Looking back on Vietnam by Marika Lee

I have been back in the U.S. for a little over a week, but it feels like it has been so much longer. Working on the Global Leadership Center project was stressful and took up a lot of my time in Vietnam – I don’t miss working on a project for six or more hours a day. What I do miss is the experience and the people I met and became friends with.

Going to Vietnam was a culture shock that not a lot of people get to experience. Everything is so different from the U.S. that after coming back, some things just seem werid. The first time driving with no one honking or zooming around my car on motorbikes is one example.

Although riding a motorbike down a Nha Trang street and doing Vietnamese kaoroke are memories from the trip that I will never forgot, the people that I did those activities  with are more memorable. When we  first met our Vietnamese teammates, it was a little awkward. However, by the end of the trip we were all friends and had a very tearful good-bye on the steps of our hotel.

Making friends is not one of the main advertising points of any abaord program, but I think it should be. I now have a group of friends in Vietnam and people to go back and visit in the future. The project was informative, the culture was a shock, the food was good, but new friends were the best part of my time in Vietnam.


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