with a population of one million, is a small capital city that is calm in
comparison to the flashy southern boomtown of Ho Chi Mihn City (Saigon).
But while Hanoi honors 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 house 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 is transforming Vietnam
and is experiencing an exciting period of change. Hanoi is the perfect
vantage point to witness Vietnam 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.
One of the first
semester-long study abroad opportunities in Vietnam, the HWS program in
Hanoi, Vietnam, 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 in Ho Chi
Minh City upon their arrival in Vietnam, continuing under the direction of
faculty from Vietnam National University in Hanoi. An internship or
independent study project is required.
A trail through a
rice paddy in Vietnam (A. Tehan)
Students will take four courses as part of this program
Vietnamese History and Culture
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 Vietnam
National University (VNU) faculty and specialists in humanities, science,
and social science fields, and excursions organized by the Resident
Director. A translator is provided when necessary.
Students will begin intensive instruction upon their arrival in Ho Chi
Minh City and continue at Vietnam National University in Hanoi. This
course is designed to enhance the student’s ability to understand, speak,
read, and write Vietnamese and follows an interactive and
Independent Field Project
Students may choose to pursue either an internship or an independent
field study project. Those interested in an internship will need to
consult with the faculty director as soon as possible to determine what
options may exist while those who wish to complete the field project will
need to work with both the faculty director and a faculty member on their
home campus who will assist with the project.
Fall 2008 Director’s Seminar: The Things They
Over the past sixty years Vietnam has endured approximately thirty
years of turmoil, followed by thirty years of recovery and renewed
economic development. France and the United States have had considerable
influence, both positive and negative, over events that have occurred in
Vietnam during this period. This seminar will trace these influences, and
investigate why both France and the U.S. eventually abandoned their
presence in Vietnam. The final portion of the seminar will discuss
similarities and differences between the U.S. involvements in Vietnam and
A temple in
Vietnam (P. Mahoney)
program is particularly well suited for students studying art, Asian
Languages and Cultures/East Asian Studies, political science,
international relations, anthropology/sociology and other social sciences.
Students are housed in double rooms of dormitory units with private bath
arranged by the Vietnam National University of Hanoi.
Vietnamese Faces (A. Tehan)
Excursions are an important part of the program as they give students the
opportunity to experience different areas of the country. Tentatively
planned for Fall 2008 are excursions to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the
Central Highlands, the northern border area, Dalat , Danang, and Dien Bien
Phu. There will also be course-related visits to various cultural and
historical sites in and around Hanoi.
further information on application procedures, eligibility, and program
costs and financial aid, HWS students should contact the
Global Education (Trinity Hall) and Union College students
should contact Professor Bill Thomas in the International Programs Office
Please note that the information in this
brochure is subject to change. Please contact the PGE for more