International experience is important because it not only pushes you out of your comfort zone; it also exposes you to new challenges, new experiences and new cultures. It is an opportunity for you to broaden your horizons and open your mind to different ways of working and thinking. Wherever you are in the world, it is important to try and understand how things work and why they are a certain way, for example in Vietnam, the war has had a massive impact on the way things are in Vietnam compared to other countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. Furthermore international experience also helps you to understand yourself more too. It’s a way for you to figure out how you handle certain situations, especially when in a new culture and new country. It is particularly a big challenge when you have moved to another country alone too. It may be hard to find your feet, but once you do, it can be very rewarding.
Trying new foods, meeting new people from different cultures and making friends from all around the world alongside making connections with a variety of people from the business world through networking are all part of the fun when you move to the other side of the world. All of these things not only benefit you personally, but also when you come to apply for a job in the future, all of these experiences and challenges are things you can talk about in an interview.
When it comes to employment back in your home country or anywhere in the world, international experience is one thing that can really make you stand out from the crowd as it exhibits a variety of skills. As well as this, moving from your home country to the other side of the world displays a global perspective; for example it shows drive, determination and flexibility as well as that you are an open minded individual. It takes a lot for anyone to move from the comfort of their home country to another country to work, which not everyone is capable of doing.
Some other skills you may display to a prospective employer on your CV, when you have ‘upped sticks’ and taken the plunge to work overseas could include:
- Problem solving skills
- Self sufficiency
- Perspective (gained or renewed)
Moving to Ho Chi Minh City was my first experience of living alone in a foreign country, away from the people closest to me and honestly it has been the most amazing and rewarding experience. I have learnt so much through my internship and along the way learnt far more than I ever imagined I would about myself too. There will be days where everything feels great, waking up to the sun and warm weather every day is amazing as well as never knowing what you may see on the back of a scooter! And then some days there will be times you wish you could just have a roast dinner with your parents. But even in the low moments, your friends and family are just a phone call away and the most important thing is also knowing how to deal with those moments and remembering that feeling home sick really is okay! There will also always be someone around who will be there to support you too. It is also important to remember to never give up on such an amazing and epic journey and learning experience.
Learning doesn’t just stop at learning new skills in a job but also learning about who you are – there is no better way than to push yourself and to figure out who you are, than by going out of your comfort zone.
The world is such a fascinating place, and wherever you go, there will always be something new to experience. Having volunteered in Africa and currently interning in Vietnam, I have learnt and experienced a lot of new things I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. I have learnt how to handle certain situations that push me out of my comfort zone and also actually realised how much I can handle (I really exceeded my expectation of myself).
Vietnammm is a great app to use if you want to get food but don’t have the energy to go and actually step out of your door and get food. It’s easy to use and there are a wide range of dishes available. Vietnammm is the perfect app to use if you have had a long day, feeling a little lazy or just want to eat in the comfort of your own home. The app is available in both Vietnamese and English.
1. Firstly, select your location. For example city – Ho Chi Minh City followed by district – District 2 . You can also let the app automatically find your location.
2. You have the option to choose whether you want to pick up your order or have it delivered to your door.
3. A selection of restaurants and eateries will appear on the screen and it will show you the estimated delivery time as well as the price of the delivery.
4. You can search for different types of cuisine, if you are looking for something specific.
5. You can also use the map tool to see the location of the restaurant, in comparison to where your location is. You can find this by looking for the pin point icon.
6. There is also a sort function so that you can arrange the selection of restaurants you see in order of price, distance and best match.
7. Once you have selected the restaurant you want to order from, Vietnammm will show the menu, deals available as well as reviews. You will also see that some of the restaurants also have a delivery charge or a minimum spend.
8. If you want to add any extras to your order then make sure you click the plus button to add the extras to your basket.
9. Once you have finished making your selections, click on the shopping bag icon and head to the check out. Here you will see a breakdown of costs, for example the price of each item of food, as well as extras and the delivery cost followed by the total order cost at the bottom.
10. You can then select your payment method. There is a choice of cash, card and PayPal.
11. If you select cash, make sure that you select the right amount so that the driver can bring the correct amount of change for you. After this, click order and pay. Your order will then be processed.
