Adventures in Southeast Asia

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By Tamara Stone

Imagine spinning a globe and placing your finger on a remote and exotic location. That’s basically what junior Olivia Joyce ’13 did in deciding to go to Vietnam for study abroad.

‘I had always thought I would want to go to Europe. But when it came time to decide where I wanted to spend a term, I decided to take the leap and go somewhere unique, for a once in a lifetime experience.’

A studio art minor, Joyce knew she wanted to go on a program related to the arts. In Vietnam, she had the opportunity to meet with famous photographers as well as hone her photography skills.

‘The experience was unlike anything I’ve ever had,’ she explained. Joyce described biking through narrow dirt bike paths whilst attempting to balance her camera. She had the opportunity to experience both the booming city life of Vietnam and the quieter, quainter rice fields of the country. She did yoga in the park, ate local foods from food carts, and learned to speak Vietnamese. ‘People are so friendly! You can’t walk even four or five minutes without people talking to you and trying to practice English,’ Joyce described.

When asked about the food, she admitted she had never had Vietnamese food before leaving on her term abroad trip. ‘The food is all fresh! It was really good; definitely something I would now eat at home if I found a Vietnamese restaurant,’ she said.

‘I had an absolutely incredible time on the trip. I only wish I had had the opportunity to visit some of the neighboring countries like Thailand and Cambodia. I definitely hope to make it back. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.’

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