Two Weeks Have Never (Sai)Gone by so Fast

Being back at home has made the Vietnam experience feel like a distant dream even though it’s only been a few days. But every time I look at my wrist and see the handcrafted bracelets it reminds me how very real it was. Further than that, the great change it’s made on me has already…

Day 11: All I Can Say is Wow

Today was the best day yet, no doubts about it, and I’m saying this before karaoke tonight so it can only get better. We traveled to the Mekong Delta, which was a huge change of scenery from Ho Chi Minh City. It was the first day we got to see what rural Vietnam was like,…

Day 10: The Last Site Visit

This morning we had our last site visit to Cat Lai Terminal and Port. They took us through the actual yard where we got to see things happening up close, and hear them up close too. I’m not sure which is louder, the UPMC helicopters going over Towers in Pittsburgh, or a sledgehammer sealing a…

Day 9: Negotiation Nirvana

Today started with one of the things I was most excite about for this trip. We had a lecture on Buddhism and then visited a pagoda. I’ve always been fascinated with eastern religions. A lot of them are more like philosophies. Unfortunately, the lecture didn’t go any deeper than introductory level, but the lecturer made…

Day 8: Two Six was Four Me

Today we had two site visits. Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) and II-VI, which is located in the industrial park. VSIP is a joint venture between Vietnam and Singapore that uses land to build factories and residential areas for companies and workers to move into. Singapore doesn’t have the land to open these parks in their…

Day 7: Underground City and Sky-scraping City

Today we visited the Cu Chi tunnels. The system the guerillas and Viet Cong used to hide and terrorize the Americans outside of Saigon. The whole thing is an engineering marvel. The soil turns out to be perfect for it. The tunnels were strong enough to withstand artillery and constant bombing. Civilians would also take…

Today we visited Vung tau, which was a 3-hour bus ride. The day started with a walk up a hill to the Christ of Vung Tau. It was the first day we’ve really been outside for an extended period of time. The heat was tough but not the worst I’ve ever experienced. At the top…

Day 5: Pros and Cons(ulate)

Pros: The day started off with a visit to the U.S. Consulate general offices. After a week of Vietnamese perspective it was a nice change of pace to talk to a couple of Americans. We spoke to someone working in public affairs and an economic officer. In broader terms they are both foreign service officers. Nearly…

A Futile Attempt to Explain Day 4

Today was an exercise in a lot of things, flexibility, resilience, and empathy. The plan for after lunch was to visit VinaCaptial, an investment firm. However, when we showed up it turned out that there had been a miscommunication. Instead, we headed back to the hotel and then walked to the War Remnants Museum. As…

5/9: Glass Egg, Right Up my Alley

Today started off with another guest lecture at UEF, but this time it was all about the development of the Mekong Delta. Its main focus was the challenges faced by the Mekong Delta due to climate change and upstream development, two problems requiring global cooperation. The projected sea level rise by 2100 would flood 20-30%…

All About Urban Development

Today was all about the history and development of Ho Chi Minh City. It started with a presentation at UEF, where we learned about what happened after the U.S. withdrew. Saigon was destroyed, and needed to be rebuilt as Ho Chi Minh City. After learning some history and current statistics regarding both Vietnam and Saigon,…

The more I reflect on day one, the more I remember about it. I was overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds, but mostly the sheer number of motorbikes. I know we were told during pre-departure about the number of motorbikes, and I know just about everything I read about Vietnam mentioned the motorbikes, but…

Ready for an Un-phở-gettable Experience!

Hello everyone! I am Dan Peters, a freshman mechanical engineering student here at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, I am not sure what the post-college plan is, but there’s still some time to sort that out. I am also involved with the club volleyball team at Pitt. I am from Flemington, New Jersey, a place…

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…