12. Make sure that you use your Vietnamese phone number so that the driver can contact you to let you know when your food is ready and waiting for you.
13. Once the order has been confirmed you can also track your order using the tracking map, if you want to keep an eye on it.
14. An estimated delivery time is also usually provided.
15. Enjoy your meal!
A video version of this is also available here: Video Guide
You can also read more of our blogs here
Doing your first phone top-up in Vietnam can be a little bit confusing if you have never done it before, especially if you are used to pay monthly back at home. In this post, there will be a step by step ‘how to’ guide to make your first top-up simplified. It is also important to note that new sims may need to be registered using some form of identity for example a passport, in order to top up. You can take this into the provider’s store, for example to Viettel, where they will happily assist you with this.
1. You can add credit to your phone to one of the phone stores, the 3 main network providers in Vietnam are:
Alternatively, you can also go into a convenience store such as Circle K, Seven Eleven or Family Mart to top up your phone.
2. Before topping up your phone, you can check the balance by dialling 101*# then call. It will then show your current balance on the screen.
3. Tell the cashier which network you are with and the amount you would like to top up. Usually, 100,000 VND (Approx. £3.40) is enough and this should last you 30 days. The cashier will then give you a receipt.
4. Once you have been given your receipt, you will find a unique 12 digit number at the bottom of the receipt. You will need the serial number.
5. In order to apply the top up to your phone, you will need to dial *100* followed by the 12 digit number then hash (#) and then press call.
6. You will then receive a notification or text that will confirm the top up was successful
7. It’s best the double check that the top up has gone through by calling *101*#
8. If you want to renew your data package, you will need to compose a new message and send a specific code to a certain number, depending on the network you are on will depend on the code and the number.
9. For example, V90 followed by sending to the number 191
10. You can also watch the video version of this here
If you’re looking to get involved in sports during your internship there is plenty you can do. Sport is becoming increasingly popular amongst locals and with some beautiful trail runs available across the Vietnamese countryside – running is the sport that is taking up fans rapidly. Not only that, but with the large foreign community flocking to Vietnam there are lots of other international sports making their mark here through clubs.
At first sight you may think Saigon isn’t so well suited for running, with motorbikes everywhere, quite heavy pollution and not many pavements it does make it a challenge. However, the longer you spend here you start to find some nice quieter spots to get your morning or evening jog in. Some spaces you may enjoy running are: the newly developed area near Sala Stadium, Vinhomes Central Park, Hoa Lu Stadium, along the side of the canals.
Runclub.vn arrange group runs almost every day of the week at different areas in the city. They accommodate all levels and quite frequently are able to get discounts for marathons and trail races across the country. Saigon Hash House Harriers – Hashing exists across the globe and Saigon is no different. Every Sunday this ‘drinking club with a running problem’ head outside of Saigon for a run following a trail of paper or flour before finishing off the evening with a ‘circle’ and ‘on-on’.
If you like training in the pool then there are quite a few options across the city, but it is worth checking opening times as some of them can be quite strange and open for 2 hour chunks throughout the day! This blog has a good variety of different pools for training and relaxing around the city.
Yet Kieu Aquatics Centre is a great 50m & 25m lane pool that is kept clean. It is VND 20,000 / VND 25,000 (on weekends) per go and early in the morning is not too busy. The changing rooms aren’t great, so perhaps be best to head home for a proper shower and change afterwards.
Saigon Swim Squad meets once a week for an hour at AIS in Thao Dien and costs VND 150,000 per session – all profits going towards charity. The class is focused on improving technique and fitness for freestyle so you need to be a pretty competent swimmer, but it is nice to train as a group.
Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam – but this is one you do have to get up early for to either avoid the traffic or the heat. Some bike shops such as Trisport and RidePlus may be able to rent out bikes for a couple of hours and they do frequently arrange group rides for the weekends. Trisport also arrange group triathlon practices in Sala a couple of times a month.
Below is a list of different clubs that get together to train in Saigon. They may stop training during the holidays, or reduce sessions, so it might be worth just checking their Facebook groups or pages for up to date information or dropping them a message. Some have membership fees, some have a training cost per session, but it would be possible to discuss with them something that works for both you and the club, so that you are still contributing to training costs.
