu (the Korean Wave). Their strategic national branding is utmost impressive and inspiring, and raises the questions of why and how they did as well as how and when my country can do something like that.

What language have you always wanted to learn and why​?

Ha: Due to the Korean impression, I naturally fall in love with the language as an exciting aspect of the culture. I have been learning Korean for two years. Korean is not difficult to learn, especially to Vietnamese people since the rule of pronunciation is pretty much the same with Vietnamese language’s. Besides, I am very interested in writing in Korean. The alphabet is way different so there is so much fun while practicing. At first, I felt like I was drawing, but not writing.

More Interviews

Professional Associations

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