Tạm Biệt, Vietnam

My family and friends have been asking me to summarize the experience since I’ve been home, and now that I’ve been asked to for this post – which will be graded – its that much harder. There’s no way to describe the trip that will do it justice. And, trying to summarize it makes me…

Don’t Rock the Boat

Today, as you can probably gather from some punny or more straightforward blog titles, we ventured to the Mekong Delta. Prior to our trip, and within our lecture last week, we read and discussed the looming threats of the Mekong Delta – such as the salinization of the water and the building of dams upstream….

‘Phant Pants

This morning, we made our last site visit. It’s incredibly bittersweet to say that. Our destination, the Cat Lai Terminal, is currently one of the largest ports in Vietnam, with a market share of 92% in Southern Vietnam and approximately 50% in all of Vietnam. Here, they import and export large freights to and from…

Crazy Dragonfly Lady

Today was such a brimful day. Following an entertaining and informative lecture on Buddhism, our group ventured to the memorial of the famous monk who had publicly emulated himself as an act of protest in recent history. We spent some time here, then made our way to the Xa Loi Pagoda. What I found most…

Two is Better than One

  Today, we visited both Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park and II-VI Vietnam. Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park – VSIP – is, generally, a company that prepares industrial land. They provide an incredibly convenient option for companies who aim to establish themselves quickly in Vietnam, offering 50 year leases along with education, training, and residential areas to…

Underground and Skyward Cities

This morning, we were able to make the trek both to and within the Cu Chi tunnel system – an elaborate underground tool used by the Viet Cong during the war with the U.S. In their time of use, the tunnels served as an escape, hideaway, and boobytrap site to the Viet Cong. These incredibly…

Hail to Pitt Stains

I’m lucky to say that each passing day is my favorite of the trip. Today, throughout our three hour drive to Vung Tau, or at least the waking moments of it, we caught glimpses of some areas of Vietnam very different from the streets of Ho Chi Minh.   For a lot of the time,…

‘Merica Meets Minh

Today, at the United States Consulate – my favorite visit so far – we were able to learn from two foreign service officers stationed in Ho Chi Minh. They described to us some of the duties they perform within their various roles; provide visas, gather and organize information on local politics, host various educational events,…

Street Foods & City Views

It’s day four, and I still can’t wrap my head around that we’re actually here. Today, after a traditional Vietnamese fashion show and another language session filled with counting, we made an unexpected visit to McDonald’s – a surprise especially pleasant to Kate, who cried tears of joy on the bus. It was interesting to…

Alleghenee, Ge(nap) Ge(nap) Ge(nap)!

Today offered a much welcomed (and needed) change of pace. I think that the sleep deprivation is starting to be felt among the bulk of us, but as we followed our newly established routine, we were able to save our energy while continuing to explore Ho Chi Minh. Similar to yesterday, we began with a…

Hướng Dương

Well, though I couldn’t have imagined it before, our trip got even better on the second day. While there wasn’t nearly as much dancing, there was still a fair amount of singing, with even more prodigious views – so prodigious that I felt the need to look up the word prodigious to describe it. After…

A Warm & Humid Welcome

Today, after about 30 hours of traveling, we were finally able to see Vietnam. We began the morning with a welcoming ceremony at the University of Economics and Finance, full of dancing, singing, and enough pictures to make me run out of storage on only the first day. Following some lessons on the Vietnamese language,…

Vạn Sự Như ý

Hello everyone! First – a little bit about myself – my name is Aubrey O’Leary, and I’m currently a freshman here at Pitt working towards a degree in both Business and Politics & Philosophy. Regarding my long-term career goals, I hope to one day found a non-profit. Personally, my friends will tell you that I…

Meet Plus3 Vietnam 2018!

Welcome to the Vietnam Plus3 Study Abroad Program! During their two weeks in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, students will experience a dynamic mix of educational and cultural activities. Plus 3 participants will have the chance to be immersed into Vietnamese culture during the trip. The main academic portion of the Plus 3 program…