Introducing winter break correspondents Marika Lee and Matthew Wallace

Marika Lee

Marika is a sophomore studying journalism. She will be spending two and a half weeks over winter break in Vietnam with the Global Leadership Center.

I am going to Nha Trang, Vietnam with the Global Leadership Center (GLC) for the second half of our International Consultant Project. During my GLC class this quarter, my three Ohio University teammates and I have been working with three Vietnamese teammates from Nha Trang University. We have been working as consultants for Vinpearl Land, a resort and spa off the coast of Nha Trang. My teammates and I have been doing research to discover how they can better improve their services to guests. We will finish the project in Nha Trang. All first year students in the GLC work on this project and make the trip to Nha Trang.

I am excited to go to Vietnam, experience the culture and meet my Vietnamese teammates. In my GLC class, we have learned a little about the culture of Vietnam and I am excited to experience it first-hand. One thing I am scared about is the language. I have only learned a couple of words of Vietnamese. I have never been to another country where I could not speak the language.

I have not studied aboard with OU before. I did go on a three-week exchange program to southern Germany with my high school in 2008.

Matthew Wallace

Matthew is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in Spanish, psychology and studio art. He is pursuing a Diversity Studies certificate as well as a Global Leadership certificate. Matthew will also be traveling with the GLC to Vietnam.

I am going to Vietnam (Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat) with Ohio University’s Global Leadership Center. My GLC class of about 25 is split into several teams that are working in conjunction with Vietnamese students from Nha Trang University. Each pair is assigned to a Vietnamese company who poses a question to be researched. For example, my group is assigned to a TV station in Vietnam and our task concerns finding ways to increase their market share.

I am quite excited to go for a variety of reasons. In particular, I have never traveled outside the United States, and I have always been eager to experience Eastern culture. I am a bit concerned, however, about the political differences due to Vietnam’s communist government. For example, the on-site research of our Vietnamese counterparts has been impeded because government officials didn’t want them poking around a state-owned media facility.

All in all, I look forward to seeing the actuality of contemporary Vietnam in relation to Western conceptions of the country and its people (which are most likely based off of Vietnam War movies).


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