I’m in my third year of Honours with Specialization in Political Science in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa, with a minor in Asian Studies from the Faculty of Arts. Prior to attending university, I had been working as an English teacher in Southeast Asia. This experience and my interest in different cultures, education and international relations led me to pursue a university degree to build upon these experiences with knowledge. I’ve chosen to take a placement in Vietnam because of my interest in Southeast Asia and my desire to gain experience working in a different country and a different field of work. Having worked for private schools in the past, I would like to work for an NGO to understand how they can function and support the communities they work with.
In Vietnam, I’ll be working as a soft skills training intern. This entails working at a community college in Vietnam where I will to help improve the formal training of students at the college. This will most likely involve preparing lessons for students as well as conducting classes where I will teach English and other soft skills to prepare students for the world of work. During my three months in this position I hope to gain an informed perspective on how an NGO functions and whether or not this type of work is suitable to my interests and abilities. I also hope that I will be able to make valuable contributions to the college and the education it provides for its students. Although my assignment is relatively short, I hope to develop a good relationship with my colleagues and students so that I can understand what their needs are and what I can do to help meet these needs.
I expect that this well be an amazing experience, both for my professional career as well as my personal life. Apart from the professional experience of working within a Canadian NGO, I hope that this internship will also be a rich cultural experience and that I’ll have time to learn about Vietnamese culture, tradition, and language. Despite the intense heat which I’m told to expect while in there, I’m eagerly anticipating the exciting challenges that this internship will bring me. My first task will be to determine what exactly the community I’m working with needs and what I can do within my three month mandate to help meet these needs. Once I’ve established goals and become familiar with the community I’ll be working with, I’ll set out to use my experience and knowledge to make the best use of my time there. Nghe An Community College, Vietnam, here I come!