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Ing. Helena Valentová, Brno University of Technology, ročník 5

Faculty Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Field of study Energy Engineering
Field of internship Education
Specialization of InternshipEducation, General
Internship period (from - to) 10.9.2022-5.1.2023
Internship duration (weeks) 16
Transport (means, price) 40 000 Kč (last minute change of fligts due to visa)
Insurance/Insurance company AXA
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) Yes
Price of Visa 2 000 Kč
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Vietnam, Thai Nguyen
Internship reference number VN/2022-ISTNU-01

About the country

Location of the place

In Thai Nguyen lives about 300 000 people and it is located one and a half hours from Hanoi. It is not a popular tourist place, but it is famous for it's tea. There is not much to see, but during my stay I visited two temples.
In the city there were not many foreigners from Europe or America, but there were people from other Asian countries.


It is really hard to get around the town without a motorbike because it is not easy to get oriented with local buses and if you do they still don't go on time

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

Most of the time I traveled alone. I visited famous places in northern Vietnam like Hanoi, Ninh Bing, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, Ban Gioc waterfalls, Bac Ninh. I also went on two school trips, one to Ba Vi national park and the second to Phuong Hoang cave.
For ordering a bus I used a Vexere app, it was the only app/website I could find in English. But you must be prepared that the driver will call in Vietnamese, so most of the time I hang up the phone and write them a message through google translate.



ISTNU: International School of Thai Nguyen University.

Work description

For the first three weeks I didn't get any work. I asked multiple times, but they always told me it would be the next day. So you have to be patient. I should teach environmental science, but they only assigned me English lessons. The teacher who was responsible for me sent me a list of topics I should prepare and she watched me during my first lesson and after that I taught by myself only. From the start it was a little bit challenging because I didn't know the English level of the students and I prepared too difficult questions for them. Most of the students had A1 or A2 level. I asked for the environmental part of the internship again and again and finally received just 4 lessons with the students and it was more about English than about the environment. But I had a lot of free time.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

The salary was 2 500 000 vnd for a month. I got the salary in cash after my internship ended. When I got my salary I was surprised, that there is a 20 % tax, so keep that in mind and the school didn't want to pay me the salary for the first three weeks I was waiting for the job, but after I complained they changed it.
For me the salary was not enough but I can imagine that some people I capable of living on the budget the whole month.
As an English teacher it is really easy to find another job in one of the local private schools, if you need more money.

Language requirements

My English is not the best I am not a linguistic person at all. But my B2 English was sufficient enough for teaching because the people in Vietnam do not have good English. Some of the students had really nice English but it was mostly an exception. And other than in the universities pretty much no one speaks English. Google translate really saved my life and I also learn some basic Vietnamese phrases and numbers.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

I lived in a guest room at the school. I was pleasantly surprised. I had my own room with a double bed and a private bathroom. There was also a shared kitchen and laundry room. The accommodation was free.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

I was pick up at the airport by one of the students from ISTNU. I spend one day with other IAESTE students from Hanoi and members at the beginning of the internship.

Meeting other foreign students

From the previous experience I've read I thought there will be other interns but I was there alone.
As I mentioned above in Thai Nguyen it is not really easy to find other foreigners. At the school there were many students from East Timor, but they talk to each other mostly.

Sport and culture

I visited together with IAESTE students museum of cultural minorities in Thai Ngyuyen. I also noticed cinemas and gyms but I didn't visit any of them.

Food, local specialties

Eating outside is really cheap. Just the hygiene standards are different from Europe. I am not sure if it is a local specialty but it is common to see a dog on a grill.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

I was communicating with my family and friends through Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp. Mobile data are cheap - around 100 Kč for 90GB per month. The wifi in my room didn't work, so I had to buy an internet cable to my computer and then it was fine.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Get all the vaccination you need. I didn't have enough time to get a vaccine for rabies and I was scared every time a wild dog came to me.
The culture in Vietnam is completely different.
The people there are not punctual at all. I am a person who is always on time, so this was a big struggle for me because I was waiting for someone all the time. Generally the country is less organized especially when it comes to traffic.
On the other hand people were really friendly. They like to invite you for dinner or they enjoy giving gifts, which is very nice. But sometimes strangers were too much friendly. I stood up I am a foreigner and I have purple hair so random people wanted to touch me because of it.
I recommend you ask about the visa ahead. Because I asked 20 days before my arrival if they prepared them and my visa was ready just one day before my departure, but during that time I already canceled my flight ticket.

What not to forget with you

Medication. When I was sick it was pretty hard for me to communicate with the pharmacist.

Benefits of the internship

I gained totally different perspective on life and I learned how to be more patient and how to change plans quickly.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

I didn't cooperate much with IAESTE. I was mostly communicating with the people from the university.

Overall experience with IAESTE

Even though sometimes it was really hectic and disorganized I think about the IAESTE in a positive way because it gave me a great opportunity to experience daily life in Vietnam.

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