Vietnam / Cambodia / Thailand

Studying abroad has been incredibly interesting so far. Specifically, the connections that I have made and the variances that I have seen in lifestyle between regions.In each city that we have been in I have tried my best to make a connection with those around me. In Vietnam, I really enjoyed getting to know the tour guides. In Siem reap, it was fun to go out and talk to the village people on my own. For example, talking to the people at the markets and going back to the same lady twice for my nails at the salon was all nice. And I feel like these random connections gave me more insight into how Cambodians interact. In Phnom Penn I really liked getting to know our tour guides again.  Stopping at Siran’s (our tour guide) house on the way to Phnom Penn was very memorable, I liked talking to him about his wife and kids, and even met his dog. Buntha (another tour guide), I will definitely not forget. Not only was it impactful hearing him share about his personal experience of the Cambodian genocide, but also just in general he was a great person to be around and I felt he was always trying to help inform us better about their culture. Each of the people that we have met on the trip I would enjoy getting to see again and each of them have made an impact on my time during this trip. 

The difference in lifestyle between regions on this trip has also been very interesting. Seeing the difference between the city and the traditional village was really interesting. The city was WAY more advanced than the village, even though not too far from each other. So it was just shocking to me that there was a big difference in regions that were so close in proximity. Also I found that the difference between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh was also dramatic. Siem Reap, I personally felt much safer in and felt that I could just walk around the city and explore easier than in Phnom Penn, where it was less safe and also harder to find simple shops to explore.

I have really enjoyed my time so far abroad and have learned way more than I thought I would. I also have felt at many times a perspective change, especially while in the traditional village and also in the genocide museum and am excited to take these views back home with me and tell others about them.

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