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).
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.
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!
Today I am going to do a Vietnamese Crash Course for those who are learning or want to learn Vietnamese.
As redundant as it may sound, Vietnamese is the official language in Vietnam. But for a very long time Vietnam didn’t really have its own language. For so long it was object of constant foreign intervention. Therefore, Vietnamese has borrowings from Chinese, French and also English. Vietnamese is a difficult language, especially because it differs between regions.
Like other Southeast Asian languages, Vietnamese has a comparatively large number of vowels.
Some consonant sounds are written with only one letter like “p”, other consonant sounds are written with a digraph like “ph”, and others are written with more than one letter or digraph. Vietnamese has no use for the letters F, J, W and Z. Also, not all dialects of Vietnamese have the same consonant in a given word (although all dialects use the same spelling in the written language).
So in Vietnamese, every syllable is a separate word, this is why Vietnam is sometimes written as Viet Nam!
Vietnamese is a tonal language, with 6 tones in total, which means that one syllable can have at least 6 different meanings. Be careful with the tones! You’ll probably end up calling someone’s mother a horse or a grave at some point. Tones differ in length, melody, pitch height and phonation. The tone is indicated by diacritics written above or below the vowel.
Similarly to languages in Southeast Asia, there is no real number and gender for nouns in Vietnamese and verb tenses generally don’t exist.
- xin chào = Hello
- Khỏe không? = How are you?
- Khoẻ, cảm ơn = Fine, thank you!
- Tôi tên là… = My name is…
- Làm ơn = Please
- Cảm ơn = Thank you
- Không sao đâu = You are welcome
- Vâng = Yes
- Không = No
- Xin lỗi = I’m sorry
- Tạm biệt = Goodbye
Lost in Translation
- Biết nói tiếng Anh không? = Do you speak English?
- Tôi không biết nói tiếng Việt [giỏi lắm] = I can’t speak Vietnamese [well]
- Có ai đây biết nói tiếng Anh không? = Is there someone here who speaks English?
- Tôi không hiểu = I don’t understand
- Công an!/Cảnh sát! = Police!
- Việc này khẩn cấp = It’s an emergency
- Tôi bị lạc = I’m lost
- Tôi bị ốm = I’m sick
- Tôi cần một bác sĩ = I need a doctor
- Nhà vệ sinh/wc ở đâu? = Where’s the toilet?
- Cứu (tôi) với! = Help!
- Một vé đến … là bao nhiêu? = How much is a ticket to …?
- Xin cho tôi một vé đến … = One ticket to …, please.
- Tàu/xe này đi đâu? = Where does this train/bus go?
- Tàu/xe đi đến …ở đâu? = Where is the train/bus to …?
- Tàu/xe này có ngừng tại…không? = Does this train/bus stop in…?
- Tàu/xe đi…chạy lúc nào? = When does the train/bus for…leave?
- Khi nào tàu/xe này xẽ đến…? = When will this train/bus arrive in…?
- Tắc xi! = Taxi!
- Làm ơn đưa/chở tôi đến… = Take me to…, please.
- Mất bao nhiêu tiền để đến…? = How much does it cost to get to…?
- Có nhận thẻ tín dụng không? = Do you accept credit cards?
- Tôi có thể đi đổi tiền ở đâu? = Where can I get money changed?
- Máy rút tiền (ATM) ở đâu? = Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?
- Cho tôi một bàn cho một/hai người = A table for one person/two people, please.
- Cho tôi xem menu? = Can I look at the menu, please?
- Tôi ăn chay. = I’m a vegetarian.
- Tôi không ăn thịt heo (South) / lợn (North) = I don’t eat pork.
- Tôi không ăn thịt bò. = I don’t eat beef.
- Tôi chỉ ăn thức ăn kosher thôi. = I eat only kosher food.
- Cho tôi xin một chaicà phê / nước trà / nước / rượu vang / bia? = May I have a bottle of coffee / tea / water / wine / beer ?
- Cho tôi xin một ly (South) / cố (North) …? = May I have a glass of …?
- Cho tôi xin một ly (South) / cố (North) …? = May I have a cup of …?
- Có size của tôi không? = Do you have this in my size?
- Bao nhiêu (tiền)? = How much (money) is this?
- Đắt quá. = That’s too expensive.
Seems like these tips might have been said many times before, but they are so true and useful!
- First of all, look for language classes. Either in a one-on-one class or in a group class, you can learn about the differences in tones and the Vietnamese grammar. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand.
- Also, practice makes perfect! For some people, learning a new language might come easier than for others, but no one can be fluent without practicing. You can look for a language partner. Go out and make friends!
- Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Locals will appreciate that you are making an effort on learning their language and you can also learn from your mistakes.
