About Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a large, bustling city that has grown rapidly in recent years. While Hanoi reflects Vietnam's long and tumultuous past in the ancient merchant streets of its unique Old Quarter, the colonial facades of the French Quarter, the monuments and houses of Ho Chi Minh and the relics of the struggle for independence and the "American War," it has also embraced the open economic policies of doi moi that are transforming Vietnam. The country is experiencing an exciting period of change and Hanoi is the perfect vantage point to witness these changes. Vietnam is at a crossroads as the country navigates between Communism and open markets, a glorious (and also painful) past and an uncertain future, and increasing inequalities between rich and poor, city and countryside.

The Program

One of the first semester-long study abroad opportunities in Vietnam, the HWS program in Hanoi enables students to explore an ancient Asian civilization which is undergoing a dramatic process of transition and modernization. Students will begin intensive Vietnamese language instruction through VLS (Vietnamese Language Studies) in Ho Chi Minh City upon their arrival in Vietnam, continuing under the direction of faculty from VLS in Hanoi. An internship or independent study project is required.


Students will take four courses while in Vietnam.

Vietnamese History and Culture (1 credit)
In this course, students learn about Vietnamese history, aspects of Vietnamese culture, and current social, environmental, and political issues. Students write papers based on presentations provided by local university faculty as well as practitioners and specialists from a variety of fields, and excursions organized by the our Faculty Director and CET Academic Programs, our on-site institutional partner. A translator is provided when necessary.

Vietnamese Language (1 credit)
Students will begin intensive instruction upon their arrival in Ho Chi Minh City and continue under the direction of faculty from VLS while in Hanoi. This course is designed to enhance the student's ability to understand, speak, read, and write Vietnamese and follows an interactive and communication-oriented approach.

Fall 2015 Director's Seminar - Vietnam: Then and Now (1 credit)
In this course students will examine Vietnam and its people through the lens of war, migration, and return. We will read literature about the Vietnam War by American and Vietnamese authors, about experiences in the U.S by Vietnamese exiles and refugees, and about return trips to Vietnam by Vi?t Ki?u (e.g. overseas Vietnamese). These readings, along with selected films, will provide insight into the impact that the Vietnamese/American War and its aftermath have had on the country and on the Vietnamese people. Students will be asked to explore how Vietnam has changed in the decades since the war, comparing the images of Vietnam that are presented in the literary texts and films with the "real Vietnam" that surrounds them.

Internship/Independent Research project (1 credit)
Students will complete an internship arranged in collaboration with our institutional partner, CET Academic Programs, or an independent research project overseen by a faculty member on the home campus.

Academic Focus

This program is particularly well-suited for students studying Asian languages and cultures, English, literature, and media and society, as well as those in the social sciences interested in the challenges facing rapidly developing societies. The opportunity to pursue an internship makes this program accessible to a wide range of students.


The program is open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


In Ho Chi Minh City students will be housed in double rooms in a guesthouse near the language school they will attend. In Hanoi students will be housed in double rooms in a local residence operated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance. The facility is centrally located near markets and restaurants where students may take meals.


Excursions are an important part of the program because they give students the opportunity to experience different areas of the country. Previous excursions have included visits to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the Mekong Delta, the central highlands, the northern border area, and coastal areas around Hoi An (an old seaport) and Hue (the imperial capital). There will also be course-related visits to various cultural and historical sites in and around Hanoi including museums, national parks, craft villages and Buddhist pagodas and pilgrimage sites.

Going Abroad With the CGE

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and room fees and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-course semester, housing and program-related excursions. Note that no HWS board fee is charged: students should plan to bring their board fee to Vietnam to cover meal expenses; we estimate that about $1500-$2000 should be sufficient. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, immunizations, books and other course materials and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1300- $1400 from the East Coast, visa at $100 and books/materials at $200. Immunizations vary but we would estimate $100- $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1250 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.



  • This program is offered every fall semester.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office at a selected date in October.
  • For specific date contact the CGE.

NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.



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