The Vietnam Swans – Aussie Rules Football Club for both male and female.
Saigon Geckos – Rugby Union Football Club for both male and female. They also arrange weekly touch rugby sessions.
Saigon Gaels GAA – Gaelic Football Club for both male and female. Their season starts again in August as they prepare for the Asian Gaelic Games.
Saigon Shooters – Mixed netball club that has social netball on a Monday night; they run two friendly leagues throughout the year.
Saigon Women’s Football Club
Saigon Australian Cricket Club
These are just a few, but you can find a lot more on Facebook if you search what you are interested in.
Other sports & gyms
If you are wanting to play some badminton or tennis then it is easy enough to book a court at one of the sport centres. There are also options for climbing, ice skating, yoga around the city, so something for everyone.
Gyms are cropping up across the city – the main chain is California Fitness but this is quite expensive. There are smaller options around the city that can easily be found using Google Maps including some that specialise in cross fit, or martial arts.
Hope this information helps you stay fit in Saigon and keep doing the sports that you enjoy!
N’hésitez pas à cliquer sur les images pour les aggrandir
Etape 1 : Sur la page d’accueil, cliquez sur “sign up” pour créer un compte
Etape 2 : Entrez vos informations personnelles pour créer un compte
Etape 3 : Entrez le montant comme indiqué sur votre facture en GBP – le montant débité de votre compte en Euros apparaitra de lui même
Etape 4 : Entrez vos informations personnelles comme inscrites sur votre carte bleue
Etape 5 : Entrez les coordonnées d’InternChina comme indiquée sur votre facture
Etape 6 : Vérifiez que le montant versé à InternChina est bien en GBP et qu’il est identique à celui indiqué sur votre facture
Etape 7 : Choisissez votre moyen de paiement – si vous choisissez d’utiliser votre carte bancaire, le transfert est presque immédiat c’est ce que nous recommandons. Si vous préférez utiliser un transfert via votre banque c’est possible en choisissant ‘bank transfer’ cependant toutes les banques n’autorisent pas les virements internationaux
- Comparativement à un virement bancaire, le processus est beaucoup plus rapide. Généralement, tout ce dont vous avez besoin est le nom du destinataire, son adresse e-mail, son code IBAN ou son numéro de compte. Les frais sont clairement affichés, et vous pouvez les comparer avec les frais bancaires avant chaque transfert. Je ne me soucie même plus de comparer puisque l’économie par rapport à n’importe quelle banque a toujours été énorme pour moi.
- En tant qu’entreprise britannique dont les programmes se déroulent en Asie, nous envoyons beaucoup d’argent en Chine et au Vietnam afin de financer nos programmes. Nous utilisons TransferWise pour ce processus, ce qui nous fait gagner du temps et de l’argent.
- Pour nos participants, ils ont la possibilité d’envoyer de l’argent depuis ou vers leur pays d’origine en Asie. De plus il est possible de nous verser des arrhes si vous êtes basés en dehors du Royaume-Uni. Afin d’utiliser TransferWise, vous pouvez utiliser votre carte de crédit ou de débit pour effectuer un paiement ou transférer des fonds de votre banque.
- Concernant les paiements internationaux, nous recommandons toujours d’utiliser TransferWise. Les paiements sont moins chers qu’avec les banques. En effet le taux de change réel – que vous pouvez voir sur Google – est toujours celui utilisé. De plus, les frais facturés sont toujours minimes. Ils sont également sécurisés et approuvés par plus de 2 millions de personnes à travers le monde. Vous pouvez vous inscrire ici.
Quelques conseils et rappels :
- Merci de nous communiquer votre choix d’option de paiement
- Merci d’utilisez UNIQUEMENT la devise Livres Sterlings – British Pounds – GBP – £ pour effectuer vos paiements à InternChina
- La caution de 200£ ajoutée au tarif de votre programme vous sera reversée à la fin de votre séjour si aucun dommage n’a été signalé dans votre logement
N’hésitez pas à nous contacter directement et nous essayerons de vous aider au mieux pour utiliser Transferwise !
Partez-vous bientôt au Vietnam ? Nous avons regroupé quelques réponses aux questions que vous pourriez vous poser !
