CET Vietnam: Community-Based Learning

Contribute to Vietnam's Next Generation

Ready to get your hands dirty? This program is about performing meaningful, sustainable service. In 2018, you’ll build a basketball court and train the first-ever basketball club. Develop a training. You’ll also practice English with local students. Help provide creative, hands-on solutions that will engage local youth and provide new opportunities in an under-served area.

Live in the Developing World

In Vietnam, you can witness up close local issues that hold global relevance—environmental degradation, the effects of war, deep poverty. Spend your summer working and learning about international development. After graduation, your experience can lead you down any path you’d like…the Peace Corps, grad school, or even back to Vietnam.

Local Roommates, Local Friends

You’ll live and work side-by-side with Vietnamese roommate, a local university student who speaks English and is as inspired by service work as you are. Stay up late chatting about cultural differences. Grab a papaya smoothie together after work. Unwind on the weekend with a pick-up soccer game. Share the gratifying experience of giving back.

Another option for summer…Development Studies in Ho Chi Minh City

arrival date
departure date
program length
recommended credits
application deadline
06/14/2018 08/12/2018 8 Weeks 6 $7,990
What’s Included
None March 1
06/14/2018 07/11/2018 4 Weeks 3 $4,990
What’s Included
None March 1
Spring/Fall Learn More About the Semester Program

Daily Life in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City

You’ll start your summer in Ho Chi Minh City, a modern city where you’ll see traditional markets next to shopping malls, high-end fashion next to old-school propaganda shops. You’ll share a room with another CET student at a guesthouse near markets and historic sites. For meals, we give you a stipend to explore the city’s many eateries.

Rural Countryside

After a few days in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll head to Quang Tri, one of areas hit hardest in the War. Rural life moves at a slower pace—people rely on friendships not phones, good humor not schedules. You’ll share a room with a local roommate in a guesthouse, and have meals with the group at a restaurant or villager’s home. While the guesthouse is comfortable, rustic living is part of the experience. Be prepared for power outages and limited services…flexibility and patience go a long way! Remember: it may be hard to check e-mail, but nothing beats sipping a post-lunch iced coffee while swinging in a hammock.

Curriculum & Syllabi

Conduct Community-Based Learning

Choose how long you’d like to be in Vietnam—4 weeks or 8 weeks.

Attend orientation in Ho Chi Minh City. Do a scavenger hunt through the city with Vietnamese roommates. Start to practice Vietnamese language.

Head to the countryside and roll up your sleeves. What exactly will your service entail? Projects are determined by the local community (a community to which CET students return each year) . In 2018, you will focus on building a basketball court and training the first-ever youth basketball club. Not interested in sports? Don’t worry! There are roles for everyone in the project: building the court, advertising the new club, setting up the practice schedules. In the afternoons, you’ll teach English in an elementary school (not as an assistant…you run the class). Evenings are spent preparing for the Culture Show—a highlight of the program that involves the whole community in skits and performances.

Meet weekly with peers to discuss your experiences and assigned readings.

If you’re a 4-week student, your project will have two parts and one of the two projects will conclude when you depart. 8-week students usually work on the same project for the entire term. 

Earn Credit

If you choose the 4-week program, you take this course:

VS312 Community-Based Learning
3 credits

If you choose the 8-week program, you take this courses:

VS312 Community-Based Learning
6 credits

Summer: 4-week

$4,990/ Term

Summer: 8-week

$7,990/ Term

Program Fee Breakdown

Of the total program fee, $6,590 ($4,290 for 4-week program) goes to tuition & fees, and $1,400 ($700 for 4-week program) goes to housing.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

We estimate that you’ll need an additional $1,400 for airfare and $200 ($100 for 4-week program) for meals. Students typically spend about $300 ($150 for 4-week program) on personal expenses, too.

What's Included

Activities & Excursions

The activities & excursions that we arrange are included in your tuition. All you need to do is bring a camera.

Project Supplies

We take care of all of the supplies that you’ll need for the service projects. You bring your energy and your positive attitude, and we’ll bring everything else.

Housing with a Local Roommate

We arrange your housing in the guesthouses, and find you an English-speaking local roommate for your time in the countryside, too.

Transport to the Countryside

You get yourself to Vietnam, and we’ll take care of the rest. We take you to the countryside, and once you’re there, we lend you a bike for getting back and forth to work.


All of your meals are included. We arrange plenty of group meals, and for any others, we give you a stipend to use on your own.

Visa Fees

We process your standard visa in Washington, DC, and cover the fees for you.

Course Materials & Transcripts

We supply any readings or course supplies that you need. We’ll send you an official transcript at the end of the term, too.

Medical Insurance

We provide you medical insurance. Insurance is comprehensive and includes coverage for medical evacuation.

Staff Support

We support your journey, every step of the way. From pre-departure to orientation to on-site to re-entry. We’re here to help.


Need money? CET offers over $300,000 in scholarship awards each year. You can apply for a CET scholarship, or learn about other sources of funding, like Diversity Abroad or the Fund for Education Abroad.

What's Not Included

The program fee does not include round-trip transportation to & from Vietnam, meals, items & services of a personal nature, and medical expenses not covered by the insurance provided.

Price Subject to Change

CET reserves the right to increase quoted charges at any time without prior notification, based on increased instruction costs, exchange rate fluctuation or other cost increases beyond CET’s control. This right includes, but is not limited to, surcharging students for additional costs incurred due to under-enrollment in any given course.