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August 5, 2021

Reflection from ACU student Nasradin Hassan

“I am currently studying a Bachelor of International Development Studies and this virtual internship is an immersion experience as part of the International Development Studies degree. I was paired with OIC Cambodia, a small NGO working to grow a speech therapy profession in Cambodia.

There, I was tasked with looking at behaviour change communication regarding speech therapy and swallowing. I worked with the OIC team for approximately 6 weeks. A challenge that I faced during the immersion was talking about the Khmer Rouge and how it influences parental and caregiving. Before the presentation, we met with Executive Director, Chanda, to gain some assistance and I felt uncomfortable as I did not know the appropriate way of talking about the influence of Khmer rouge on parents.

At the start of the immersion, I was lost and confused, however, Ruth made me feel comfortable by discussing ways that work for me and my partner. We had weekly tasks, and this made the assignment easy as we were aware of the tasks that needed to be completed before the next week. Furthermore, it allowed us to get continuous feedback from Ruth which boosted our confidence as it gave us a guide.

I also found the weekly meeting with the AVI team really helpful. I was able to talk to Christina about anything and not just assignment related. I felt empowered and supported during the 6 week immersion.

We have been studying development and grassroots work in developing countries, but this was my first time working with an overseas NGO. I feel like I learned a lot, including how NGOs operate and the work they do. With the confidence I gained I was able to contribute to their future BCC project.

It is important for AVI to run these virtual internships because it encourages personal growth and allows for the experience of different cultures. It also helps expand networks and may even present career opportunities as the international experience give you a competitive edge.

Overall, I am satisfied with the immersion program and gain a lot of things due to my openness to learn about different cultures.”

Nasradin Hassan – ACU Student
Remote student placement



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