Another day done in Vietnam. Day 5 was by far my favorite thus far. We started the morning off with by far my favorite experience yet. We got a chance to talk to the Consulate General of the United States. Yep, my favorite part in Vietnam was about America, but no I’m not a vain American. The reason I loved it was because seeing Americans invest so much into the Vietnamese showed just how incredible the country really is. Again, another reason to fall in love with such a remarkable place of the world.
The Consulate is completely different than an Embassy, fun fact of the day. Here, located in Ho Chi Minh City, a strategic location based upon growing urban development and being an economic hub, us students heard about U.S. studies on air pollution, economic resources, financial stability, etc. all to report back to the United States. They also are responsible for monitoring all activity in Vietnam that is reflecting the U.S., including press releases.
Along with these responsibilities, the Consulate is the last stop stations for a Vietnamese to reach the U.S., granting both immigrant and non-immigrant visas to those who wish to go. There’s an intensive interview process for both, requiring the Vietnamese to prove their legitimacy of the reasons for traveling to America. A non-immigrant visa can take anywhere from a week to several months. However, an immigrant visa, depending on the reason, can take up to fourteen years. Before they can even apply, the immigrant visa requires hours and hours of paperwork and intensive research. A crazy thought that so many people have been stuck in their country because their distant cousin wasn’t quite related enough to the child trying to cross the world.
The U.S. Consulate is there to help citizens, both American and Vietnamese. While stationed in Ho Chi Minh, it offers American education films and a study place to learn English. The American government isn’t allowed to get involved in direct redeveloped of the country. However, what can be done is create a wealth of information that increases our investment in the country, changing overall, the whole entire economy to a higher middle class, almost equivalent to America. The whole meeting was so so fascinating, and I could talk about it for hours… BUT I’ll spare you and leave my explanations here.
We ended the day with a perfect dinner full of traditional Vietnamese food all talked about in the cultural lecture given today during the UEF’s class. The friends were magnificent company. The food was glorious, and the fun was more than ever expected. Vietnam, how do you keep impressing me over and over again every day?