From Model Towns to LASIK

Earlier today, we toured VSIP, a state-owned company that builds industrial parks and ready built factories for a wide variety of industries. The first thing that shocked me was exactly this, how many different types of companies that VSIP caters to. When I asked if they specialized in any one type, they said no. This…

Shipyards and Palaces

This morning we visited the Cat Lai Terminal. Here we saw endless, and I mean endless shipping containers stacked in rows. Even more were being loaded and unloaded onto ships of wildly different sizes, while still more were being busily packed with massive bags of rice and fertilizer from the Mekong river delta. The most…

From Souvenirs to Chemical Warfare

This morning we visited Ben Tanh Market in order to buy various souvenirs and put our bartering skills to the test. Previously a group of us had traveled to the market at night, which is much smaller and outdoors based. That night, I relied heavily on one of the UEF students to help me bargain…

Investing in the Future

Today we visited VinaCapital, and investment firm that is based in Ho Chi Minh city. This sentence in itself seems odd, as an investment firm and a communist country are usually at odds with one another. An investment firm does not actually produce anything physical or provide a physical service, instead its duty is to…

Tunnels and Traditions

Today we visited the Cu Chi tunnels. During the Vietnamese War, these tunnels were dug by and used by the Viet Cong (guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam fighting for the North) to strike at targets near Saigon. At first I thought that most of the day would be spent physically crawling through these tunnels, but…

The Mekong’s Sneaky Snakes

Today we visited the Mekong Delta, mostly through boat travel to several small islands. One island was built around coconuts, housing the shrine of the coconut religion founded by a Vietnamese man several decades ago. Another island featured a variety of fresh fruits and local music. A third island was both my favorite and least…

A Different Kind of Cool

Today we got to visit the United States Consulate in Ho Chi Minh city (kind of). More specifically we visited the American Center, a building that is dedicated to both help Vietnamese citizens with any American related business they have (for example helping them apply to college in the US), as well as spread American…

Jesus and the Beach

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, and the trip to Vung Tau exemplified this perfectly. We started our trip in Ho Chi Minh, complete with its crowded streets and and mixture of more modern buildings and run-down shops. As we were approaching the outskirts of the city, the booming development showed…

Expanding the Egg

Glass Egg Digital Media lives up to its sleek and modern name. Taking up two floors, Glass Egg’s employees sit in circular cubicles with two screens. The two screens are vital to the operation, as one screen displays a real image of the object (usually car) they are trying to replicate, while the other has…

The Consequences of Rapid Development

Today we visited Phu My Hung, a development company in Vietnam. We visited their headquarters in the Phu My Hung new city center, a district built and managed by the Phu My Hung company. The new city center is the first of several planned districts that Phu My Hung expects to build, filled with condominiums,…

New Experiences in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh is a massive city. When we were up in the UEF building, you could see it stretching to the smog-filled horizon. Today we saw a few portions of this city, including the French Quarter, “China Town”, and a Buddhist pagoda. At UEF signs of globalization were everywhere, from the american music the…

Good Morning Vietnam!!!

Hello everyone, My name is Jacob Winakor. I am a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh in the Industrial Engineering Department. I am excited to get to travel to Vietnam and experience everything it has to offer. Be sure to check back in and follow my journey! I am from a small town called Portland,…

Meet Plus3 Vietnam 2017!

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…