The following content is for you to understand more about SE Vietnam and our programs. Do not hesitate to share with us any question you might have and if it is not listed here.
1. I AM WORRIED. HOW DO I KNOW IF SE VIETNAM IS A LEGITIMATE COMPANY?
Don’t worry, we will tell you more about our legal status. SE Vietnam is a registered Vietnamese company and our incorporation number is 0106516267 with the name of SE VIETNAM (SE is the abbreviation for Student Exchange).
We have also registered and been verified by a number of international education portals, including CISAbroad, GoOverseas and GoAbroad. Currently, we are a member of VCCI (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry), NAFSA (Association of International Educators, US), Forum on Education Abroad (US), the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative and have partnership with the International Education Exchange Forum (IEEF) from Japan, Global link from Korea. We are also a partner of a wide range of universities & education organizations in Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, the US, Canada, etc.
You can learn more about us here
2. I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABROAD. WHY SHOULD I GO THEN?
Globalization is here to stay, and students who want to work in our interconnected global world should study abroad.Despite the inevitable increasing global competition for jobs, many students lack the international experience, language capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills necessary to succeed in the global economy.Making going abroad a part of academic career is the most effective and accessible means for students to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of her comfort zone to experience another culture, language, environment and education system. It teaches students to appreciate difference and diversity firsthand, and enables them to recognize — and then dismiss — stereotypes they may have held about people they had never met. Furthermore, learning how to interact with people from other countries and cultures equips future leaders in all sectors to address urgent issues — from curing diseases and finding energy solutions, to fighting terrorism and hunger — shared across borders.
3. OK, THEN WHY SHOULD I WORK WITH SE VIETNAM?
SE Vietnam was established to provide affordable, high quality and customized study and internship in Vietnam programs for students wishing to go abroad. The company is built on three strong foundations that we aim to provide every student with, including – Professional Experience – Educational Experience – Local Experience. We also truly care about students, respect them as individuals and seek the way to help them integrate into the local community & gain the most from the chosen program.
You can learn more about us here
4. THIS SOUNDS INTERESTING, I WILL SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT IT. HOW DO I JOIN SE VIETNAM PROGRAMS THEN?
Great! We think you should discuss this with your family/friends for their advice too. We bet that they would love to know about your new interesting destination. Please visit our section Procedure for more details on how to go abroad with us or simply apply now if you feel confident enough. We are always here to help!
5. IT STRIKES ME WITH A BIG SURPRISE TO SEE YOUR FEES. WHY ARE THE FEES SO MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE THAN OTHER PROVIDERS?
Our Internship Program Fee and Study Program Fee have been designed to keep the quality of our programs high, yet at the same time ensure we do not include any unnecessary costs or middle men, which often inflate the fees of other organizations. The Program Fee you pay is used to pay for the expenses associated with your stay in country, including airport pickup, orientation, accommodation arrangement and staff support to ensure your time in Vietnam goes as smoothly as possible.
SE Vietnam does not sacrifice the quality of our programs, rather we work on a transparent financial system, whereby we can operate at a sustainable level, provided we have high numbers of international participating on our programs. Comparing cost of living in Vietnam to that of some countries in the Asian region, the low tuition fee and accommodation payment are favourable to keep our Program fee at competitive rate.
6. HOW DO I MAKE AN INTERNSHIP ABROAD SUCCESSFUL?
Ms. Mo Nguyen– the Director of SE Vietnam, was invited as the guest speaker at the US embassy to share her experience on how to make the volunteer/internship abroad time in Vietnam successful for international students. Many useful cases and real stories were shared with the local hosts. Mo started with the story of a student who got an internship in a well-known multi-national company, which was the dream of many students, but finally got dissatisfied with it. What happened to him?
1. Expectation match
The intern expected to have an internship abroad where he could learn and work with local people, in a totally different working environment, not in the-same- one- with- his- country office. However, the host company just needed someone who could understand their “routine”. The expectation mismatch in this case is exactly what killed the meaningful internship abroad. Therefore, expectation match is very important for both local host company and the international intern. They should know what they expect from each other in order to understand each other values and explore the ways to add values to each other.
2. Open and culture respect
One teacher in a Vietnamese high school was so embarrassed when the international intern pointed her mistake in front of her students. Being OPEN is very important to both the local host and the international intern. In Vietnam, people normally tell your fault with you personally not in front of others, especially at school where teachers are the mirror for students and supposed to be always right. It is necessary to talk about the sensitivity of criticizing a person in public, because it may be normal in the intern’s home country, but can be a disaster in the host place. Especially, you must think twice before posting photos or comments on social media, because it can unintentionally hurt some locals or distort the truth that you may not understand well.
3. Single contact
At each local host, one specific person should be in charge of being the FIRST contact for international intern. It helps a lot to make the interns feel safe and consistent. When there are any changes, it is always that single contact who informs the student timely. For example, if the class is close today because they need to welcome a special VIP, the international intern would expect a sudden notice in advance before the class starts with the clear reason.
