Việt Nam is located in South-East Asia with roughly 91.5 million citizens. The nation is in what it calls Đổi Mới or ‘renovation’ which has opened its economy and allowed for a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization which have also increased income and gender inequalities. Despite these reforms, the majority of the population is still heavily invested in the agricultural sector, and improvements tend to be segregated in urban areas. The nation is also facing increasingly high rates of transmission of sexual diseases, environmental degradation, overfishing, groundwater pollution, and rapid urban migration, which will pose significant complications for future years.

Akua Asare Anim

My name is Akua Asare Anim, originally from the beautiful city Accra Ghana. I am interested in human rights, and development and tourism. This Fall, I will be doing my 8 month placement with the Microfinance and community development Institute in Hanoi Vietnam. Apart from school, I enjoy interior decorating,traveling,learning new languages and swimming.


Alex Oladapo Olajide

My name is Alex Oladapo Olajide. I am originally from the city of Lagos in South Western Nigeria. I am a 4th year student studying International Development at the University of Waterloo. Starting this September, I will be working with the Vietnam Cleaner Production Centre (VNCPC) based in Hanoi for a period of eight months. I will be working in the capacity of junior project officer. As a junior project officer, I will be consulting with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the Hanoi area, suggesting cleaner production techniques, and devising ways to reduce their solid waste. My main area of interest lies is the field of urban planning for developing countries; specializing in issues pertaining to transportation, infrastructure, housing, waste management, land use, and urban administration.

Alyssa Hurst

After being strongly influenced by the lakes surrounding my hometown of Orillia, Ontario I will be travelling to Hanoi, Vietnam to continue my love for water. Aside from my fairly recent obsession with oceans, my interests include reading, playing sports, and travelling. In the future I hope to have a job that incorporates my interests in environment, human health, law and policy.


Christian McCuaig

My name is Christian, and I am very glad that you have stumbled upon our website and stayed long enough to find us on this page. When I am not doing something school-related (which is fun for us folk, because international development rocks) you might find me somewhere in the great outdoors, or perhaps inside reading a book, working on some artwork, or practicing an instrument. For my field placement I am extremely grateful to be able to be part of the Microfinance and Community Development Institute in Hanoi, Vietnam where I will be contributing to its rapidly developing ecotourism program (and probably observing the actual workings of development with wonder and awe.) I hope you decide to stick around and keep yourself updated, as this is sure to be an incredible experience for us all!

Branden Bouchard

Daniel Chevalier

After spending the first 18 years of my life living in Brampton, Ontario, my interest in protecting the environment and changing the world brought to me to uWaterloo to study International Development. Coming this September, I will be working at the Centre for Marine Life Conservation and Community Development in Hanoi, Vietnam. I enjoy being outdoors, trying new things and playing guitar.


Derek Chiang

My name is Derek(Meng-Ju) Chiang, I’m an international student from Taiwan. I’m planning to go to Vietnam for my field placement next year, where I will try to use my economic and Indev background to improve there living quality.


Heather Cesarini

Growing up in Hamilton, Ontario, I have developed a deep love and appreciation for arts and culture and community development. In September, I will be fortunate enough to travel to Hanoi, Vietnam to work with the Vietnam Women’s Union.  This placement will allow me to engage my passion in advancing women’s rights. I am also interested in returning to a more simplistic and self-sufficient lifestyle, fueling my participation in craft and homesteading activities such as sewing and canning and preserving.

Madiha Vallani

I am originally from Coquitlam, British Columbia. I made my way over to Waterloo, Ontario three years ago for the International Development program. I am particularly interested in international development from the environmental perspective. Some of my interests include the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, and women’s development. In September, I will be travelling to Hanoi, Vietnam to work for the Center for Water Resource Conservation and Development (WARECOD). This organization particularly focuses on the sustainable use of water, and has partnered with various other local, national, and international organizations, creating a solid foundation for itself. I am very excited to embark upon this journey and to learn from a country I have never been to before.

Nafis Karim 

I’m originally from Bangladesh, but grew up in Burma, and will be going to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for my field placement. My interests include Microfinance and Environmental Assessments. I enjoy watching Dr. Who, listening to Florence Welch, and reading up on the latest technological advances. I hope one day to run my own international EA firm assessing the impacts of development projects.


Stephanie Higgs

I’m from Northern Ontario and grew up with a wild imagination. I have a strong passion for human rights, women’s rights, women’s health, and rural issues from which I believe has helped shape who I am. I’m ecstatic to be heading to Hue, Vietnam to work with the Center for Sustainable Rural Development where I will learn more about development and myself.


Victoria Lam 

My name is Victoria Lam, Vicky for short. If I were to describe myself in three words, they would be: quirky, dedicated, and dependable. I am currently attending the University of Waterloo for International Development. In September 2012, I will be embarking to Hanoi, Vietnam to work for the Hoa Sua Vocational School for Disadvantaged Youth. I am very excited to work with such an influential and independent organization, and I can only hope to learn more about child development from this placement! My interests include child development and education, gender equality, and natural disaster mitigation. I also enjoy long walks on the beach (just kidding, not every girl like that).


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