There are few words that could describe my time at the International School – Thai Nguyen University (ISTNU) this December 2016. The time I have spent there has been priceless and life changing, even more than I thought it could be. I am pursuing Master of Sicence in Microbiology at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czech Republic. Two months ago, I decided to go to the internship at ISTNU by IAESTE exchange program. IAESTE is a volunteer organization which helps students (like me) to go abroad for working experience in the field of their studies. It works very well and as I was traveling to Vietnam, some Vietnamese students were traveling to Czech Republic to join internship there. That is called Exchange program. This is my first experience in an Asian country and being so far from my home in Czech Republic! So, what’s it like going abroad to Viet Nam right? Well, here’s a little insight to give you an illustration of what is good to know about Thai Nguyen city and what I learned about working abroad!

(Photo: We had a great time with other trainees of IAESTE in Viet Nam.)

My job during internship was about teaching students of ISTNU about soft skills and environmental topics. I spent a lot of time doing seminars, discussion or meetings with students from classes EMSK4 and EMSK3. The students were little bit shy at first, but then they were so communicative and friendly. They were very eager to learn something new, so it was very joyful for me to teach. Teaching at ISTNU has given me a unique insight into the lives of ordinary people in Viet Nam and I find that locals are far more friendly and receptive to foreigners. That’s the reason why I will be sure to come back there to teach if I get another chance.

(Photo: I love teaching at the International School – Thai Nguyen University.)

Coming to Viet Nam with the ability to motivate and add value to people’s lives, setting an example for students, and trying to get the, know and understand my country, university and culture at all the time made my living and working there quite enjoyable. I felt like I was making an important contribution in helping the students to learn English and vital soft skills. Especially, during my internship, I had a chance to join the Teachers’ Day. It was very nice, as I could wear traditional Vietnamese dress which called “Ao Dai” for the first time, and also people made me feel like I was a real member of their united family – International School.

( I got a lot of supports from all administrators, staffs and lecturers at ISTNU.)

The ISTNU staffs have set me up with have been beyond wonderful. Coming to Viet Nam on my own seemed very daunting and intimidating; they have helped me make the transition smooth and seamless. I am very appreciated of their supports, and they make the whole thing wonderful.

Besides going to work, I spent all of my weekend travelling to new places like Tam Dao Mountrain, Sa Pa Tourism Site, Ha Long Bay, Hanoi and Ninh Binh province. I met with so many nice people who are so friendly and they really want you, foreign visitors, to immerse into the culture.

( I met with so many nice people during my trip.)

If there is one thing I feel that I have grown, it must be my ability to talk with people, to be more open towards anything. Before coming here I knew pretty much nothing about Viet Nam. Still I managed to live here and was actually never lonely my whole time being in Viet Nam. I am glad that I came here, and cannot believe that I am going to leave this place so soon.

( Photo: My coordinator at the Department of Life Sciences – Mr. Ha constantly encouraged and guided me. Thank you boss!)
Ms. Tan – my supervisor at the Department of Life Sciences was so kind and helpful.
Being in Viet Nam has taught me so much about different people and cultures, as there were many other foreigners working here from all over the world. My internship coordinator and supervisor at the Department of Life Sciences – Mr. Ha and Ms. Tan were so helpful, and were a huge support for me whenever I needed it. I would definitely recommend IAESTE trainees or Westerners if you are looking to do an internship at ISTNU. They really cater to your needs and care about what you want and are looking for.Thanks to all members of all Departments and Units of the International School – Thai Nguyen University for being so open and hospitable during my internship and for leaving aside the difference in culture (language, way of being, way of thinking, etc.). Thank you all so much!

Lenka Kadeřábková