Posted by: viaprograms | October 30, 2009

W.T. Chan Fellow Talks About Her Internship At VIA


Chan fellow and VIA intern Vic Cui (second from left) celebrates the end of the AUSL program with participants at the final dinner

It was 2009 April. Right before I was going to fill out the application form for the 2009 Asia-US Service-Learning Program of VIA, I got the exciting offer of W.T.Chan Fellowships Program. Later in June, as 09 Chan Fellow, I met Ms. Wang Qiushi, a participant from 2008 AUSL program in the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Service-Learning who talked about her exciting experiences in the Bay Area. But it wasn’t until I received my internship placement did I realize the close connection between VIA, Chan Fellowships and my passion for service-learning.

I came to California with a simple goal: Learn more about service-learning and bring it back to China. Since former Fellows emphasized to us with good-intention that don’t expect too much your work would contribute to your organization as a foreign student, this goal was the only thing I keep in mind. But the email from Ben Strong, the Stanford Program Director also my supervisor, with a draft work plan of my entire internship told me that this was a serious job and I was going to learn a lot.

The first two weeks didn’t seem serious at all. I followed the AUSL Program to visit a wild variety of public service organization in Bay Area, listen to leaders about what and why they do, join miscellaneous volunteer activities, discuss and reflect about everyday experience. The vigor and involvement of participants from Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong deeply impressed me. I kept wondering, what kind of program can mingle Asian students with different backgrounds and interests together the same time kindle their passion for public service?

The answers revealed themselves as I became part of AUSL and VIA. There are several things make AUSL one and only. Service-learning focused, energetic college students, intercultural communication environment, peer leadership from Stanford and Asia Coordinators, and it is in one of the most liberal and civic engaging regions–Bay Area. In fact, you can find these components across VIA programs in various forms.

It is a great learning experience to participants and no less for me. Everyday, I’m learning, laughing, getting lost in Stanford or jumping into the huge bean bag in SF office. I can’t think of one reason why I don’t like my internship in VIA.

-Vic Cui, W.T. Chan Fellow/VIA Intern

To learn more about the Chan Fellowship, please visit the Lingnan Foundation website.



  1. very exciting ! I have a strong hope to be one of you guys.

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