The Other Side of the World

Hello everyone! My name is Chris Parker, and I am a freshman industrial engineering major in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. This summer, from May 6 to May 20, I will travel to Vietnam to explore the “economic, social, and environmental impacts of globalization.” Over these fifteen days, I will study cultures, customs, and business practices in a vastly different environment than the one I have grown up in. I am incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the world in this way.

I grew up in a rural town called New Tripoli, outside of Allentown, PA. Although I loved the community I lived in, there was not a lot going on most of the time. I moved to Pittsburgh so that I might have more opportunities, both in my career and in my personal life. Even though I have spent less than a year here at this point, I have definitely taken advantage of the excitement of an urban setting, and I believe I made a great choice in selecting a university at which to study engineering.

This study abroad experience will allow me to grow as a professional and as a person. International experience is so vital in our world of high-speed communication, and is especially important in the field of industrial engineering. This study of foreign practices will not only bestow upon me knowledge about Vietnam, but will also give me a new perspective with which to look at the practices of the West. I have no doubt that these fifteen days will compose one of the most beneficial times of my life.

-Chris Parker

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