Sierra's Mizzou Winter Break Global Service Trip to Vietnam!

Sierra Soto Start Date: Nov 12, 2017 - End Date: Mar 11, 2018
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

My Travel Story

by: Sierra Soto Start Date: Nov 12, 2017 - End Date: Mar 11, 2018
Hello! My name is Sierra Soto, a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be traveling to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam over my winter break for the 2017-2018 school year. This trip is organized through MU's Global Service department, and I'm so lucky to be apart of it. We have a few different things that we'll be focused on while abroad such as:
  • Providing care, educational enrichment and companionship for orphan children suffering from HIV.
  • Providing support, attention and care for children who have no family or home.
  • Teaching English as well as interacting and providing support/companionship for blind and intellectually disabled children.
  • Teaching English, mentorship, leadership and athletic activities for poor and at-risk youth.
As an English major with a passion for travel, this is essentially a dream come true. I dream of traveling the world, seeing every inch of it, and Vietnam is such a beautiful place that I can't wait to take in. I've been to London and Spain, but never to Asia. That's what is going to make this first trip there even more special- I'm so excited to experience a new culture and to interact with the children there while doing some real community service during my stay. In addition, prior to our service abroad, I will also take a pre-departure course that will help me to better understand Vietnam's history, culture, politics, and more. This course along with my time abroad will ultimately help my academic endeavors as well when I receive academic credit for it next semester. But, ultimately, I don't want to travel just for academics or tourism. I want to make an impact during my time in this new place and even if I can just play with the kids as silly entertainment, I know my journey will have been successful.

I've decided to reach out to others to help me with this trip because my financial aid will not cover the entire cost of the program. I have my financial aid package working towards this as well as the rest of my classes for next semester. So while the tuition for the course will be most likely be paid off through financial aid, things such as airfare and program fees are additional expenses I'll need to cover. I'm continuing to apply for scholarships outside of my university, but there is no guarantee I'll receive any aid there.

I currently work at Starbucks and have saved money away from my summer job, but I'm still a full-time student who isn't able to work as much as I'd like. I'm thankful for any sort of donation, or even simply words of encouragement, and would love to talk to you more about the trip and all I hope to accomplish while I'm there.

I'm so happy to begin this next adventure, and I'm grateful for your help to get me there. Thank you!
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam