My name is Gillian Sidon and I’m excited to say that I will be participating in the Students Without Boarders program, as a Student Affairs Intern. I recently completed my undergrad degree, with a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba. I’m currently in the process of finishing my two-year after degree program in Human Ecology, ‘Family Social Sciences’, majoring in social development and family violence at the University of Manitoba. Allowing myself to grow through a diverse lens in every aspect of my life, including my education, will create opportunities to learn and teach outside the box. Opening up my mind, body and soul, to absorb every obstacle and experience in order to further myself in the social developing world. Also, I take pride in helping others realize what they already knew deep down inside them, through an active listening approach.
The placement I have been assigned to is with North Thang Long Economic and Technical College in Hanoi, Vietnam. The mandate will be focused on career orientation for the college’s students, surveying students main barriers to accessing decent jobs, enhancing students job search skills, and communicating with prospective employers. This was not my initial choice but it appears this placements tasks and responsibilities seem to suit me well. Working with students, teachers and employers, to gain a personal relationship within the community, will be an extremely beneficial and rewarding experience.
Working alone or as a team member to help people help themselves make positive changes is my ultimate goal. I would love to create strong relationships throughout the community, and forever leave a sense of strength within the members abilities. I hope to create more opportunities for students in and outside the education system, by working with and listening to the needs of the members.
I hope to learn more about Vietnamese culture, and directly see the challenges faced from people living in developing countries. I would love to enhance my knowledge on developing countries that create life through ABCD (asset based community driven development), the roles of NGO’s, and becoming more aware of the service-learning impact. A challenge to overcome is creating a world where the people of Vietnam see myself as an equal, respecting one another to achieve success.
Although WUSC team has been preparing me these last couple of months, nothing can fully prepare you for the journey I’m about to embark on. That being said, my first task when I arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam, will be to take a deep breath. Take a second to be proud of myself and just look around, as this is my home for the next three months.