Forever in My Heart

Well I’ve thought for some time now about how I can put my experience in Vietnam into words. I’ve scrolled through the hundreds of pictures I took and reminisced about all the memories I made, but I never felt as if those still photos were able to fully convey the feelings felt, the depth of…

The Mekong and Me

It may sound cheesy, but today is one of those days that I will remember for forever. Today we immersed ourselves in the local culture at the Mekong Delta. For those that are unfamiliar with the area, the Mekong Delta is a series of waterways in the southernmost region of Vietnam that empties the Mekong…

Ports and Palaces

The first activity on today’s agenda was visiting the Cat Lai Terminal. This terminal is the port and warehouse where import and exports go to enter or leave Vietnam. It is one of the largest ports in Vietnam. When any goods reach the terminal, they must go through customs where government employees inspect the good…

Philosophizing: Buddhism and Development

Today was probably one of my favorite days of the entire trip. We started our morning with a lecture all about the history and current teachings of Buddhism. Buddhism began as a philosophy that was shared by the enlightened Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise simply known as Buddha. Today, Buddhism is a considered a materialism religion that…

Bringing Business to Vietnam

Today was quite a busy day. We visited two separate but related companies. In the morning we visited Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park. VSIP is a developer of integrated industrial parks and mixed use areas in Vietnam. Specifically, VSIP supplies industrial land and buildings to companies that wish to get production started very quickly. Moreover, VSIP…

Just Keep on Moving

Today we took a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels were used by the Viet Cong to conduct operations. They are located directly in the middle between the border of Cambodia and the city of Saigon. This location was especially strategic during the war for multiple reasons. For one, the United States…

A Beautiful Day

Today we took a relaxing trip to the beautiful Vung Tau beach. Upon arrival, we immediately took a hike up a tall, rocky, “mountainish” hill. The view at every point on the hill was beautiful. Then, at the top of the hill, there was a statue of Jesus which we were able to climb up…

Visiting the US Consulate

Today was different than any other day because we visited the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City instead of visiting with a company. The mission statement of the consulate has five pillars: security, trade and economics, promoting human rights, people to people ties, and environment. One of the main functions of the consulate is…

Changing My Perspective

Quoting the words of Atticus Finch, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.” This is not a quote pulled from google to give my blog some spice; instead, this quote was truly the first words that appeared…

Visiting Glass Egg

Today is day 3, and we have already gotten into a routine. Our morning started with a lecture at UEF. Today the lecturer, Dr. Dang Le Hoa, discussed the rural planning and development of the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is a maze of rivers in the southern tip of Vietnam. It is home to…

Vietnam: The Epicenter of Development

We started our busy day at the University of Economics and Finance where we attended a lecture focused on the development in Ho Chi Minh City. The lecturer started with the history of Vietnam from the 1900s to present day. He then talked about the restructuring and rebuilding of the country that occurred after the…

Welcome to Vietnam!

Today, May 7, 2018, was truly an unforgettable experience. We started the day at the University of Economics and Finance (UEF) where we received the warmest, most cheerful welcome from our new Vietnamese friends. We danced, sang, played games, and bonded with the students from Vietnam. The students’ radiating happiness and excitement really made all…

Xin chào Vietnam!

Xin chào! Hello! My name is Amanda Zelnis, and I am currently a Freshman at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. I am pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering with an Engineering for Humanity certificate. Outside of school, I am the international lead for the University of Pittsburgh’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders….

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…