- La monnaie vietnamienne est le dong vietnamien (VND). Pour vérifier les taux de change, nous vous recommandons d’utiliser le site xe.com.
- Vérifiez avec votre banque avant de partir si vous avez des frais de retrait ou paiement.
- Il est facile d’échanger des euros au Vietnam. Nous vous conseillons donc d’emporter des Euros avec vous. Vous pouvez aussi partir avec un peu de monnaie locale pour votre arrivée.
- Vous pouvez arriver 4 jours avant le début de votre stage – le jeudi – et partir de l’appartement 2 jours après la fin de votre stage – le dimanche.
- Vous pouvez réserver vos billets d’avion dès que vous avez trouvé un stage et signé notre formulaire de réservation.
- L’aéroport international de Tan Son Nhat est le seul aéroport de Hô Chi Minh – vous devrez donc arriver ici.
- InternVietnam recommande d’utiliser notre partenaire officiel STA Travel pour réserver vos billets. Ce sont les leaders mondiaux dans l’organisation des vols pour le Vietnam pour les étudiants. Obtenez votre devis gratuit pour les vols internationaux requis directement ici.
- Vous devez être munis d’un passport valable au minimum 6 mois après votre arrivée au Vietnam.
- Votre passport doit contenir au minimum 2 pages blanches.
- Il doit être en parfait état, ni taché ni déchiré.
- Pensez à nous envoyer une copie de votre passport au plus vite. Pour que nous préparions les documents nécessaires à l’obtention de votre visa.
- Nous vous donnerons tous les documents nécessaires à l’obtention de votre visa. Il vous faudra les emmener avec vous et remplir un formulaire.
- Nous prenons en charge les frais liés à l’obtention du visa.
- Vous obtiendrez votre visa à votre arrivée à l’aéroport. Il vous faudra être muni des documents fournis par notre équipe, le formulaire à remplir au préalable, deux photos d’identité , et de votre passport.
- Notre équipe vous donnera plus d’informations 4 à 6 semaines avant votre arrivée.
- Si le processus de demande de visa évolue nous vous tiendrons au courant.
- L’assurance santé et voyage est prise en charge par InternVietnam pour vous sur la durée de votre séjour.
- Vous recevrez les documents sur l’assurance avant votre arrivée. N’hésitez pas à les réclamer si besoin.
Vaccins et médicaments
- Aucun vaccin n’est obligatoire pour le Vietnam. Nous vous conseillons cependant de vérifier cela avec votre médecin avant de partir. Vous pouvez aussi vous rendre à l’hopital et prendre un rendez-vous avec le centre des vaccinations pour être sûr.
- Vous pouvez trouver du paracétamol partout au Vietnam. Si vous avez des médicaments plus spécifiques, nous vous conseillons de partir avec un stock pour la durée de votre séjour.
- En cas d’allergie ou de diabète, nous vous conseillons d’emporter 2 crayons à insuline ou EpiPen.
- Copies de votre passport et documents nécessaires à l’obtention du visa dans votre bagage à main
- Adaptateurs pour les prises
- Médicaments avec les ordonnances
- Déodorant, désinfectant pour les mains et autres produits de toilettes
- Pour les filles : des tampons qui sont difficiles à trouver à Ho Chi Minh
- Pour les personnes de grande taille : emportez vos chaussures et vêtements. Vous risquez de ne pas trouver de chaussures ou vêtements à votre taille
- Vêtements simples et formels pour votre stage
- Un costume/tailleur/tenue classe pour un rendez-vous important ou une soirée importante
- Vêtements de pluie et chaussures imperméables en cas de pluies intenses
- Répulsif à insecte et crème solaire
- Tongs ou claquette pour l’intérieur de votre logement
- Vestes et pulls légers . En effet l’air conditionné peut être trop froid dans certains endroits
- Masque anti pollution pour vos trajets en taxis
- Serviettes de toilette
Téléphone et applications
- Pensez à débloquer votre smartphone avant de venir. Sinon la carte sim que nous vous fournirons risque de ne pas fonctionner.
- WhatsApp et Facebook seront les applications utilisées par notre équipe pour vous contacter durant votre séjour et stage.
