- Learn about Vietnamese & Southeast Asian culture, history, and religion through the eyes of local students & professionals
- Spend 3 weeks in central Vietnam working with local stakeholders, including government officials, NGOs and local university students
- Visit communities that you would not have access to as a tourist, and get an inside perspective into local development initiatives
- Travel to: Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as surrounding areas in the Quang Nam Province
August 5 - 28
- Ground transportation
- All meals & accommodation in Vietnam
- Activities, Admissions (temples, parks, etc.) and Local Guides
- Island excursions
- Immunizations/personal medical expenses
- Travel Health Insurance (proof of insurance required for participation)
- Independent travel
The accommodations for the trip in include local guest houses and homestays. Please note that for homestays in less touristy areas, you may need to bring a sleeping pad to be comfortable sleeping on the floor.
This trip will be physically and emotionally demanding. The itinerary is packed full of activities, and Vietnam is very hot in August and we will be outside working with local communities.
This is a sample itinerary for illustrative purposes. The actual itinerary will change based on local conditions and availability.
August 6: Arrive in Vietnam. One of our staff members will pick you up from the airport.
August 7: Travel to Hue
August 8-10: Hue and surrounding villages. Group activities will include an in-country orientation, meetings with NGOs, language training, seminars, and visits to local historical sites.
August 11: Travel to DaNang
August 12-14: DaNang and surrounding areas. Learn about regional projects and begin to document the strengths and resources of local communities, which is fundamental for community building and development.
August 15-17: Cham Island. We will work with the Marine Protected Area, learn about community-based conservation initiatives, and begin to put our knowledge on community building into practice.
August 18-23: Homestay in coastal fishing community. We will put everything we learned into action and co-develop a project idea with local community members related to social and environmental conservation.
August 24-25: Hoi An and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
August 26-27: Hoi Chi Minh City. We will meet with local community partners and think about urban development and potential threats.
This program was developed in partnership with a multitude of local partners, and requires students to work directly with local university students, NGOs and government officials. Some partners include: Da Nang University of Education, International Exchange Club, Ho Chi Minh City National University of Social Sciences, Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area, Da Nang Institute for Socioeconomic Development (DISED), Let’s Do it Vietnam, GreenViet, Center for Social Research & Development, and Tam Ky People’s Committee (City Government). Unlike other programs, we do not just sit in a classroom and listen to presentations by these organizations. We work together in the field and explore different communities, while building the necessary skills for community-based research and development.
The core component of this course involves working in a small, multi-cultural team with Vietnamese university students and professionals to co-develop a project idea with the local community. Participants will learn about different tools they can use to work with and gather information from residents at each place we visit. As a result, participants will develop skills in community-mapping, stakeholder analysis, story-telling, interviewing, and project management.
Fieldwork ends with a homestay where we will put everything they have learned into action. Each team will work with the local community to develop a project idea. Teams will then present their ideas to local community members and government officials.
This hands-on experience is reflective of processes used in community development every day. But it requires us to be humble, listen to the community, and realize we are not the experts.