My name is Jordan Reabold, and I am currently a student at Peninsula College participating in the BAS in Business Management program online. I opted to conduct this program in a self-motivated study abroad scenario where I have been able to relocate to the Asia Pacific region and work on my courses remotely. So far, I have visited/lived in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam. These experiences have given me the opportunity to apply my cultural and diversified learnings towards my future business practices. I strongly believe in applied knowledge, as opposed to book learning. Because of this methodology, I have gained real world experience, and deal with the constant influx of information about new regions.
Seoul, South Korea
Although it may sound like a dream to some, there have been many challenges associated with diversity, culture, and the constant change of time-zones. I departed Seattle, WA on March 22, 2016, with Tokyo, Japan as my destination. I had two giant luggage pieces and a 50 liter backpack to accompany them. My first thought was, “This isn’t going to work…”. As I landed in Tokyo, I attempted to stay calm. My first issue with not knowing a foreign language came up immediately, and I had my Japanese friends from Peninsula College on speed-dial. However, they were all sleeping due to the 14-hour time-zone difference. Therefore, I had to figure things out, by myself, right away. Luckily, my Airbnb host met me at the airport and took me to his log cabin to stay for the night. Fast-forward a few days, and I started to immediately regret the luggage I had brought with me. I ended up leaving one bag full of clothing in Osaka, and left another piece of luggage in Seoul. Then, I exchanged my large backpack for a 30L hiking pack, and left South Korea for Taiwan. The countries piled up, and so did my wanderlust. I have been in Vietnam since July 18, 2016, mainly due to the cheap cost of living. Now, I am fully immersed in this wonderful culture, and love every minute of it.
I would say the hardest part so far has the been the constant readjustment you have to make when you enter a new country. It is learning the rail systems, how to order food, picking up on the basics of the language, figuring out currency exchange rates, ordering taxis/Grabbike/Uber drivers, and finding the right size clothing (Western vs. Asian). Also, with the time-zone difference, I have had to work on my studies and take tests at odd hours of the night. I have been able to manage well thus far.
One of the only regrets I’ve had is that I didn’t take this risk sooner. The challenges have made me become a stronger person: physically, mentally, and spiritually. Living, loving, and learning are my three components to this vision of success, and I truly hope I am able to impact someone who is considering this route to pursue their relative dreams.
Tien Giang Habitat for Humanity Vietnam building site with Grandma (67) and Great Grandma (87)
Since February 20th, 2017, shortly after the Vietnamese Tet holiday, I began working at Habitat for Humanity Vietnam to fulfill my internship requirements for the BAS program at Peninsula College. I have taken the role of Research, Development and Communications Officer, where I help with social media activities, planning building projects, assisting with volunteers from various schools throughout the country, and being a mentor to children and adults alike.
I was actively involved in one building project in the Tien Giang province along the Mekong Delta southern Vietnam. This building project consisted of a group of 54 students from the St. Paul International School of Hanoi who participated over three days in assisting with the construction of three houses for underprivileged families. I participated in the construction of the homes, as well as conducted interviews and took photographs for a press release from the main office. It was a very rewarding experience, and am glad that the students were able to dedicate their time to this honorable project.
Habitat for Humanity Vietnam Young Leaders Build with St Paul School of Hanoi
I will be spending five months inside of the Ho Chi Minh City regional office, where I will be maintaining relationships with partners, mostly in the educational field, who help with sponsorships and fundraising events. During this time, I hope to expand my knowledge about NGO’s and NPO’s, and enhance efforts to help those who are in dire need of sustainable living.
Jordan has spent most of his adult life trying to find a balance between work, higher education, and social responsibility. He is a highly driven, self-motivated individual who works relentlessly to obtain his goals and dreams. His focus has been to complete his four-year degree through Peninsula College, and wishes to advocate on a global level. His compassion for international students is what moves him to become a better person, because he has seen first-hand how hard those students work towards their educations. He wishes to pursue a Masters in Science in Management and Leadership degree upon completion of the BAS program, and will continue to live abroad while he studies online. Jordan does not believe in the traditional outline mapped for typical individuals, but strives to build and take charge of his own future with alternative methods.