- Grab est l’application pour commander un taxi.
- Vietnammm est une application pour commander à manger en ligne.
- Xe Currency pour pouvoir convertir la monnaie.
- Google translator ou un autre système de traduction.
- Dans l’avion avant d’arriver il vous faudra renseigner votre adresse de résidence à Ho Chi Minh. Vous pouvez utiliser l’adresse de notre bureau. 94 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
- N’oubliez pas de remplir vos documents pour l’obtention du visa avant de prendre l’avion. Ainsi en cas de questions nous serons donc en mesure de vous aider, sinon il sera trop tard.
Ho Chi Minh City, also called Saigon, has many things do offer during the day time as well as during night time. If you need urgent medical help or just want to buy some snacks late at night, you can find it in Ho Chi Minh City 24/7.
Shopping malls are mostly opened till 9 – 10 pm but many small convenience stores are opened 24/7. You can find most of the elementary products there if you need it in the middle of the night. Inside most of the 24/7 convenience stores or nearby them you can find ATM s where you can withdraw money anytime you want.
There is no problem to find food place in Ho Chi Minh City at any time of day or night. Most upper and middle class restaurants work only until late evening but you can enjoy food from small restaurants and street food at night.
Moving around Vietnam takes a lot of time, so choosing overnight travel might be a good option. If you want to go from/to Ho Chi Minh City to/from other cities or just around the city, you have choice of taking plane, train, bus, taxi or motorbike. Vietnam Railway Systems (VRS) and The North – South train are providing good quality connections across the country also during night. You can buy tickets directly at the train station or, if you need English service, some websites and travel agencies are providing it. The taxi and bus are relatively slow, as the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City is extremely heavy. Good alternative to taxi and bus for going around the city is motorbike (you can get it as a taxi, rent it or buy – if you’re staying for longer).
Alternatively, you can rent a car. It is easy – requires only passport and valid driving license. The car rental company might only accept international driving license or one in common language such as English or French.
The most popular (non-stop) party place in Vietnam is Pham Ngu Lao, well-known amongst backpackers as it’s comparatively cheap. If you’re looking for some more fancy clubbing places popular within young people, then you should check out clubs in District 1. If you’re a fan of Karaoke, you will be able to find a few places where you can rent a room at any time.
In case you need urgent medical help, those places have 24/7 emergency service with English speaking doctors: Family Medical Practice Clinic, Franco-Vietnamese Hospital, International SOS Clinic, Columbia International Clinic and Hospital (3 locations), Cho Ray Hospital, Emergency Centre. For urgent dental cases you can seek help in Victoria Healthcare Dentist Department in District 1. 24/7 pharmacy can be found in Family Medical Practice Centre and International SOS Clinic.
Life would be so much easier if everyone liked to eat everything or could eat everything. I know my life would, but, like many people, there are some things that I don’t like and others I can’t eat because I am allergic. There are so many dietary requirements in one’s life that you have to be careful, especially when you are not cooking yourself. When you go to a restaurant and order something, it is hard to know what ingredients they use exactly.
It is ok! You don’t really have to eat EVERYTHING there is. There are several reasons why someone doesn’t eat a specific type of food. It could be allergic reactions, religious reasons or simply because you don’t like it.
I hate it when I start eating something and all of the sudden my entire body starts itching because of something I ate (a lot of times I don’t even know what exactly). Others react very differently from me. Sometimes you could have a serious reaction to it, so you have to be careful.
Vegetarian / Vegan
Many of us have chosen to live a certain lifestyle and we all have to respect it. Vegetarian restaurants are really common in Vietnam, as there is a large Buddhist population. It means that being a vegetarian is not a big deal!
It is important to know the Vietnamese word for vegetarian (chay) and that would get you through. You can make any Vietnamese dish into a vegetarian dish like phở chay, bánh xèo chay, hủ tiếu chay, cà ri chay, and so on. Or say “Tôi ăn chay”, which means “I’m vegetarian” or, if you are a vegan, “Tôi là người ăn chay trường”.
In some religions, certain animals are sacred like the cow in Hinduism. In other cases, for example in Islam is forbidden to eat pork.
