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Conner Macinnis' Story

Conner Macinnis in Vietnam in 2023

When I received the email about the NSCC exchange program, I knew I had to participate in this incredible opportunity. Honestly, I had no clue what to anticipate, and the thought of spending two weeks with strangers on the other side of the world made me quite nervous.

As a student in NSCC's Business Administration program, I was familiar with social entrepreneurship, but I had little knowledge about Vietnam's economy or what to expect on this journey.

After a long journey, during which I had the chance to get to know the NSCC companions who would be my travel buddies for the next two weeks, we finally got to Ho Chi Minh City. On our first full day in Vietnam, the students from Tra Vinh University, along with Mrs. Anh, picked us up from our hotel. Right away I noticed how welcoming and patient the students were. Initially, the language barrier was a little challenging, making it difficult for everyone to fully understand and express themselves. However, as we gradually got to know one another and, in my case, made a conscious effort to speak more slowly and avoid slang, communication became effortless. Within a remarkably short period, we discovered so much about each other's cultures, families, friends, and even ourselves.

Each day, our group grew closer and more comfortable with one another. Everyday was a new adventure, a new memory, a new joke, and a new interest we learned about each other. I expected to make new friends on the trip, but I didn’t expect to learn so much about each other in such a short period.

The personal growth I experienced during this journey is immeasurable. Stepping out of my comfort zone, immersing myself in a foreign culture, and building meaningful connections with individuals from different backgrounds expanded my horizons in ways I could never have imagined.

I almost immediately knew my decision to participate in the NSCC & TVU exchange program was one of the best choices I have ever made. The NSCC & TVU students, facility, and Vietnam in general have opened my eyes to the beauty of cultural diversity, the power of human connection, and the endless possibilities that lie beyond our comfort zones. I am forever grateful for the incredible experiences shared with my newfound friends, and the memories we created together will forever shape the person I am becoming.