Final Blog post – transferable skills

This trip, hands down, is going to be the highlight of my year. I can honestly say this has been one of the most rewarding trips that I have ever been on. I think this has to be due to the fact that this was the first trip abroad on which my parents haven’t come….

Mekong River Delta

Today, we visited the Mekong river delta which is south of Ho Chi Minh city. The Mekong delta is extremely important to Vietnam as it is the area where most of their rice is grown. Also, the delta serves as important fishery. However, there are many issues with countries damning the river and this allows…

Cat Lai Port and the Reunification Palace

Cat Lai was our last site visit during our time here in Ho Chi Minh city. Cat Lai is a shipping port which ties our studies of development together nicely as this is how many of the goods used are shipped here. Cat Lai is one of the largest ports in Vietnam and serves as…

VinaCapital and the Market

 Today, we visited VinaCapital and went to the Ben Thanh market to practice our bargaining skills. There were two fundamental components to our VinaCapital visit, the foundation and the company itself. The major distinction between the two is that the foundation is a non-profit organization while the company is an investment firm. The main goal…

VSIP and II-VI

Today, we visited the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) and the optics company II-VI. VSIP builds and operates industrial parks where other companies come and build their factories. These companies enjoy many unique benefits that only VSIP provides. VSIP is partnered with the Vietnamese government which eliminates the need for a middle man in many…

Cu Chi Tunnels

Today, we got to visit another important site that pertained to the Vietnam war, the Cu Chi tunnels. This tunnel system was integral to the Viet-Cong’s guerrilla style of warfare. They would be able to pop out of the ground, shoot at US troops, and then disappear back into the tunnels. This led the US…

Resorts and Jesus

Today, 5/1/2018, was a little bit different than most of our days here in Vietnam. It was different in that there wasn’t an academic component to the day. The day went as follows, we woke up at 5am got a bus and headed to the city of Vung Tau. Vung Tau is on the coast…

The US consulate and Street Food

Instead of our normal business visit, we instead decided to visit the US consulate. During our visit, we got to talk with two members of the State Department. One was an economic officer and the other was in charge of press. Our discussion was quite interesting as we were receiving the opinion of US citizens…

McDonalds and the War Remnants Museum

My fourth day in Vietnam was quite eventful. The morning was similar to my last three mornings in that we had a history and language class.  Today’s language class was actually a bit easier than the last few because the Vietnamese number system has a nice structure. One really only has to know the first…

Glass Egg and Vietnamese Language struggles

My third day in Vietnam began with two classes, an overview of the Mekong delta, and a Vietnamese language class. I am learning very quickly that the Vietnamese language is a very difficult one. The main source of my struggles is the five basic Vietnamese tones. Each word can be spoken using a different tone…

Day two in Ho Chi Minh

The most startling thing that I learned today was how the Vietnamese viewed Americans. The approval rating was 84% in 2017. This survey was also representative of all of Vietnam. I was shocked by this. I knew that relations were better between the US and Vietnam, but I assumed that there was still some ill-will…

First Day in Ho Chi Minh City

One of the first things that stood out to me was the swarm of motorbikes that cycled in and around our bus. They were everywhere. From the sidewalks to the minute spaces in between the cars, you could usually see a motorbike zipping by. The next thing that stood out to me was the actual…

Welcome to my Blog

My name is Clay Countess, and I am currently a freshman attending the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). Hail to Pitt! I am planning on majoring in chemical engineering with possible minors in history and computer science. I am from Annandale New Jersey where I live with my family. I have two sisters one of which…