What It is Like to Be a Local Buddy for Student Exchange Vietnam
Wondering what it’s like to be a local buddy with SE Vietnam (amazing) international students groups? Don’t take our words for it. Let’s hear from Huong, a true local buddy slash young Vietnamese students whose desires to learn and connect with the rest of the world triumphed her fear of meeting new people and making new friends. Huong, take it away…
Honestly, from the beginning, the reason why I applied for this program was to have a certificate of extra-curricular activities to add to my resume. I did not expect much back then. I just simply thought that this opportunity would bring me a chance to interact with international friends and elevate my English.
Huong taking the students of Kanazawa University on a campus tour around the University of Technology
However, it turned out that through the program I actually gained a lot more than I had expected. Being a volunteer for Student Exchange Vietnam was a totally distinctive experience in comparison with other activities I have been involved in. Here, we, the local buddies, had the chance to take part in planning and conducting every single activity in the program. We were the one who designed, arranged and carried the activity out in reality, of course with careful review and supervision from experienced staffs from Student Exchange Vietnam.
Huong and her new friends on a city tour around Ho Chi Minh City
In addition, we were given exposure to interacting with the Japanese friends as much as we possibly can. We attended in every activity with them, we had the chance to travel to Cu Chi, to Mekong Delta and gained many valuable experiences, and the sweet part is, all the participations were all free thanks to Student Exchange Vietnam. On the other hand, to me, the most precious thing that I achieved is the friendship with not only the local buddy team whom I worked with but also with the Japanese friends.
Throughout the program, I made friends with all the local buddies, and Ms.Ha-our program coordinator who oversees our work. Even more, after it ended, we still keep in touch with each other, gossip every day and also hang out usually. I call them my board game mates. I did not hope that I can have such quality friends after the program. What I am grateful about is that now I also have many Japanese friends I can talk to every day thanks to Student Exchange Vietnam. They are all really lovely, nice and kindand eventhough the language barrier between us is apparent they always try their best to communicate with us.
Huong and the Japanese students shared a lot of good memories together
We shared stories with each other and had many treasured memories. Interestingly, we are still texting to each other after the trip and promise for one day that we will meet again. To me, they are all priceless, these friends and these memories. In every process of making the program work, there are always hardships, however, they are just very small sacrifices made for the bigger, better the things that I have achieved during the program. And I know for sure that in the future if I want to be a volunteer again, I would put Student Exchange Vietnam as my number 1 option.
Nguyễn Giáng Hương, Local Buddy at Student Exchange Vietnam
Do you want to have an amazing opportunity to paint your youth with unique and fun colors like Huong did with hers? Join our Local Buddy Team in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to do just that!
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