Welcome to my life chronicled via blog entries.

My name is Randi Wilson and I am going to be a Senior this Fall at Illinois Wesleyan University. Through my school, I applied for the Freeman Asia Internship Program and got placed at the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in Metro Manila, Philippines. The Freeman Internship Program covers airfare, housing, visa costs, and includes a living allowance for students who receive the funding. That is a CRAZY good deal considering you get to go to Asia for (basically) free and get an amazing learning experience out of it at the same time.

I am going to be living in Metro Manila for 2 months, June 7 – August 5. During this time I will be working in the Business Development Unit at FNRI. Right now I am not sure what I will be doing on a day-to-day basis, but I do know that I will be preparing and attending a couple of seminars during my time there. I have mostly worked on the data collection side of research so I am excited to see this research in action.

As the name of this blog suggests, I am going to be “A Vegan Abroad in Manila.” I have been told that this may be a challenge for me at times due to the culture. It seems like a lot of meals center around fish since the Philippines is made up of all islands. I have also been advised by my travel doctor that the only fruits that I should be eating are bananas and oranges due to their thick skin. All other fruits/vegetables I need to thoroughly wash myself in bottled water to ensure they are disease free. I may just eat oatmeal for two months…wish me luck.

Below is a link to an article about all of the IWU Freeman Asia Interns for 2017. This year we have 34 students, the most that IWU has ever sent, interning in Asian countries thanks to a $400,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation.


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