I’ve never done so much in such a short amount of time. From the first day in Saigon, I met the other U.S. students, and international students and toured the city! I went about five days without sleeping at the beginning of the trip and lost my voice, but it was worth it. The time I made exploring the city, and making friends, and jet lag made the trip so enjoyable.

I was enrolled at RMIT for a photography class and it was amazing. It was a study tour class so we would go out in the city to take pictures, sometimes even waking up at five for a six am class! I met a bunch of international students and we went out at night to eat, or play pool, or dance. We even booked Air bnbs on an island off the coast of Vietnam for a long weekend. As well as going to Cambodia for another long weekend.

Saigon was amazing to study abroad in because of its close proximity to other countries as well as it’s vast number of things to do. There are good party spots if you want to party. There are quiet gardens and pagodas to visit if you are looking for something more peaceful. The city has a lot of food, Korean, American, Chinese, German, and of course Vietnamese. And that’s just what I know of. The locals are very nice and although they do not know a lot of English it is easy to communicate.

I choose to go through CIS because they had a program that I was interested in for a lower price then my first study abroad. CIS also has an onsite program advisor who was very helpful from the beginning of the trip to the end. The whole trip really made me think about how America is seen in a more worldly view. As well as locals asking questions, the other international students were curious about our culture and political system. I even learned about the Vietnam War and all about the things that they do not teach us in US history class.

I learned how to be more open and adventurous. I learned how to feel comfortable going around the city with just myself and a camera and getting to know locals. I went on trips outside of the country on weekends to explore and strengthen friendships with the people around me. I came out of this trip a happy, more confident person in my outlook on things as well as exploring what I like to do and what makes me happy. I would always advise anyone to take the chance and see the world. You will discover things about not just the wonders around us but about who you are.

Rhiannon Ong-Halleron is majoring in Psychology and spent Summer, 2019 studying abroad in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam through CISabroad. Rhiannon previously studied abroad in Amman, Jordan in the Summer of 2018. Rhiannon had the following to say about study abroad, “Always go for it! There’s nothing like going to another country, walking around with new friends trying out new food. Every place is a new experience that will fill you with memories you’ll never forget. What other chance in your life will you get to study in another country of your choice?”

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