Course Details

Program dates

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Travel dates

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Course credits

Total credits: 6

Instructor(s)

portrait of Ashley Hollenbeck

Ashley Hollenbeck

Executive Director, InPlace

In today’s fast-paced and increasingly globalized world, it is imperative to develop awareness and leadership skills for global citizenship. This course is designed to give students a first-hand perspective into the field of international development, and critically analyze its effectiveness in the context of globalization in a post-conflict environment. On our visit to Vietnam, we will examine the connections between urban and rural communities that are essential to maintain local livelihoods and ecosystems by utilizing an asset-based community development methodology.

Students will have the opportunity to take a more in-depth look at governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as important social and environmental issues in Vietnam through the eyes of engaged local leaders and youth. By the end of the course, students will have a variety of practical skills that will be valuable in their future research and careers, as well as understand how grassroots community development can aid in creating more sustainable, long-lasting solutions to the challenges we face around the world.        

More information

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Group of Students in Vietnam sitting around a table

Program Highlights

  • This is an experiential course that pairs you with Vietnamese students. You will learn about Vietnamese & Southeast Asian culture, history, religion and local communities through the eyes of local students
  • Develop professional skills in community-based research, development & project management
  • Spend four weeks in Central Vietnam working with local stakeholders, including government officials, NGOs and local community members of the places we visit, including the newly established Go Co Community School.
  • 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 Ngai Province
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Fishing boat in Vietnam

Expectations of Participants

Students should be prepared for a variety of activities outside of a traditional classroom setting. It is common to walk and bike in the communities we visit, and students will often be asked to sit on the floor. 

Activities include swimming/snorkeling, short day hikes/walks, and homestays. In addition, students should be prepared for the possibility of sleeping on the floor during homestays, and be able to survive without western comforts for some parts of the trip, especially during homestays in rural villages (i.e., hot showers, air conditioning and western food). 

There is access to refrigeration at all points of the trip. However, it may be difficult to keep medications cold during transit in August because of the hot, humid climate. Anyone in need of this will need to work with us to plan in advance.

Participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to departure, no exemptions.

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Group of Students in Vietnam