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24

Nov

Tips to Support International Intern Virtually

Posted by Student Exchange Vietnam - Student Exchange Vietnam

Online work is becoming more and more popular because of not only the current travel restrictions but also a wise choice to customize individual plans and financial matters. Popular as it might seem, the connection and human interaction have been a concern when it comes to working in virtual settings. With our experiences hosting more than 300 international interns joining our virtual educational programs, we are proud to share our stories to adapt to the new situation since the COVID-19 breakout and how we thrive to support our students remotely. 

Since sharing is caring, we also hope to receive new perspectives and suggestions from organizations and institutions about your take-aways for better virtual work.

About ABROADER

At ABROADER, the passion for supporting the local community development has become the main drive for our work since it was established. The main stakeholder of the local community is young Vietnamese students who do not have opportunities to gain international exposure. To carry out our mission, we act as a bridge to connect local students with the world by bringing international students to Vietnam via our educational programs such as internships, customized faculty-led, semester exchange, and service-learning. So far, we have been helping more than 1000 local students to have international experiences through our programs and hosting international students from more than 20 countries in the world.

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Each intern when joining our programs would have a unique experience. Let’s learn our stories with remote interns and how a virtual experience does not make people feel disconnected. 

Creative communication 

Besides formal channels like emails or google drive for working, you should try out various types of communications such as:

Voice chat

Text messages might take time to type and it is hard to convey all your emotions. Sending a voice chat, like a “hello” message or daily life sharing, could help to build a good connection through voice. Participants will have the feeling of working with a real person behind the screen. But it’d be better to check with the receivers if he/she is comfortable with using voice chat since different persons will have their own preferences for communication approaches. 

Postcards

Right! Emails, messages, Whatsapp, telegram, etc., have been ruling the world for its fast speed and convenience to send messages. However, receiving something physical to hold in your hand and read the messages always triggers special feelings. A postcard sent to your participants will help build a better relationship even though the distance might be a thousand miles away. 

postcards

Diverse and engaging activities

We acknowledge that what students are missing from the in-person experience is the local immersions. To fill up that gap, diverse and engaging activities are well organized and emphasized. Local cultural immersion as an inclusion in the programs has been a present to both local and international students to exchange cultures and share their perspectives and learn from each other. Read what our interns feel about their experiences:

“After a year-long search for an international internship during the pandemic, I decided to give a remote internship a try. I was nervous that I would feel isolated from not being able to experience the country in person. It has only been a couple of weeks since I started my remote internship through ABROADER and I already feel like ABROADER staff and interns are my second family! I did not anticipate having this much support and close friendships within a remote internship, and I am now thrilled that I gave this remote opportunity a try. ABROADER has developed such a supportive program to ensure that each of their interns experiences Vietnamese culture online as they would in-person through daily buddy-chats with both the staff and interns and cultural sessions. My internship through ABROADER is teaching English for Bong Sen, an NGO specializing in the empowerment of the local population of the Hau Giang province ensuring all women and girls receive education, economic opportunities, and protection of their human rights. Since I have never taught before, ABROADER staff has been incredibly helpful in providing me resources, tips, and in-class support! This experience has been truly amazing.”

Tracy Dunlap, Remote Intern

“From the very first moment my internship started I was paired with local buddies that live in Vietnam, and it has been such a joy to meet with them, to learn from them, and to exchange life lessons and meaningful experiences with them. ABROADER has helped me understand what life is like in Vietnam, so much so that after I graduate, I fully plan on visiting and meeting some of these new friends in their homes. I have had the privilege of seeing life through their eyes, something many of us should take the opportunity to do. I’ve learned what life is like for a day for a Vietnamese citizen. We have spent countless hours together cooking popular Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls and coffee, and although my form may not have been perfect, I did manage to impress my local buddies. Regarding how they handle an intern’s work life, they are active and supportive. I know that I have a reliable and attentive support system that looks forward to my feedback and genuinely cares about me. This has been a very real, emotional experience for me because it is something that I consider very serious.”

Stuart Shreve, Remote Intern

Some of the cultural topics & activities that our local team organize to build a connection with remote interns are:

  • Work Culture
  • Vietnamese language
  • Vietnamese Cuisine
  • Egg Coffee
  • Vovinam – Vietnamese Martial Arts
  • Movie night
  • International Day
  • Family values
  • Youth Cultures
  • Dating & Marriage

Always be there when they need someone to listen to!

A sincere attitude and good listening skills can help a lot to make sure the participants are heard, shared, and empathized. A casual “knock-knock” on the participants’ door, like a virtual visit to catch up on news and share stories about work-life balance, is vital. Students don’t feel isolated because they know that there will be a huge support for them to make the journey fruitful and memorable. 

A virtual experience can be exciting since you will have a lot to learn and many people to support you.

Read our alumni’s stories in Summer 2021 to learn their experiences with virtual internships in Vietnam. 

Plan your GO NAM 2022

2021 is about to end and we hope 2022 is a good year for everyone. While in-person programs in Vietnam will be ready next Summer 2022, you can still experience the remote internships in Vietnam all year round. 

Browse to find your interests for internship opportunities in Vietnam

We are happy to help you with all the questions you have about internships in Vietnam. Click this link to book a 1-1 call with us.

 

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