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Visiting Nha Trang

Visiting Nha Trang

This weekend was our last free weekend in Vietnam for awhile so we decided to take a trip up to the beach town of Nha Trang for the weekend. Traveling in Vietnam has been relatively easy (aside from the language barrier). It was not difficult to purchase train tickets, we booked the hotel online and with the help of our program director, found several interesting things to do while we were there.

We left on the afternoon train and were treated to the most beautiful ride through the Vietnam countryside. After living in the heart of the city for three weeks, the view was a welcome sight. It was also so interesting to ride through areas that were so different from the limited view of Vietnam that we had experienced so far.

The three days we spent in Nha Trang were amazing and also eye-opening. The scenery is what I imagine when I think of the perfect beach town; crystal blue water with islands in the background and long stretches of beach. Some of the classes that are offered through the Vietnam center focus on the human impact on the environment in Vietnam as well as the problems that come with fast-paced development. Nha Trang is a prime example of both these things. Although the oceans that we went snorkeling in were beautiful, it was hard to ignore the fact that the once vibrant coral is now in fact dead. The bay has been completely over-fished and the beaches are dotted with litter. I was torn between marveling at how beautiful it was and a deep sadness at the fact that the marine life is most likely never going to recover.

I think this is the most amazing aspect about the Loyola Vietnam Center and I guess studying abroad in general. We are learning things in class on a Wednesday and experiencing them first hand on a Thursday. This is the sort of learning environment I dreamed of. Although it is more difficult, and I can no longer pretend the world’s problems don’t affect me, I am so glad I am here.

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