Oh Vietnam, how I’ll miss you

Traveling to Vietnam was an incredible experience for me. I made so many new friends, I pushed myself to try new things, and I learned about a beautiful country and its history and culture. I’m tremendously grateful for this experience and everyone I got to experience it with. Throughout my time abroad, I gained a…

Mekong Delta

Today, we visited the Mekong Delta. We took a boat out on the water where we stopped at several different islands. On the first island, we tried some local fruits (including jackfruits and mangoes) while listening to some traditional Vietnamese music. At this point, we had barely arrived at the Delta but I was already…

Cat Lai Terminal + Reunification Palace

This morning, we visited Cat Lai Terminal where we witnessed a whole lot of packing crates being moved on and off of ships. This terminal receives up to 16,000 crates each day from countries around the world. These crates are subject to customs and even manual inspections in some cases. Anything can be transported, even…

Buddhism + VinaCapital

This morning, we started off our day with a lecture about Buddhism. I’ve always taken an interest in learning about other faiths, so I was extremely excited for this. We learned about Buddhism’s core values that boiled down to “life sucks so stop wanting stuff” as our lecturer put it. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about…

VSIP + II-VI

Today, we visited VSIP, an industrial park with its ownership and management split nearly evenly between Vietnam and Singapore (the ratio is around 49:51). Vietnam is responsible for the physical land and the township and structure planning, while Singapore supplies things like energy and water. Each country plays to their individual strengths which is what…

Cu Chi Tunnels

Today, we visited the Cu Chi Tunnels, a system of tunnels and bunkers designed to harbor Vietnamese soldiers and weapons during the war. The tunnels were incredibly well preserved due to the fact that they aren’t subject to the effects of weathering over time. The tunnels are extremely discrete and some are not even visible…

Finding Jesus (literally)

Today was by far my favorite day. We went to Vung Tau, a beach resort town. To get there, we had to travel about three hours outside of the city. In this relatively short amount of time, we saw astounding differences from downtown Ho Chi Minh. As soon as we reached the outskirts of the…

US Consulate General + Green Beans

This morning, instead of our usual lecture at UEF, we went straight to the Consulate General of the United States. The Consulate is broken into different sections each dealing with a specific topic. For example, they have a committee that focuses on the political and economic climate and a committee to keep track of public…

War Remnants Museum + …Mickey D’s?

Today, we started off with a lesson on Vietnamese history and culture (right after seeing copious amounts of puppies on the bus ride over to UEF). The history lecture was full of new information for me. Beforehand, I knew next to nothing about why French was even spoken in Vietnam or the influence wars with…

Glass Egg – so that’s where all the cars in Vietnam are!

This morning, we started the day off with a lecture about the Mekong Delta and the impact climate change has on its environment. After learning how severe of an impact this is, we had our daily Vietnamese language class. Today, we practiced introductions including our occupation, marital status, and nationality. These topics, while of minimal…

A Day of Development – Phu My Hung

Today, we learned about the history of Vietnam – including the origins of Ho Chi Minh City. In this lecture, we also learned about present-day Vietnam and its current strive for development. We visited Phu My Hung as a prime example of development in Vietnam. This corporation has taken a literal swamp and turned it…

Day 1 @ UEF in Ho Chi Minh

On our tour of Ho Chi Minh City, two things stood out to me the most: the traffic patterns and the buildings. I had read about the light-less intersections in Vietnam and I was aware of how prevalent motorbikes are, but seeing them in person was surreal. I was especially surprised to see so many…

See you soon Vietnam!

Hi! My name is Gabrielle Rubin and I’m a freshman in the Swanson School of Engineering. I plan to major in electrical engineering. I’m from Newtown Square, PA.  Here at Pitt, I’m involved in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Scientists, Mathematicians, and Engineers for Service (SEMFS), and Theta Tau, Pitt’s chapter of the professional…