SAM, VIETNAM; 12 MONTHS-VIETNAM UNION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATIONS (VUSTA)
VUSTA is an umbrella socio-political organization of the national contingent of science scholars of Vietnam. It’s main activities include training and the dissemination of knowledge, science research and development, community development, hunger eradication and poverty alleviation.
The Department for International Cooperation (DIC) enables to work closely with the DIC’s officers to improve their English skills, support in developing and carrying out the projects, update and development of the database of international organizations, networks and facilitate other tasks of DIC.
I worked at VUSTA in Hanoi and I was a member of The Department for International Cooperation and worked with five other colleagues and the Director of the Department.
I had finished my MA and was looking to gain some work experience while also having a great experience that travelling and living for an extended period of time abroad offers.
I chose Vietnam because I had never been to South-East Asia before and had also read a bit about the history of the country and wanted to experience it first-hand.
WHAT WAS WORKING DAY-TO-DAY LIFE LIKE?
My job was principally office based, so I used to arrive around 8:45 and leave around 5. On occasions I would attend outside meetings and conferences during which I would often take the meeting minutes.
WHAT WERE MY MAIN DAY-TO-DAY TASKS?
These included editing documents that had been translated from Vietnamese to English, producing background research papers on assigned topics, writing some official letter templates as well as assisting in writing job descriptions and the VUSTA brochure.
WHAT DID I ENJOY ABOUT LIVING IN A DIFFERENT CULTURE?
Almost every aspect of living in Vietnam is different from UK culture, so I was always learning new information on the local customs and ways of life. From different forms of social interaction and behaviour, learning about Vietnam’s culture and history, enjoying the traditional foods and of course learning every day through making Vietnamese friends.
WHAT DID YOU ACHIEVE?
On a personal level, I gained in both independence and self-belief. Living and working in a foreign environment is a challenge and one that I very much enjoyed, but it requires patience, perseverance, flexibility, self-confidence, logical and independent thinking, openness and a willingness to learn amongst other features.
Therefore, it provides for all round personal development as well as providing many memorable experiences through the people I met and the places and sights I saw.
I also hope that I contributed to the growth of the International Cooperation Department at VUSTA and assisted them in working towards their goals.