Vietnam: Final Review

After two weeks in south Vietnam and a week to reflect on it, I’m sad to have left, but happy to have done it. Never would I have thought I would go to Vietnam to study the history and developing economy, let alone even go to Vietnam at all! I made many new friends, met…

Day 11: MEEEEEEEKKOONNG BABY!!!

Today was my favorite, easily. We trekked all around an area of the Mekong delta and toured a chocolate factory, an organic bee factory, ate lunch on the Mekong, and enjoyed a peaceful day with a slight breeze thus not the usual profuse sweat arriving either. As we first walked around the mini island, I…

Day 10: Boats and Palaces! Yeay!

Today we visited the Cat Lai terminal port, the largest in Vietnam, and the 21st biggest in the world. After we drove for about an hour, we walked into the conference room, and the lecturer began. Her lecture opened my eyes to the incredible vastness of a large business. They have to keep track of…

Day 9: Religion, War, & Money

Today was our busiest yet. Learning all about Buddhism. Touring a pagoda. Bartering at the Benh Tanh Market. Language class. One remarkable thing I noticed about Buddhism was that they worship no god and try to eliminate suffering in life through their eight steps. This basic principle perfectly explained why Buddhism only makes up around…

Day 8: VSIP & II-VI

Today we visited two large related companies: VSIP & II-VI (more colloquially known as “2-6”). VSIP is dedicated to working with Singapore to develop towns tailored to industry growth by harboring residential communities and industrial sites. They build massive towns to foster growth. However, they partner with Singapore to invest in themselves. To me, this…

Day 7: Crawling in Cu Chi & an Art show to remember

Today, we took a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels. These were used by the Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War to escape death. But there’s much more to them than just a system of underground crouch spaces. The Cu Chi tunnels were an elaborately planned, enormous system for thousands of Viet Cong people…

Vietnam Day 6: Vung Tau Excursion

As we took the crowded highway from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau, you could instantly notice the stark contrast between the city and the rural population. Similar to American cities and American farmland, the city consisted of well-developed skyscrapers, apartment buildings, city halls, etc. whereas the farmland consisted of, you guessed it, farms….

Day 5: U.S. Consulate & Puppet Show & Frank Sinatra

As we walked into the Diamond Plaza building, I was pleasantly surprised to see all kinds of stores like a mall, with a bustling market and many young people perambulating it. We took the elevator up to the 8th floor, passed security clearance, and sat down in the sun-filled open tech conference room. As the…

VinaCapital Investment firm in Vietnam

VinaCapital is one of Vietnam’s largest asset investment firms. Essentially, they take foreign investors’ money, invest it into growing projects such as real estate to make money and improve the economic stability of the country simultaneously. Their company guide/spokesperson spoke extensively about how the economy functions, not going into much detail about what VinaCapiptal does,…

Day 3 Vietnam: Vietnam’s history & Glass Egg company visit

Today’s lecture consisted mostly all about the history of Vietnam, Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, and how it all came to be. The instructor nicely detailed the country’s history all the way back from thousands of years to present day. One thing he said which really stuck out to me was (something along the lines of),…

Day 2: Phu My Hung visit + Mekong Delta’s pressing issues

As our Phu My Hung Corporation representative showed us a detailed video of their history and their processes, I learned so much about how entire cities build something amazing from absolutely nothing. The entire gentrification process started in the early 90’s, with the Vietnamese government approving Phu My Hung’s Master Plan in 1994. This master…

Day 1: GOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM!! *In a Michael Scott (The Office) voice*

As our tour guide took us around the city and explained the history and significance of the famous buildings, I couldn’t help but notice the juxtaposition of large skyscrapers and/or ancient buildings placed right next to tenement-looking housing. Often, beautiful buildings were right next to shacks. This reminded me of how Vietnam is evolving, but…

Plus3 Vietnam: Introductory Blog Post

Greetings folks, I’m Joe Galante, a freshman in Pitt business majoring in Business Information Systems. Outside of my schoolwork, I’m on the business team of Pitt’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers, where we build a formula racing car from scratch, race it, then market it in a mock professional sales pitch to investors. Outside of…

Meet Plus3 Vietnam 2019!

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