But also in Judaism you can find dietary restrictions. Jews are only allowed to eat Kosher.
Or if you simply don’t like a certain time of food you just simply say “I don’t eat (type of food)” in Vietnamese “Tôi không (…)”. For example,
There are many other dietary requirements and restrictions. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know if you like something if you haven’t tried it!
If you are going to Vietnam and have no knowledge of the language, you ask yourself: How easy is it to get by with just English? I will talk about English in Vietnam and how difficult it is for a foreigner to get by without any Vietnamese in this blog.
In the past, Chinese and Russian were largely taught in most of schools and were considered as second language. In recent years, as Vietnam’s contacts with Western nations have increased, English has become more popular as a second language and taught in a larger scale, eventually replacing Chinese and Russian.
English in School
Nowadays, English is mandatory in most schools in Vietnam, sometimes alongside French. English proficiency is now seen as a vital requirement for employment. According to an educational reform, all students will have a minimum level of English by 2020. English in schools is limited in reading and writing skills, but not much speaking & listening skills. As part of the strategy, officials have adopted the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) to measure language competency. Students are expected to reach the level B1 by the time they graduate.
EF English Proficiency Index
The EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) attempts to rank countries by the average level of English language skills amongst those adults who took their exam. Vietnam is in place 34 of 80 countries worldwide and 7 of 20 in Asia with a score of 53.43, which is considerate a moderate proficiency. While the Southeast and the Red River Delta, Ho Chi Minh City’s and Hanoi’s regions respectively, are regions with the highest English proficiency within Vietnam; the North Central Coast, on the other hand, has the lowest proficiency. According to EF EPI, women have a higher English proficiency than men, but the difference is not big.
So…is it easy to get by with just English? Long story short, the answer is yes, BUT depends on where you go. Residents in all the tourist areas are able to communicate in English. In more remote areas, English speakers can be very rare. Some older Vietnamese people will speak more French than English, especially in the former South Vietnam. The importance of promoting English in Vietnam is growing due to its importance in the business world.
If you want to know about Vietnam, don’t hesitate and live this adventure with us! Apply now!
Vietnam’s public healthcare system only covers about 30% of the population. This means that many Vietnamese have to use private health care.
Hospitals in Vietnam
The quality and accessibility of health services differs considerably on whether you are in the city or in rural areas. The majority of hospitals and clinics are located in the larger cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Public hospitals in Vietnam are not the nicest of places due to a general lack of funding by the government in the health sector. Doctors and nurses tend to only speak Vietnamese so communication may be difficult.
However, private hospitals in Vietnam are a completely different story. With doctors and nurses usually speaking English and the quality of the hospital being much higher. This is usually the preferred place for travelers and expats alike.
If you are in Vietnam and need to get to the hospital as quickly as possible an ambulance may not be the best idea. Ambulances can take a long time to arrive so it is recommended to try and get in a taxi and take yourself to a hospital as quickly as possible.
Changes to healthcare
Vietnam is aiming to improve its health care system to public system which covers all citizens. Following the trend of nearby Thailand, Vietnam hopes to be able to provide a public health care system in the not too distant future.
Individuals, however, will still be able to add on additional private healthcare should they wish to do so.
Ho Chi Minh City has a wide selection of different private and international hospitals on offer.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), basic health indicators are better than those of other developing countries in the region with similar per campita incomes. By 2013, there were more than 11,000 health communes, and 1,040 hospitals.
Although Vietnam’s health status has improved over the years, it has still a long way to go. Vietnam still has three problems to solve. First, more Vietnamese are diagnosed with some sort of chronic disease and increases the cost burden. Second, the big difference on quality and accessibility of health services between urban and rural continues to be a big problem. Last but not least, overcrowded hospitals. This a big issue due to long waiting lists for surgeries.
By taking some basic precautions, people who are traveling to Vietnam can minimize the chances of experiencing a visit to the hospital.
Drinking tap water in Vietnam is not recommendable, even having ice in the drinks at restaurants and bars. In this case it is better to buy bottled water.
Temperatures in Vietnam can soar so sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration are significant problems for new arrivals.
Common diseases are tuberculosis and malaria. It is recommended to have all basic vaccinations up-to-date.