Alyse Tran ’18 studied herbal medicine in Vietnam


Alyse Tran ’18 researches Vietnamese herbal medicine outside of Ho Chi Minh City. Printed with permission of Alyse Tran ’18.

Saba Nia

After receiving the Asia Initiative Fellowship, Alyse Tran ’18 studied herbal medicine in Vietnam this summer for her HWGo! project. Tran said that she wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to connect to her heritage while pursuing one of her interests.

Though Tran spent the majority of her trip in Ho Chi Minh City, she also visited the countryside to get away from urban facilities with their high-tech, modern machines and materials, and surround herself in authentic practices.

“I realized that a country like Vietnam, very agrarian and rural, shouldn’t be underrated as a country in terms of culture and medicine. Even though it’s not super advanced in medicine, it shouldn’t be overlooked,” Tran said. “I also think it was amazing to see how charitable the people I was working with were because they’re not being paid, and rather doing it for the love of helping people.”

Tran’s project, a video that chronicled her trip, will be presented to the school in the coming weeks. She said that she enjoyed the opportunity and recommends that more students apply for a HWGo! fellowship.

“It was a very humbling experience that changed me and also made me realize more my passion for medicine,” Tran said. “It also allows us to experience new cultures.”