Xin Chao! My name is Mary and I am traveling to Vietnam this portion of the summer semester 2018 for the USF in Vietnam: Society, Energy, & Humanity education abroad program. I am a Biomedical Science major with a Public Health minor on my last year in USF so finding out a reason why I chose Vietnam to travel to for scholarship purposes was very tricky. The program has two classes – Physics I and Geographic Perspectives both in Honors or regular level. However, I’m only taking the Honors Geographic Perspective course since I have already taken Physics I. My ultimate goal for going to school in general is to work in a pharmacy and become a pharmacist.
Vietnam was heavily influenced by Chinese culture several hundred years ago and one of the greatest influence they have in Vietnam is the use of medicinal herbs to treat any forms of illnesses and pain. THAT is the part of Vietnamese culture that I am looking forward to get a glimpse of. I am hoping that even the little exposure to herbal or pharmaceutical practices in Vietnam will help enhance my knowledge in medicine.
On the same note, I was originally born in the Philippines and I have heard from my dad who went to Vietnam twenty years ago that both Vietnam and the Philippines are almost identical enough that both share the same mannerism, cultural practices, and atmosphere. I want to find that out for myself. It will be a very intriguing personal quest for me if that is the case.
As member of the Global Citizens Project at USF and also a recipient of the 2018 GCP Study Abroad Scholarship, it is part of my goal to also determine some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that Vietnam has reached or is in the process of reaching. Hopefully, I will be able to bring back some knowledge about Vietnam to my fellow USF schoolmates and future USF students since my study abroad program will be featuring a segment of the trip where we learn about a form of agricultural energy production that farmers in Vietnam currently use.
I am looking forward to finally going to Vietnam, to visit a sister country, to practice a new culture, to make international friends, and most definitely to try their great cuisine!