Nitze Alumni: Where are they now?

Lisa in the Peace Corps in Kenya

The world finds Nitze Scholars in a wide range of walks of life. Cookie cutters have their place...in the kitchen.

The Nitze Experience

JaVon and Emily learning how things work in Senegal

The Paul H. Nitze Program offers:

  • three special seminars for each student
  • cultural outings to DC/Baltimore paid for by the program
  • special meetings with high-profile campus visitors
  • an international study tour paid for by the program
  • a stipend of $3000 per year for participants

Vietnam Study Tour

May 2002
Ho N. Nguyen  Economics

Day 1 - Travel day

2:00 pm Departure from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) for Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) with one stop in Seoul, S. Korea.

Day 2 - Travel day (Overnight SGN)

Arrive SGN at 11:00 pm - transfer to hotel in SGN.

Day 3 - Visit sites in SGN (Overnight SGN)

Visit: Unification Palace, War Remnants Museum, History Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Post Office (these sites are located closely together.) The first two sites have direct meanings and connections to the 'American War' that students have studied in the Scholars seminar. The last two places, which date back over a century, are fine examples of French colonial architecture in Vietnam (The Post Office was designed by Gustav Eiffel.)

Day 4 - Visit sites in SGN (Overnight SGN)

Tour Nike Shoes factory (on the outskirt of SGN), visit School for the Deaf, meet with students from SGN Open University. Today's activities give participants exposure to various aspects of contemporary Vietnamese society and direct contacts with its people.

Day 5 - SGN - Tay Ninh/Cu Chi -SGN (Overnight SGN)

Visit Tay Ninh city (96 km northwest of SGN), the seat of the Cao Dai Holy See. Observe a Cao Dai prayer service at the Cao Dai Great Temple. The Cao Dai religion, a fusion of secular and religious philosophies from the east and west, played a significant role in this region during the war against the French. On the way back to SGN, visit a Vietnamese War Memorial in Cu Chi village. Having visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., participants will have an opportunity to compare how the Vietnamese remember those who sacrificed on their side. Cu Chi is also the center of a 250 km tunnel complex used by local Vietnamese guerillas during their struggle against the French and later the Americans.

Day 6 - SGN - Vinh Long (Overnight: Home stay)

Depart SGN for the Mekong Delta. Tour some river islands, fruit orchards and local homes by boat. 'Home stay': overnight with a local family (the whole group will stay in one home. Each participant will have individual cot and mosquito netting.) Today's activities provide participants the first intimate glimpse of life in the Vietnamese country side where 70 percent of Vietnamese population reside.

Day 7 - Vinh Long - Can Tho (Overnight Can Tho)

Visit a floating market early in the morning. Proceed to Can Tho, a major town in Mekong Delta. Meet with students from Can Tho University.

Day 8 - Can Tho - SGN (Overnight SGN)

Visit historic sites in and near Can Tho. Return to SGN.

Day 9 - SGN - Hanoi (HAN) (Overnight Hanoi)

Take mid-morning Air Vietnam flight to Hanoi, arriving mid-afternoon. Take a short tour of a Hanoi neighborhood on 'cyclos'. Attend a water puppet performance (a unique Vietnamese art form) in the evening.

Day 10 - Visit sites in Hanoi (Overnight Hanoi)

Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, temple of Literature (Vietnamese first university, founded in 1070), History Museum, Fine Art Museum, Ethnology Museum, Women's Museum. Ho Chi Minh's life as a revolutionary and a nationalist was studied extensively in the seminar. (Tentative plans are being made to schedule meetings with members of the Vietnamese Women Union and with General Vo Nguyen Giap, the architect of the battle of Dien Bien Phu).

Day 11 - Hanoi - Ha Long Bay (160 km from Hanoi) (Overnight Ha Long)

Depart for Ha Long Bay (one of only 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vietnam. On the way the group will make a short stop in Hai Phong (largest port in northern Vietnam which was bombed and mined repeatedly during the war.)

Day 12 - Ha Long Bay - Hanoi (Overnight Hanoi)

Take half-day tour of Ha Long Bay by motor boat, with seafood lunch served on board. One of the grottoes visited is Hang Dau Go (Grotto of Wooden Stakes) - which was used by General Tran Hung Dao to store the sharpened wooden stakes planted in the Bach Dang river to defeat the invasion fleet of Kublai Khan in 1275. Return to Hanoi for the evening. Meet with Hanoi university students after dinner.

Day 13 - Hanoi - Hoa Lu/Tam Coc - (Overnight Hanoi)

Hoa Lu (about 90 km from Hanoi) was the capital of Vietnam under the Dinh and Early Le Dynasties (10th and 11th centuries.) Tam Coc ('three caves') is a beautiful area with interesting rock formation jutting out of green rice paddies. Emperor Dinh Bo Linh trained his troops in this region before defeating the Chinese army in the 10th century. The group will tour Tam Coc on row boats woven from bamboo (this is a safe mode of travel as the water is shallow and calm).

Day 14 - Hanoi

Meet with members of the Vietnamese Writers Union. Student will have read the words of two of these authors prior to the study tour. The rest of the day is reserved for packing, last minute shopping and relaxation as departure is very early the next morning.

Day 15 - Travel day

1:00 am Depart for Washington from Hanoi Noi-Bai International airport (via Seoul, S. Korea.) Arrive in Washington D.C. at 12:00 noon on the same day.