Travel grants: Volunteering in Vietnam

Kaarina Aho (2013, Natural Sciences)

I was lucky enough to spend last summer in Hanoi as a volunteer intern at the Asian Management and Development Institute. I spent my weeks working on loads of great projects, with responsibilities ranging from drafting project proposals to brainstorming solutions for briefs set by the Vietnamese government.

My favourite project involved developing radio broadcasts to educate farmers in rural Vietnam about the risks that climate change posed to their livelihoods and how they could be minimised.

With the help of many overnight trains, I also managed to fit lots of travelling around my work schedule. Highlights included kayaking around Ha Long Bay, visiting the lantern market in Hoi An and (very unskillfully) motorbiking around the countryside of Ninh Binh.

Without the support of the college travel fund, there’s no way I could have taken up a voluntary position on the other side of the world – but funding from St Catharine’s meant that I was able to combine fascinating (and CV-building!) work with an unforgettable travelling experience.  This internship was the perfect way to gain experience working abroad, and it was without a doubt the coolest thing I have ever done.