4. Emergency Response
While taking internship in Vietnam, most students want to take a holiday, or a tour in the country or the neighbor country. They can travel with other interns or with their family, friends, but remember, the intern’s safety is very important to the local host. The internship abroad should be both happy and safe. So both the host and the interns must talk openly about the intern’s travel plan. They should make it clear about the journey with time and date, about who will the intern travel with and the contact information of the person (s)he goes with. The intern should give the host contact to his/her accompanier too. This action helps the local host to get updates from the intern even when they cannot contact the intern directly. Or in return, the accompanier can contact the host for the intern in case (s)he cannot get contacting.
So the intern should and should be reminded to bring the First contact’s information with her/him as the RED CARD.
7. I AM NOT AN OUTSTANDING PERSON IN CLASS. I AM NOT SURE WHETHER I HAVE SPECIFIC SKILLS OR QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED TO GO ABROAD. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You don’t stand out, but now you dare to stand up and take the chance, right? We appreciate it and would love to help people like you. Requirements vary from program to program, but basically for many of our programs, the only requirements are the fluency in English, a clean criminal background and a willingness to learn. It is important to note that for the majority of our academic programs, students must be qualified or training in a relevant field (documentation to be presented to partner organizations or host university).
Requirements for each program are stated in each internship or study program page.
8. IS TRAVEL INSURANCE INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM FEE?
Travel insurance is mandatory in order to go abroad on any SE Vietnam programs. While SE Vietnam does everything it can to ensure your trip to Vietnam goes smoothly and is a fantastic, memorable experience, it is imperative to ensure you have adequate travel insurance should you fall sick, your bags go missing, or something is stolen. However, we do NOT include travel insurance in our fees because it is usually convenient for students to purchase their insurance in their home country. In case students want us to purchase insurance for them, we can still provide the service.
9. IS THERE ANY TIP FOR TRAVEL?
By Terri Wingham. Originally posted on GoOverseas
If you want cultural immersion and you love to network and make new local friends while volunteering, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your time in Vietnam:
1. Get a visa before you leave home
If you skim through a website and trust the advice on the “always accurate” Internet, you will think that you can buy your visa when you land in country. After your long-haul flight, you will roll right up to the Vietnam Airlines check-in desk in Hong Kong and pull out your passport and airline confirmation (with the nonchalance of the well-seasoned traveler that you are). You will half listen to the overhead announcements as you calculate how many hours until you can sit down for a bowl of steaming fresh Pho. But, when the thin-fingered man-child flips back and forth through your passport and asks you where your visa is, you will forget all about the Pho. When he further explains that you cannot board the flight without a visa and you realize you’re about to miss a flight for the first time in your life, the oxygen will whoosh from your lungs and you will have to grasp the counter for support. Whether you remain stoic or you lose your sh!t and bawl like a baby, you will still hear (on repeat) the words, “I’m sorry m’am. There is nothing we can do” until two days later when you finally get a much coveted letter from immigration and board your flight.
2. Forget about the concept of personal space/ privacy
If you are lucky enough to have a truly local experience, you will step off the plane in Ha Noi and wait for ninety minutes (shoulder to shoulder) with a crush of tourists and locals until your bag finally arrives. Then, when you drag your sweaty bedraggled body through the arrivals hall, your smiling host will greet you and escort you to a muffler-less white van and point towards a seat by the window. You will climb under and over the maze of seat belts and luggage and then stuff your backpack under your knees and wedge your laptop under your armpits as you keep half an eye on your rolling duffle to make sure it makes it into the van. A phone will ring incessantly to the Inspector Gadget tune, horns will blare, and you will occasionally decide to hold your breath to avoid the bombarding smell of humid humanity.
3. Do not keep anything valuable in your pockets
Don’t be lulled into thinking Ha Noi is a safe place simply because women in conical hats ride around on cruiser bicycles. If you relax your guard, a young, strung-out punk might come at you with a stack of postcards from 1982 and lean into you with such force that you have to physically push him away. While your arms are busy protecting your chest, his hands will be slipping the bright, shiny, still-so-new-it-doesn’t-have-a-scratch-on-it iPhone out of your raincoat. Don’t bother sputtering out an accusation (mid-disbelief and pre-meltdown); he will simply disappear into the public toilet and then re-appear only to look at you like you’re the moron who lost your phone somewhere. Then he’ll hop on his “getaway” motorcycle and careen into the writhing mass of honking scooters.
4. Look both ways the whole time you are crossing the street
If you stand on the sidewalk, waiting for traffic to clear, you will probably be there until the end of your trip. So, gather your courage and step out into the abyss. I promise you will get more confident at threading yourself through oncoming traffic once you have done it a few times. With each step you take, motorcycles will start to veer in front or behind you depending on their calculations of where you will be when they get to your exact location. But don’t let your focus wander for even a second because it really is pedestrian BE-WARE (I almost got mowed down at least twice).
5. Get used to being the center of attention
Be prepared for more stares than you have ever had in your life when you board a packed train in Ha Noi for the 16-hour journey to Da Nang. With a swarm of locals heading to visit family for Tet (the annual New Year’s celebration), you will barely have room for your luggage on the overhead rack that is crammed with suitcases, brown boxes, brightly coloured plastic bags and sacks of rice. Everyone will stare at you every time you get up, hoist your bag on your shoulder, weave through the crowd, and step into the “bathroom.” For you ladies – the handle welded to the wall in front of you will be the only thing that keeps you from falling onto your ass (literally) as you place your shoes on the silver feet and squat over the tracks flashing at you through the hole below.
