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Off-Campus Study

Notes from Abroad: Marti in Vietnam

Marti Rosen ’19 is an Environmental Studies major with a minor in Theater studying in Vietnam.

My name is Marti Rosen and I am currently studying at International University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for my Junior year of college. This is my first time out of the states, and I was a little nervous, but once I arrived I was quick to adapt. The traffic and weather was the most difficult part of this country to get used to. Typical summer days in Chicago are not enjoyable for me, but now that I’m living in a country that’s always scorching, the hot weather does not bother me anymore. I’ve only been living here one month and I can already see myself positively changing. A few weeks ago my heart fluttered a great deal trying to cross the busy street every day for class (cars and motorbikes do not yield to pedestrians!) but now I strut confidently into the street with no problems. There is not a single person here that I’ve met who is not friendly and welcoming!

One of my long-term goals during this trip was to teach English… and now I’m actually doing it! I teach twice a week to four students. I am so grateful that I am able to be here and it is extraordinarily fulfilling to have the opportunity to teach, especially with the help of the Spero Fund that I was generously awarded. They’re even teaching me a little Vietnamese! I’ve come across a few language difficulties here and there, but a majority of the people here speak a bit of English. Even if they don’t, I find ways to communicate, like showing them a picture of what I want on my phone.

A year ago, I never thought that I would be riding motorbikes everywhere, hiking through the jungle, and eating delicious, cheap food like I’m doing now. Although I’ve had to jump over a few hurdles in the process, it was incredibly worth it! Now, I’m interested in studying abroad for Grad school.