Learn more and apply now!
You may have some superstitions or taboos yourself, such as not walking under a ladder, not crossing paths on the stairs or stepping on a triple drain! However, these differ country-to-country, culture-to-culture. Check out some taboos in Vietnam below.
Some Vietnamese Taboos
In Vietnam, it is considered bad luck to travel on certain days of the lunar month. These days are the 5th, 14th, and 23rd of the lunar month. Many Vietnamese will not travel on these days!
It is considered taboo to have the headboard of your bed face the road. This is due to the head of coffins facing the road during funeral ceremonies (usually held in homes.)
Another interesting taboo is for individuals to marry within a year of the passing of their mother or father. It is the case that many will change the arranged marriage date to outside a year of the date of the relative passing.
It is also important in Vietnamese culture to not face anyone with the soles of your feet. Whilst this may seem a fairly simple one to avoid watch out when you’re sat on a couch with your feet up!
Whilst these taboos may seem strange and unusual our taboo’s in the west probably seem peculiar to those in Vietnam. Throwing yourself into another culture is all about experiencing new things. The culture, the food, the history. Vietnam is a great place to submerge yourself in a different culture and learn about these new, obscure taboos!
Inspired by experiencing Vietnamese culture for yourself? Apply Now!
Here we are! You have secured a great internship with InternVietnam and you are now impatiently waiting to go. But of course you might be anxious about some things, and one of them is- what should I pack for my Vietnam trip?
Hopefully this blog will answer your questions and you will have nothing to worry anymore as you can prepare your check list to ensure you don’t forget anything!
- Laptop or tablet : It is essential that you bring your laptop, as you will need this for your internship!
- Power adapter: Vietnamese plug sockets fit two plug types: 220V flat 2 or 3 pin plug, which is the same across much of Asia.
- Pharmaceutical products: Sun cream, insect repellent (Although malaria is rare and seldom found in most areas of Vietnam, Dengue fever can pose quite a problem), Tiger Balm or Cortisone Cream (if you do happen to get bitten by mosquitoes, tiger balm or cortisone cream can prevent the bites from getting infected.) Vitamins and preferred medicines. If you have prescription medicines, then be sure to bring a copy of the prescription with you.
- Clothes: Work attire is mainly casual wear due to the warm climate. However, it is necessary to bring at least a shirt, trousers and tie for more formal events in your internship. Clothes are relatively cheap in Vietnam so it is not necessary to bring clothes to last your entire stay, if you want to buy some while you are there!
- Swimwear: This is different in Vietnam than in the West (men wear tight swimwear and women are well covered up) so you may wish to bring your own. For those with a large shoe size, it is advisable to bring shoes for the duration as it may not be as simple to find your size as back home.
- Bring a light-weight, waterproof jacket. During the monsoon season, it is wise to bring a light jacket to protect you from the rain that can come and go in a flash.
- If you would like to have access to pagodas and temples, modest below-the-knee clothing is a must. Chose below-the-knee Skirts or trousers. Despite the heat, local men and women dress quite conservatively, and you should be expected to do the same by covering your shoulders and legs, especially when visiting sacred places and government buildings.
- Flip Flops. Alongside practical footwear, bring along a pair of flip-flops – or even better, purchase some once you’re there. Not only will these be easy to take off when visiting temples, certain bars and restaurants, but they will also allow your feet to breathe in the hot and humid weather.
We hope this blog has been useful for your pre-arrival packing mission!
Want to discover more about Ho Chi Minh City for yourself? Then apply now!
As can be expected when travelling to the other side of the world, many things will be different. From eating and drinking, to socialising and relationships, expect a lot of cultural differences!
In the West, if you make much noise when eating it may be considered rude and bad manners. However, in Vietnam the more noise the better! When eating a particularly delicious bowl of noodles, locals can be heard slurping.
Whilst your birthday may be considered the most important celebration in the West, in Vietnam it is peoples death day when celebrations take place. During this time they will worship ancestors, prepare a big meal and get all the family and relatives together.
In the West we have no particular routine of introduction, aside from maybe a formal handshake or an embrace with a close friend. In Vietnam however, shaking hands is less common, especially with the opposite sex. When introducing yourself, it is important to greet the elders first before then the younger individuals.
As I’m sure you are aware knives and forks become a rare sight once you enter the Eastern world. You can expect to eat all your meals with a spoon and chopsticks! This may take some getting used to at the start but after a few meals no doubt you will be a pro!
In Vietnam, you will rarely see husband and wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend showing affection in public. This is considered inappropriate and should be kept to private areas. Very different to the West where you can see a whole variety of PDA!
Want to experience Vietnamese culture for yourself? Apply Now!