But, in spite of the noise, the pollution, and the cramped living conditions, Vietnam and I fell more in love every day. With gracious hosts, delicious food, fascinating traditions, and a complex
10. WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR ABOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Please keep in mind that travel insurance is a must for your trip. It makes sure that you have prepared for the worst case when something goes wrong and can stay safe financially.
It is highly recommended that you purchase the travel insurance right when you make any payment for your trip (program fee, accommodations, etc). Please pay attention to the valid dates of the insurance and what it covers, to see whether you can claim the irrecoverable costs in case of cancelling your trip, or whether your insurance is valid from the time you check out from your home country or check in the host country, etc.
TYPES OF INSURANCE
Typical services depend on the insurance provider that you choose, but basically there are three most popular types:
- Single Trip insurance: is applied for one trip of up to 3 months. This will not cover your traveling to various countries
- Annual Multi Trip insurance: covers multiple trips for one year, with a maximum duration of 45 days/trip
- Backpacker insurance: covers up to 2 years, including 1 trip home for your study break and other trips within the covered geographical area
Wear a helmet and keep yourself safe! Photo: Sebastian Jonshoej
The fee depends on the company you work with, but it mostly varies based on the specific policies attached, so please pay attention to the terms of contract. The common rate is $50/month.
WHAT TO BE COVERED
- Medical Emergencies: Illness, accidents which lead to medical treatments and even repatriation.
- Personal Possessions: Lost and stolen luggage/belongings when abroad (phone, passport, laptop, etc.)
- Sport Activities: Sports-related accidents, but except adventurous sports
- Cancellation: In case of unexpected events such as illness or family issues (which must be proven), students would have to cancel the trip. In that case, make sure that the insurance will cover the irrecoverable fees for you.
- Emergency Assistance: The insurance company has staff in charge to deal with your specific case when needed
WHAT’S NOT TO BE COVERED
- Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: You must be honest with your insurance company, or else your purchased insurance would be fully invalid
- Alcohol & Drug Abuse or other Law-breaking behaviors: Insurance is not valid for those who break the law. So make sure that you are not involved in using drug, alcohol, driving without license, etc.
11. HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I APPLY AND REGISTER?
We set different application deadlines for each kind of programs, please take a look at each of the SE Vietnam program pages (study or internship) for more details, but our advice is the sooner the better.
Applying and registering allows you to be connected to an SE Vietnam Program Coordinator who will help you prepare for your trip abroad. Once registered on an SE Vietnam program, you are provided information about the program and host university/organization of which you would be put under the supervision. Your SE Vietnam Program Coordinator is also on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have and to collect all the required information from you before you depart. In order to avoid disappointment, please apply online and register as soon as possible.
You may want to check out the Procedure
12. DO I REQUIRE A VISA TO TRAVEL TO VIETNAM?
Every situation is different and visa requirements are dependent on the duration you stay in Vietnam and also your nationality. Please contact us for more guidance in your specific case.
13. WILL SE VIETNAM PROVIDE A REFERENCE OR ACT AS A REFEREE FOR ME ONCE I FINISH THE PROGRAM?
Your SE Vietnam Program Coordinator can provide you with a letter of reference at the completion of your trip, upon request. Our staff are often happy to act as referees for past students as well.
14. WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?
International students can live on campus, in a standard student dormitory of the host university to experience Vietnamese students’ lives or do a homestay and share room with a local roommate or stay in an apartment. For those who seek for private rooms, a request should be made to SE Vietnam during the application process. Please note that a single room normally means that you pay 150 – 200USD extra/month.
15. DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK THE LOCAL LANGUAGE?
Language requirements vary depend on the type of program you are participating on. However, for the most part, students are generally only required to speak English to participate on an SE program. More information on language requirements is provided within the relevant Program page. Students are provided with basic local language lessons during their orientation and we recommend that students take additional language lessons where available. The more you can speak and converse in the local language, the more you will be able to immerse yourself into the program and local culture. For specific programs, students are even not required to speak English, but Japanese or Korean, for example, based on the entry requirements.
16. CAN I GO TRAVELING AND SIGHTSEEING DURING THE WEEKENDS OF MY VOLUNTEER PROGRAM?
At SE Vietnam we believe an important aspect of any SE Vietnam program is the sightseeing and tours that students can do in their free time. Although we believe an SE Vietnam trip to Vietnam is the most authentic way to experience Vietnam through living and working with locals, we also understand that many of our students wish to visit and experience sites like regular travelers. We encourage you to take time to travel and explore the beauty (and the weird) of the country.
See some photos of our students in Vietnam on our facebook page.
17. WHAT IS THE TYPICAL MONTHLY PERSONAL EXPENSE IN VIETNAM?
Personal expenses for international students may range from US$150 – 250 per month. Please visit cost of living in Vietnam for more information.