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An Vo sharing her internship experience in Abu Dhabi | 03 mei 2019

My very first month in Abu Dhabi

Hello everyone! My name is An and I am an international student at Hotel Management School Maastricht. I come from the lovely country of Vietnam. I am currently on my internship in the Middle East, or more specifically in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I have been to the UAE once a few years ago and was charmed by the culture and diversity of the land. Hence, I want to take this internship to experience the country known for its innovation and high class. Andddd, I would love to share my stories with you guys!

The melting pot of Asia

One thing I should have told myself before I came to Abu Dhabi is that despite being in Asia, UAE is really different from the rest of the continent. Only around 19% of the population is actually from the UAE, which makes the country a “hot-pot” of diverse nationalities throughout the world. In the St. Regis Abu Dhabi, where I am working as a Food and Beverage Intern, most of the employees come from India, Indonesia and the Philippines. I have not met a single person from far oriental Asia like Vietnam, China or Japan, whose environment is most comfortable to me. In short, I am having the chance to discover several exotic cultures within this huge continent.

All of my co-workers are very nice and warm-hearted and each one of them carries a different motto in life. My non-religious Indian friend supports the life of freedom and new experiences. My Muslim Indonesian friends, like the Emiratis, believe in life under the light of Allah and the Qur’an, and completely free from alcohol and cigarettes. My Christian Filipino friends cherish the Christmas dinner with their family more than anything. Regardless of all the difference in beliefs, every one of my colleagues is very welcoming and super gracious to a new young girl from Vietnam, me!

Explore Abu Dhabi

On my day off, I usually take the company bus to the malls, having some coffee, going shopping, and wandering the Corniche boulevard under the lovely spring sunlight of Abu Dhabi.

I am also planning to visit some local souk markets and historical landmarks in my next days off. Louvre, Yas Water World, Ferrari World, Heritage Village, and more… All of these are still in my to-visit list that need to be checked off in the next few months!

Thoughts on the future

I love my first month here in Abu Dhabi! Although there would always be some obstacles on the way, I can really see that I will have 5 more wonderful months here in this lovely city. After my internship, I think that one day I’ll return to the UAE, as a tourist or maybe even as a professional, who knows where life will lead us, right?

I would legitimately recommend the UAE to be considered as an internship destination to all the folks that are still wondering where they should go next semester. And to my mates who are currently being around the world on their internships, have a great time and make the most of your chance!

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