DukeEngage is a Duke-sponsored program focusing on civic engagement both within the United States and abroad. I applied to DukeEngage's Vietnam program, as its construction aspect appealed to my engineering interests. I was chosen after an in-depth, multiple-round application process to join as one of the program's 15 fellows. In this role, I was responsible for an infrastructure construction project as well as teaching English and aspects of United States culture to a class of grade nine students.
The program's structure consisted of an orientation session in Hồ Chí Minh City (Saigon) with the remainder of the program taking place in Quảng Trị. Quảng Trị is in the center of Vietnam, meaning it was affected disproportionately by the Vietnam War. We spent 7 weeks in this region after our orientation.
Each day, our schedule consisted of construction for 3 hours in the morning, with a break for lunch and teaching in the afternoons. On the weekends, we traveled to other locations within Vietnam, including Đà Nẵng and Huế.