So I’ve (hopefully) managed to pack everything I could possibly need for three months into two suitcases. As part of my preparation for this expedition, I talked to a lot of people who have spent time in Vietnam and around Asia to pick their brains for tips and advice, starting a few months ago when I found out I would be completing this internship. Getting here was by far the longest I’ve traveled anywhere out of state in both time and distance. I’d traveled around Europe for a couple weeks at a time but never to Asia, and certainly nowhere close to a three month appointment. I don’t think even while an undergrad that I went three months without a single visit home. And Eugene to Portland is only 100 miles.
The itinerary: Portland to Vancouver to Guangzhou to Ho Chi Minh City—an odd plan which was mostly the result of college student budget limitations. Luckily, I was able to apply for and receive a generous grant from the Freeman Fellowship through the Center for Asia Pacific Studies, which helps cover much of the travel and preparation costs. I also tend to over-plan at times: I figured out that if I did that flight, based on the airline and flight leg, I’d be in an airplane seat with 1.5 inches more room and with eight extra degrees of seat recline than the alternative flight. I’m a details guy, perhaps to an annoying degree.
Luckily I wasn’t alone as I logged all these air miles. I was glad to have a few classmates traveling with me that are beacons of positivity and cheerfulness. Dana Buice (on the right in the accompanying photo) comes to the program from a biomedical engineering background and makes me feel dumb on a fairly regular basis. Next is Mary Sabino, our resident visual merchandising expert with a ton of experience at Nike retail locations. Finally, Katy Fitzgerald, already the proud owner of a master of exercise science degree, is a former U.S. National Team lacrosse player. So I’m in pretty good company as demonstrated in this picture taken during our layover and subsequent typhoon delay in the Guangzhou airport.
After one last flight from that point, it was through customs and on to our individual stops. For me, that meant another two-plus hour car ride. But I didn’t mind, I was just glad to be on the ground. On the plus side, the long flights mean I am caught up on all the movies I didn’t have time to see during spring term.
—Brian Warner, MS '17, UO Sports Product Management
Read Previous Post