Teachers 2011

Danielle Sherman turns learning English phonemes into a game at Can Tho.


danielle-shermanDanielle Sherman had dual concentrations in Literature and Latin American Studies at Bard College, where she earned a B.A. degree in 2010.  During the fall of her junior year she studied at several universities in Buenos Aires and wrote a thesis on contemporary Jewish literature in that city.  In her senior year, Danielle participated in Bard’s New Orleans Project, teaching arts and reading to elementary-school children.

Danielle chose to apply to teach in Vietnam “because I suspected that I might not wind up this part of the world if I didn’t go out and seek it, because it is a country that I know very little about, and because it seems the best way to learn more is by being there.”  She is teaching at Can Tho University, in the Mekong Delta.






Terrence Word graduated from Wesleyan University in the spring of 2011, having majored in mathematics and French Studies.  In his junior year he studied for a semester in Aix-en-Province, where he also helped local college students improve their English.  During his college years, Terrence climbed the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska, coached mountain biking, rowed on Oberlin’s crew team, taught high school students math, and worked as a sous chef in Colorado.  His interest in Vietnam stems from contacts with Vietnamese on the staff of his elementary-school, in Albuquerque.  But he also became curious about the country after hearing his father’s stories from the time he had spent there in the military.

Terrence is also teaching English at Can Tho University, in the Mekong Delta.




dan-holmDan Holm studied history at Oberlin College, graduating in 2011 with high honors.  He also was a member of the men’s swimming and diving team years and, as captain, helped sustain this program during a time of transition.  He writes: “One of the most appealing prospects about teaching in Vietnam is that it presents a purpose in and of itself.  As an English teacher, you’re empowering other people to help relate with the rest of the world and help both them and their country.”  Dan is joining his fellow Oberlin alumnus, Theo Reuter, at Da Lat University.

Jillian Primiano explains why she returned to Vietnam for a second year of teaching.

Danielle and Terrence at CTU

Danielle Sherman and Terrence Word are teaching this year at Can Tho University.

In her winning essay for the Nancy O’Keefe Bolick scholarship, Danielle, a graduate of Bard College, wrote:

It recently occurred to me for the first time that my trip here could probably be called an “adventure” and that, indeed, most of my family and friends had been calling it that for some time now, saying enviously “It sounds like a great adventure!”   I had never actually considered this seriously, or thought about what it meant, until one afternoon when I was lying in bed, under my bug net, staring up at the ceiling fan and the palm trees outside my window.  I thought about my students telling me how they feel about politics in their country,  or politics in America, or their dreams for the future.  I thought about the children who run around yelling “Hello!” every time I walk by.  I was in Vietnam.  I was in Vietnam, and I was lying in bed and it felt…how did it feel?  It felt completely normal and yet so adventurous, at the same time.  Maybe now I have an answer to that question, “How do you feel?”

Dan and Theo near Da Lat Crazy House

Dan Holm and Theo Reuter taking a day off to visit the ‘Crazy House’ in Da Lat.