Monthly Review | April 2018
The month of April has been a busy one for SE Vietnam as we prepare for our busy season (aka summer). The weather is heating up and so are we! We have a lot to look forward to these coming months, but first let’s get updated on what we’ve done this past month.
Meeting with GESI
This was a busy month for our director Mo, as she traveled all the way to Chicago, Illinois, USA for two different education-based conferences. Her trip began as she visited Northwestern University’s Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) in Evanston, Illinois, USA. This summer SE Vietnam will host a group of 12 students from Northwestern. During these meetings, Mo was able to talk more about what SE Vietnam will do for these students and ways to improve. This program will be a new one for us, but we are very excited about it. These students will be working in four different sectors: renewable energy, women empowerment, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and public health. They will be doing case studies for businesses in each of these four sectors. All of these sectors have a lot of work to do in Vietnam, so the work these students will be doing is very important.
While visiting, Mo was able to work with the program coordinators as well as people from all over the world who are in charge of GESI programs in other countries. They discussed how to welcome students into the local communities. One of the focuses of these discussions were how to make LGBT students feel comfortable. While Vietnam’s LGBT community is growing and becoming more outspoken, there is still a bit of a stigma around it. At SE Vietnam, we want everyone to feel welcome, so ensuring every single student feels comfortable during their time in Vietnam is very important to us. We also discussed the importance of working with the host organizations ahead of time to help them better prepare for the incoming students and to create a better working environment for both the students and the organization. We believe these incoming students from GESI and the program we put together for them will be a great model for future group internships to show SE Vietnam’s potential to work with other universities in creating a very meaningful program in Vietnam.
Global Service Learning Summit (GSLS)
After meeting with GESI, Mo headed to Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, USA for the 5th annual Global Service Learning Summit. At this conference, Mo presented her ideas of having students come to Vietnam to work with local handicraft villages. Handicraft villages are located all over Vietnam creating specialized handmade traditional products passed down from generations. Mo believes that foreign students can help these villages in many ways. Her idea is that engineering students could help with product design and helping to make the products last longer or be more efficient, while business students could help the villages with import/export as well as helping them learn how to work with foreign partners. All of these could be very beneficial for the villages who may have a hard time getting their product out there. The Vietnamese government currently recognizes over 1500 handicraft villages, so there is a lot of work that can be done.
Even after all these conferences, we still have more to go! At the end of May we will be attending NAFSA: Association of International Educators. This is the largest conference of this type and we are very excited to be in attendance this year. Please let us know if you will also be in attendance, we would love to chat! See you there!
Welcoming Selda Nur!
And last, but certainly not least, this month we have welcomed one student, Selda Nur, from Switzerland for her internship with GREE! GREE is a company that works on water treatment and wastewater treatment in Vietnam as well as other environmental issues. Selda has been enjoying her time in Vietnam so far and even helped out during SE Vietnam’s community day! We look forward to Selda’s journey here in Vietnam and hope she has a wonderful time here.
Selda helping out on community day!
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