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  • Locations: Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

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Location Hanoi, Vietnam
Academic Term Early Fall 2018
August 19 - September 10, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $3,200
Credits 5 UW Credits
Prerequisites N/A
Program Director Bich-Ngoc Turner |
Program Manager Darielle Horsey|
Priority Application Deadline Extended application deadline: March 1, 2018
Information Sessions -Wednesday, January 17 (1-2 PM)
-Tuesday January 30 (1-2 pm)
-Thursday, February 8 (2-3 PM)
Gowen Hall M218

Program Description

The Early Fall Exploration Seminar: “Northeast Vietnam – Cultural history and landscape” will primarily take place in three major cities in northeast Vietnam: Hanoi, the capital; Hai Phong, the coastal seaport town (Seattle's sister city) where the host university campus, Vietnam Maritime University, is located; and Ha Long city, well-known for its world heritage Ha Long Bay landscape.

During this three week exploration, students will take Vietnamese language and Vietnamese studies classes for UW credits (2 language credits and 3 content course credits). In order to meet the class requirements and earn satisfactory grades, students are expected to fulfill all class assignments, which include class lectures and discussions, daily active engagement in conversations with local people and host students. The Vietnamese Studies course includes a final biographical research or reflection essay that involves ethnographic field interviews and daily journals. In other words, the study program is structured in way that allows students to have ample opportunities to meet and get acquainted with Vietnamese people from various socio-economic and occupational backgrounds.

When not in classrooms, students will explore the cities, participate in Vietnamese and English language clubs with local students, join local students in their sports events, and take part in voluntary community services at the two philanthropy projects currently sponsored by the Greater Seattle Vietnam Association (The Thanh Xuan Clinic for HIV-infected children and Hoa Phuong Orphanage House). During weekends, students will go on excursions to beautiful scenic locations in northeast Vietnam (Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island, Yen Tu mountain and Bach Dang river tour). The program combines structured academic activities with organized recreational activities, often concurrently, so that the students’ learning experience about Vietnamese society and culture can be both productive and enjoyable.

Check out the Greater Seattle Vietnam Association Facebook page to see photos and learn more about this trip.



Hanoi, Vietnam

Watch this short documentary for a glimpse of Urban Vietnam and this short video to see the enchanting Ha Long Bay.


For the first 3.5 days, the last day prior to departure in Hanoi, and all overnight excursion trips, students and program directors will stay at standard 3-star hotels with wifi and all day meal services. During the main part of the program (16 days), students will stay at the Vietnam Maritime University (VMU) dorm/guesthouse on campus that provides bed, breakfast, lunch, laundry, and internet services.

Field Trips

Ha Noi city, Hai Phong city, Ha Long city, Yen Tu mountain, and Cat Ba Island



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Pre-Requisites: There is no academic prerequisite. Previous experience in Asia and a familiarity with an Asian language is a plus but not required.

Physical Components: Students should be aware that this program involves a fair amount of walking and some hiking. There are also optional activities including playing physical sports.


5 UW Credits


Vietnamese Language (2 Credits)

Based on the students' language proficiency levels, students have the option to take Viet 145 (Elementary); Viet 245 (Intermediate, with VLPA credits); or Viet 345 (Advanced, with VLPA credits).

Learning goals include:
By the end of the course, elementary students are expected to be able to:
-Speak in long phrases or short sentences to narrate about themselves and their family
-Ask questions and respond to simple questions; perform basic communications and obtain essential information for familiar daily activities in Vietnam
Intermediate students are expected to be able to:
-Give extended narratives in paragraph's level about a personal experience or a social event
-Demonstrate the ability to communicate in an unexpected situation beyond their daily life routine
Advanced students are expected to be able to:
-Give detailed narratives in all major time frames-present, past, and future about a personal experience, a social or community issue
-Engage in a debate or argument to support or oppose a certain idea, using facts and opinions

VIET 249: Urban Vietnam: Work and Culture (3 Credits, I&S/VLPA)

Urban Vietnam: Work and Culture will study the vibrant changes as well as the persistence of historical legacies in Vietnamese society and culture since the country became unified in 1975. This course examines the roles of state, society, and individuals in driving or resisting these changes, particularly since the 1990s, the era when Vietnam enthusiastically embraced the global market economy and demands for cultural conformity and homogeneity fell by the wayside. Massive rural-to-urban migration and new opportunities for women to challenge patriarchal barriers created radically new urban cultural environments. Vietnamese people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, with different political and religious beliefs, and different sexual orientations have cooperated, clashed, and continuously renegotiated their cultural values to cope with the rapid change. The course will ask students to analyze and debate contemporary social phenomena in Vietnam from an interdisciplinary perspective, with the goal of improving communication skills and cross-cultural understanding. 

Learning goals include:
-Develop a critical, multidimensional understanding of modern Vietnam
-Examine a social, political, or economic phenomenon in Vietnam with logical arguments and factual evidence
-Demonstrate a genuine intellectual curiosity, empathy, and cultural sensitivity in the interaction and examination of cultures different from their own
-Enhance their critical thinking and writing skills



Bich-Ngoc Turner, Asian Languages and Literature, Program Director

I was brought up and lived in Hanoi, Vietnam for 25 years prior to my relocation to the US, fluent in Vietnamese and English. Since the age of 10, I have had extensive travel experience in northeast Vietnam provinces and am well-acquainted with numerous local people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, in both Hanoi and Haiphong cities. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in English, a graduate certificate in International Cultural Studies, a Masters and Ph.D. in American Studies with a focus on U.S.-Vietnam relations. My Master’s thesis was on American educational exchange policy studies and my doctoral dissertation examines numerous topics in postwar U.S.-Vietnam relations, including literature exchange projects, trade policies, humanitarian assistance programs, and regional geo-strategic diplomacy. Since 2004, I have had extensive experience as a lecturer of Vietnamese language and Vietnamese studies subjects (culture and history) to college students and study-tourists from Vietnam and abroad—including those from the United States, Canada, Poland, Singapore, and South Korea.

Program Assistant, TBA



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $3,200

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Daily breakfast and lunch
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,100)
  • Food (about $5-10/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 13, 2018

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.