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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Housing Options: Homestay Minimum GPA: 2.5
Click here for a definition of this term Areas of Study: Anthropology, Asian Studies, Culture, Economics, Film & New Media Studies, Independent Study, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Social Policy & Administration, Sociology, Vietnamese Language & Culture, Women's and Gender Studies Program Type: Study Abroad
Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Class Year: 2. Sophomore, 3. Junior, 4. Senior
Program Features: Independent Field Research
Program Description:

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Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development

Examine economic and social development in the cultural context of Vietnam, one of Asia's most dynamic and rapidly changing countries

Program Highlights

  • Live and study in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • See Hanoi, Vietnam’s vibrant capital with more than 1,000 years of history.
  • Interact regularly with Vietnamese peers.
  • Participate in a service project designed to assist a local community.
  • Examine economic and social development in one of Asia’s most dynamic and rapidly changing countries.
  • Visit indigenous K'ho Hmong, Dao, and Giay communities and learn about their cultures.
  • Trek and bike amid the flower, tea, and coffee farms of the lush central highlands.
  • Choose to conduct independent research or to complete an internship.

Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.

Independent Study

During the final four weeks of the program, you can choose to use your new language and cultural skills and the academic knowledge you have acquired to complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) on a topic of interest to you.

In preparation for your Independent Study Project (ISP), you’ll be paired with a Vietnamese student to interview households in the Mekong Delta and NGOs in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnamese students tutor SIT students on the Vietnamese language and help them understand culture and social life outside the classroom. Both groups participate in cultural exchange activities, like teaching each other games, songs, and dances. During the ISP period, you’ll get translation help from your Vietnamese partner. This supports learning and aligns with the program’s philosophy that learning is not just about attaining knowledge, but experiencing life.

Sample topics:

  • Gender roles and sexuality in Vietnamese society
  • Food culture and organic farming
  • Healthcare and inequality
  • Colonial architecture
  • Heritage site management and conservation
  • Entrepreneurship and business development in Vietnam

SIT internships are hands on and reflective. In addition to completing the internship, you will submit a paper processing your learning experience on the job and analyzing an issue important to the organization you worked with, and/or you will design a socially responsible solution to a problem identified by the organization.

SIT Vietnam offers a wide variety of internship opportunities through its network of long-term contacts with government agencies and nongovernment and private organizations that work in various fields including geopolitics, civil society, environmental and natural sciences, and humanities.

Sample internship sites:

  • Supporting training workshops, micro-credit programs, and women’s empowerment at the Center for Community Health and Development in Hanoi
  • Doing innovative work with green living, public space development and restoration, and organic agriculture with the Action Center for City Development in Hoi An
  • Assisting ongoing projects on mental health, micro-nutrients and nutrition, policy advocacy, and social work at the Research and Training Center for Community Development in Hanoi
  • Providing support services to local nonprofits, international nongovernmental organizations seeking Vietnamese partners, and individual volunteers and philanthropists who are committed to building strong communities at LIN Center in Ho Chi Minh City

Key Topics of Study

  • Pressing issues caused by rapid urbanization related to the Doi Moi "Renovation" economic reform
  • Challenges of sustainable development and current strategies for new rural development in the Mekong Delta and Da Lat Central Highlands and different livelihood models in each region
  • Balancing efforts between economic development, job creation, and environmental protection and natural resource management
  • The effects of war, development, and tourism on Vietnam's rich but increasingly fragile cultural heritage
  • Changing gender relations and development pressures among K'ho, Hmong, Giay, and Red Dao ethnic minority groups in the Sapa mountains

Money Matters

Be sure to discuss how study abroad costs are handled at your school with your study abroad advisor.  

SIT tuition and room and board fees include the following:

All educational costs, including educational excursions

  • All accommodations and meals for the full program duration
  • Transportation to and from the airport, and on all educational excursions
  • Health and accident insurance

Scholarships:

  • SIT awards nearly $1.6 million in scholarships and grants annually.
  • All scholarships and grants are need-based.
  • Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000.  
  • The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad semester program. 
  • Contact the financial aid and/or study abroad office(s) at your college or university to learn if your school’s scholarships and grants and federal and state aid programs can be applied to an SIT Study Abroad program.

Contact SIT Study Abroad





Further information about SIT Vietnam specific to Wheaton College students

Wheaton College is committed to providing students with opportunities to broaden their understanding and vision beyond the borders of this campus and this country. We work in collaboration with carefully selected partner institutions around the world to support our students as they prepare to study abroad and while they are overseas. Students must apply to Wheaton's Center for Global Education as well as the institution through which they plan to study abroad. The most up-to-date information can be found on the program provider's website above.       

Courses & Credits:
Students enroll in four to five courses each semester. 15 to 16 U.S. semester hours will earn 4.0 Wheaton credits. Independent Study Projects and/or Internships must be individually approved for credit at Wheaton. Do not assume your project or internship is automatically approved. 

Housing & Meals:
Students spend much of their experience in home-stays; when traveling they will be housed in guesthouses, educational institutions, hostels, or small hotels depending on local conditions and customs. All meals are provided by the program either through home-stay families, group meals or stipends. 

Budget Information:
Students studying abroad will continue to pay Wheaton tuition. Students are not charged Wheaton room and board, or the Wheaton technology, laundry, or student activities fees while on a study abroad program. Wheaton will, in turn, pay the program for all tuition and academic fees. Additionally, Wheaton will cover the cost of the program international insurance or sign students up, and pay, for CISI international insurance for the duration of the study abroad program.

Students will pay housing directly to their study abroad program. Some study abroad programs include meal plans while others do not offer meal plans and students will shop for and prepare their meals independently. Students will book and pay for their own flights.

Fees billed by Wheaton will be charged to students on their regular Wheaton College student account during regular billing cycles (July/December). 

Federal, state, Wheaton need-based and merit scholarships will be applied to these charges for Wheaton-approved programs. Students must consult with the Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) for a comprehensive review of their aid. If a student receives aid beyond the cost of Wheaton tuition, they can request a refund through SFS.

Please do your research as housing and meal costs vary greatly from program to program. This Budget Worksheet can help you estimate the total costs of your program. Refer to your SIT program website for an overview of all anticipated expenses.

Scholarships:
SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. SIT also awards scholarships to Posse Scholars. See the SIT website for more available scholarships. 
                     
For Wheaton specific questions contact:                                                                                     
Center for Global Education
5  Howard Street
Wheaton College
Norton, MA 02766-2322
globaled@wheatoncollege.edu
508-286- 4950

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2022 10/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.