Xin chào! Hello! My name is Amanda Zelnis, and I am currently a Freshman at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. I am pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering with an Engineering for Humanity certificate. Outside of school, I am the international lead for the University of Pittsburgh’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders. After college I hope to put my engineering skills to use by working at a non-profit/service organization.
The only country I have been to outside of the United States is Canada (does that even count?). However, in less than two weeks I will be departing on a 30-hour trip to the other side of the globe. I am going to Vietnam for 2 weeks, and I could not be more excited! Learning about the country’s history, culture, businesses, and development in our Plus 3 pre-departure classes has left me eager to experience everything in person. I can’t wait to learn the Vietnamese’s six-toned language, experience the vibrant floating markets in the Mekong Delta, crawl through the Cu Chi tunnels, meet and bond with the Vietnamese students from the University of Economics and Finance, and so much more! I whole-heartedly hope to push myself out of my comfort zone to try new foods, activities, and everything that Vietnam has to offer. Moreover, I chose the Plus 3 Vietnam program because I am interested in development around the world, and, more specifically, how engineering impacts development around the world. I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the fast-paced development in Vietnam through our visits to the companies that, in many ways, have helped shaped Vietnam to the way it is today. Ultimately, I hope to apply the academics I have learned inside the classroom to the real world.
I know that I will see immediate growth from this 2 week experience, but I also know it will have a lifetime effect. I invite you to join me on my journey in Vietnam through this blog. So, who’s ready to go to Vietnam?