*IMDB, please don’t sue me for doing a blog post like a movie review*

SALT (2018-2019) 10/10 ⭐️

PG-14 | 8,184 hours or 11 months | Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Documentary | February 15 (Canada, United States)

20-year-old Natasha Neustaedter Barg takes a gap year to fulfill her practicum requirement for CMU, travel the world, and learn and serve as a teacher in Vietnam.

Directors: Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)
Writers: MCC and Natasha Neustaedter Barg
Starring: Natasha Neustaedter Barg, Sun, Rain, Food, and Students

Cast:
Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Neustaedter Barg . . . starring herself

Storyline

A burnt-out university student wants a change of scenery, so she decides to volunteer for a year as an English teacher in Vietnam with MCC’s Serving and Learning Together (SALT) program. Natasha heads out for a week of training in Pennsylvania, where she meets forty other Canadians and Americans serving worldwide. She befriends people going to Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Honduras, Egypt, Lebanon, South Korea, and South Africa. Fellow ‘SALTers’ will work as librarians, teachers, nurses, baristas, designers, grant writers, editors, and more. In Pennsylvania, Natasha meets Evelyn, another “SALTer” flying to Vietnam with her. Evelyn will also be working as a teacher. It is while bonding over lesson planning that she and Natasha become good friends. Evelyn is not from a Mennonite background, which leads to new conversations between the two friends. Upon arriving in Vietnam, they have language lessons for a month before moving to Viet Tri to begin teaching. Evelyn and Natasha visit cafes, temples, and nature reserves in their area. Natasha teaches kids in grades 6-9 in the morning and grades 3 and 4 in the afternoon throughout the eleven months. As her year progresses, we see Natasha be a judge at English competitions, go on multiple photoshoots with other teachers, and come to love her city. Her year is filled with delicious food, exploring, tons of lesson planning, and discovering that it is possible to call a place vastly different than your own home.

Plot Summary | Synopsis
Plot Keywords: practicum | friendship | growth | travel | food | adventure | teaching

Did you know?

Trivia:
– At CMU, your SALT year can count for up to 9 credit hours and fulfill your practicum requirement!
– You don’t have to be a Mennonite to do SALT!
– Don’t have a teacher’s degree or a communications degree? You can still do SALT!
– Although the application deadline for SALT was February 15, applications will still be considered!
– How do I learn more about SALT? MCC’s website, of course! Visit mccmb.ca/SALT.

Quotes:
– “SALT is awesome!”
– “Are you a salty SALTer?”
– “I can do it as my practicum?? Woah!”
– “Practicums are cool”
– “I am so grateful I got to see how what I’m learning is practical and helpful outside of class too!”

Natasha Neustaedter Barg is a 4th year Social Sciences student.