Choosing the Program: CET Vietnam

Written by Tho Nguyen, (Student Correspondent) University of Kansas
CET Public Health & Service-Learning in Ho Chi Minh City, Summer 2015

Three things you should know about me:

1) I was born in Vietnam and my family moved to the United States when I was ten years old.

2) I am a biochemistry major with an emphasis on pre-med.

3) I love foooooood.

The three things I have listed pretty much explain why I choose to study abroad in Vietnam with CET. Not only is this a great opportunity for me to enrich my knowledge in the health sector, I also get a chance to revisit my homeland. Considering that it has been 10 years since I have left my homeland, I am really looking forward to see how much things have changed.

My main goals for the semester include learning more about Vietnam’s public health and improving my Vietnamese language. I am actually working on my second goal as I have just arrived in Vietnam very early this morning. As you can see on the picture, I am extremely happy about the food in front of me, a type of dessert called chè khúc bạch thập cẩm along with two other dishes. Fortunately, I still have connections here in Vietnam as some of my relatives still live here. It is such a treat being able to talk with them in Vietnamese while eating this yummy dessert. Unsurprising to me, many of my relatives have told me that my Vietnamese is a bit “broken” and that makes me even more determined to make sure that I improve my Vietnamese language with my two months here.

Despite the hot weather, I am loving Vietnam so far and I know I have made the right decision coming here. I know for a fact that I will gain so much more from this study abroad than I will ever expect and I will go far with my goals than just learning more about Vietnam’s public health or improving my Vietnamese. I aspire to be a physician and this will definitely be an eye-opening experience about community health. Ultimately, I hope to join an organization called Doctors without Borders and I believe this study abroad/internship program is a stepping stone in the right direction. After all, there is so much to see when it comes to a developing country like Vietnam because its public health aspect is constantly changing due to environments. As a bonus, I get to eat great food while learning and seeing all of that.

Enjoying some dessert called chè khúc bạch thập cẩm upon my arrival to Vietnam!

Enjoying some dessert called chè khúc bạch thập cẩm upon my arrival to Vietnam!