Greetings everyone! My name is Jake Walker and I am currently enrolled in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. I plan on pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering with a focus in Structural Engineering, as well as a minor in Architectural Design. I do not currently have an intended career planned out. However, I hope to find work that allows me to make the best out of the skills that the university teaches me and gives me the chance to leave my visual impact on the world.
I grew up in the town of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania approximately 40 minutes northwest of Pittsburgh. During my free time I enjoy playing and watching sports, as well as trying new things in the city. On campus I am currently a member of Pitt Sports Analysis Club, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and play intramural ultimate frisbee and football. The main difficulty I face everyday is finding time to participate in these activities and get all my work done for my classes, but most times I find a good balance.
For my Plus 3 experience I have chosen to study abroad to learn about the recent globalization and development in the country of Vietnam. We will spend a majority of the two weeks learning about Vietnamese culture as well as attending site visits to a range of different companies. These companies are taking part in the development of the country on both a local and global scale. We will be working alongside Vietnamese students to truly learn more about how the county of Vietnam is bouncing back after the Vietnam War.
I chose to study abroad in Vietnam mainly due to the focus of the program being on Globalization and Development and how I felt that applied to me as an aspiring civil engineer. I also picked Vietnam and the Plus 3 program in general because my sister did Plus 3 at Pitt during her freshman year and went to Germany. She told me how great the experience was, but she advised me to visit somewhere outside of my comfort zone. Vietnam served as the perfect destination because I really did not know a lot about the country after the war and it was somewhere that I don’t think I would travel to on my own.
While in Vietnam I hope to get a unique personal and professional experience that will help me grow and develop as an individual, while also allowing me to meet and befriend new people. Learning about how a different country goes about their city design and architecture I feel can help me in both my studies and future career as a civil engineer. Vietnam also has a very different array of food that I cannot wait to try while I take in all that I can about the culture of the country. I also want to learn about the Vietnam War from their point of view to truly understand how we affected the future of their country.
Overall, I hope to learn as much as possible and try as many new things during my two weeks in Vietnam. As of writing this blog post, we leave in two weeks and while it may be a long flight for someone who has no memories of ever being on a plane, I can’t wait to go.