On Day 5 of our study abroad trip to Ho Chi Minh City, we started off our day by going to the US Consulate. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go in to the actual Consulate building, and instead we went to the American Center in a building across the street. During our visit, we learned about what is typically done by the Consulate. We also learned a little about the application process for obtaining a US Visa. Something I didn’t previously know is that people applying for a non-immigration visa have to come in to the consulate to be interviewed. In these interviews, employees of the Consulate have the applicants prove why they wouldn’t try and immigrate to the US. Usually people applying for these non-immigration visas are able to get an interview within a week of applying. They conduct about 100 interviews a day and issue about 1600 visas a month. During the visit, we learned about how although the US has not been directly involved in aiding the development of Vietnam, they have been promoting the country’s development to improve relations due to the importance of Vietnam in the area for trade.
After our visit to the Consulate, we ate lunch and then went to UEF for more Vietnamese history and culture and language lectures. During the history and culture lecture we learned about the different types of food and clothing of the country. We got to try a few of the different snacks eaten in the country, most of which involved rice. In language class we stayed on the topic of food, learning the names of many of the more prominent dishes in the country and how to ask what is in the dishes and how much they cost.