Cooper Martin ’18 is no stranger to things international. His mom, Angela Kearns ‘92, worked as a John Bapst houseparent, allowing him to live with and develop strong friendships with many international students. When his good friend Tien from Vietnam and his family suggested that Cooper visit his hometown of Ho Chi Minh City, Cooper knew that this was an experience he couldn’t pass up.
After flying internationally for the first time, 17-year-old Cooper landed in Vietnam, and over the course of three weeks he and Tien visited Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Quy Nhon. It was Cooper’s first time leaving the U.S. He felt welcomed and excited to see all that Vietnam has to offer. He was particularly fascinated by the blend of deep-rooted historical elements, modern architecture, and developing technologies. One of his favorite experiences was exploring the vast open markets of Hanoi and learning the history of Vietnam’s capital. Experiencing the city’s seemingly chaotic traffic, exploring the countryside’s beautiful landscapes, and dining on delicious Pho, a classic Vietnamese noodle bowl dish, were all highlights of the trip.
The trip left him with a taste for international adventure and perhaps an international career. Cooper offers this advice to any other visitors to Vietnam: “Always have sunblock, keep an open mind, and be willing to explore outside of your comfort zone.”