About the Location
Vietnam borders the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea in Southeastern Asia and shares land borders with China, Laos, and Cambodia. Home to more than 92 million people, is a developing country in transition. After emerging from decades of war and isolation, Vietnam today is experiencing tremendous growth and, over the last decade, has boasted one of the strongest economies in Asia. Concurrent with this growth, the country has been wrestling with critical issues such as sustainable resource management, intense urbanization, changing family and marriage patterns, and integration with global networks and institutions. Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's commercial and cultural center.
SIT Study Abroad programs are small, theme-based, and utilize an experiential, interdisciplinary curriculum. Classroom instruction and field study are incorporated into each course. Program components form a logical progression whereby students advance from a structured learning environment to a more independent one. The semester culminates in the completion of the Independent Study Project (ISP) during the final month of the program.
Students in the Culture, Social Change, and Development program examine current trends in Vietnam firsthand. Through interdisciplinary coursework, field study, and complementary educational excursions led by academic and community experts, students learn about Vietnam's history, social characteristics, and recent economic development trends. Intensive language study, learning activities with Vietnamese peers, and a meaningful homestay further facilitate deep cultural immersion and cross-cultural learning. During the program's educational excursion in the Mekong Delta, students engage in a community volunteering project, an integral part of the program.
Grades count toward an Elon GPA.
Study abroad courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis, regardless of the host institution's policy.
View information on course offerings for the Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development program.
Additional information about course equivalents for this program is available through the GEC website (Elon password required).
General Program Dates
Fall Semester: Early September to mid-December
Spring Semester: Early February to Late May
Costs for study abroad vary program to program and will not be exactly the same as on-campus costs of attendance at Elon.
For cost information for this program, please see the budget sheets:
Need-based scholarships are available for Elon semester programs through the GEC. For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Funding for Study Abroad page.
If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.
SIT offers need-based scholarships to students studying on SIT programs, including a Pell Grant Match Program. Details are on the SIT website. Students apply for scholarships at the time of application to SIT.
Students live with a middle-class family in Ho Chi Minh City for three weeks; typically the host family has at least one university student of a similar age to program participants. The homestay provides students with an excellent opportunity to practice language skills, and typically students engage with their host families in many different cultural activities, including family visits, weddings, and outdoor picnics.
provide a safe and welcoming environment, allowing students to experience the different facets of Vietnamese home life firsthand. Many students consider the homestay experience to be one of the most meaningful parts of the program.
Students must complete the online Elon University study abroad application by the published deadline. See the Deadline and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information. Applications are generally accepted one semester in advance.
Initial approval is granted by Elon, and final acceptance is granted by SIT Study Abroad.
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in a series of mandatory orientations during the semester prior to studying abroad. These orientations will address issues of academic, cultural, logistical, financial, and personal preparation, as well as health and safety. Failure to participate in the required orientations will result in dismissal from the program. Any financial losses incurred by this dismissal, including program fees and international airfare, are the student's full responsibility.
View the pre-departure orientation schedule
for the semester programs.
Additional Information and Links
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Study Abroad Student Ambassadors (SASAs) are GEC student representatives who have participated in one or more study abroad programs, and have been trained to speak about their experiences. You can be in touch with current SASAs
via email, or contact past study abroad participants
who have attended your program. They are looking forward to hearing from you!
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