Studying abroad is a wonderful experience recommended to anyone who is looking to broaden their horizon and try something new. Universities have a variety of them that range from a couple weeks in the summer to a full school year.
On studyabroad.usu.edu, they set you up with an adviser helps students find the best fit or use search engines to find the region, country, length and program.
At USU Eastern, a fair is offered in the JLSC where people from programs come and give students more information about their programs. I met a guy named Justin from a program called Youthlinc that the college partners with for the short study abroad programs over the summer. They send students to different countries including but not limited to Cambodia, Kenya, Vietnam and Thailand. I talked to Justin about how my family’s from Vietnam and that would be the best fit for me.
With Youthlinc, I was able to do a service project in Ha Long, Vietnam, that was personally rewarding. We went to a disability center and brought them a sewing machine, thread and school supplies. The sewing stuff should help them get a business started to make more money for the center. We also held classes teaching the children English and giving them school supplies.
On top of the service, we earned three-upper-division credits. It was considered a Vietnam War class which went with all of the stops we made at historic places relative to the war. We wrote papers about each of the places we stopped and it helped us engage in the things we were seeing.
They also did home visits with some of the locals where we asked them questions through translators. We talked to them about the war and the way they grew up.
One of my favorite places was the site of the My Lai Massacre, where United States troops killed hundreds of Vietnamese people. It was sad, but it was also the place I felt the affect of the war the most. It was amazing to be able to see things that happen in other parts of the world. It opens your mind and makes you see things differently.