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Pandemic Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


Minimum GPA: 3.00

Terms and Dates:

  • Fall 2019
  • Academic Year 2019-20
  • Spring 2020
  • Academic Year 2020-21
  • Fall 2020
  • Spring 2021


Kristen Grace

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning

Off-campus partner:

CET Academic Programs


Opportunity Description

If you want to understand Vietnam—a vibrant Asian nation riding the tide of development—you need to be in Ho Chi Minh City.

What is unique about this program?

CET Vietnam is for students interested in seeing international development in action. Conduct internships at local philanthropic organizations. Take multidisciplinary courses taught in English that contextualize your hands-on experiences. Study Vietnamese language and live with a Vietnamese roommate.

Pursue an Internship. Study Development. Live in Emerging Asia.

  • Service-learning internships in local non-profits, foundations and schools
  • Core course in development studies with electives: public health; food, culture, and identity; and visual studies
  • Three Traveling Seminars to central Vietnam and Cambodia
  • Hands-on exposure to the local community
  • Vietnamese language classes at all levels, 3 or 9 credits for intensive
  • Local roommates
  • No language prerequisite, heritage learners welcome

Why Vietnam?

Vietnam’s tumultuous history and rapid social change of the past 50 years make it the ideal setting for examining development. Deforestation, mining, and pollution threaten natural resources. Poverty decreases access to health care, just as local organizations seek innovative ways to provide direct service. Traditional gender roles continue to influence the national economy. You’ll witness these issues (and more) in Vietnam, and through classes, field research, and travel, you’ll develop the skills to not only make sense of them, but maybe even propose solutions.

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is a fast-paced city with laid back people. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with a street stand vendor when you order a bowl of bun cha (grilled meat on vermicelli loaded with spices and fresh herbs). Find a fashion boutique hidden in an old building. Explore a Buddhist temple. Stroll through an art space. Shop for lacquer tea sets at an outdoor market. Go to a water puppet theater performance with your roommate. Or plan an adventure: the mountains, highlands, deltas, and coastlines are calling.

How do I choose among programs?

  • See the Office of Global Learning’s “Selecting a Program” page for information on program types and considerations
  • Use the search features on the Experience Cornell  Opportunities page to filter for programs approved by your college, and by particular subject areas
  • Go to the “Get Advice” page for information on drop-in advising hours, scheduling an advising appointment, returned student contacts, and college advisors for study abroad
  • Find out about upcoming events, check out FAQs, and read stories from returned study abroad students

How do I apply?

Applying to study abroad is a two-step process. You may complete both steps simultaneously, but the Cornell approval process must be complete before your program advisor in the Office of Global Learning can submit any approval or nomination to the program.

  1. For Cornell Approval, click on the "Apply" button on this webpage. Applications are approved by the Office of Global Learning on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this page.
  2. For Program Admission, complete an external application directly on the program’s webpage, using the link in the “Snapshot” section. (Note: This deadline may be in advance of the general Cornell deadline for approval. Many programs fill by rolling admission.