CET Vietnam: Development Studies

Hands-On Learning in Vietnam

Study international development.
Gain a nuanced view of complex issues.
  • Internships + an internship course
  • Electives taught in English  
  • Vietnamese language classes 
  • Out-of-classroom learning 



Recommended Credit

Deepen Your Understanding of Development

Vietnam’s tumultuous history and rapid social change of the past 50 years make it the ideal setting for examining development. Deforestation, mining, and pollution threaten natural resources. Poverty decreases access to health care, just as local organizations seek innovative ways to provide direct service. Traditional gender roles continue to influence the national economy. You’ll witness these issues (and more) in Vietnam, and through classes, field research, and travel, you’ll develop the skills to not only make sense of them, but maybe even propose solutions.


While the rest of the world is spinning buzzwords like adaptability, international experience, and cross-cultural teamwork, you can be actually developing these skills in an internship in Vietnam. We work with a group of local non-profits, foundations, and schools to create sustainable internships, where your work can build on that of your predecessors. And because it is your host organization, not us, that determines your projects and tasks, you can rest assured that whatever your daily work entails, it will be relevant and meaningful.
Student Voice
Interested in reading what interning in Vietnam is like? Read Erica Issenberg’s blog post, “A Hidden Gem in a Changing Saigon.”

May 15th School

A school for children living in poverty and victims of domestic abuse. You might teach English, maintain records, or collect materials for donors.

LIN Center for Community Development

Helps build capacity for non-profits in Ho Chi Minh City. You might research potential international partners or help prepare for meetings with local philanthropists.

Hong An Center for Disabled People

Provides vocational training for people with disabilities. You might help with fundraising campaigns, design a workshop, or work on their website.

Ready to begin your study abroad experience?Apply Now

Study Locally, Learn Globally

Your electives will give you a chance to explore up close local issues that hold global relevance on the world stage. Study the impact of global trade on traditional Vietnamese food culture by visiting urban markets and rural food-producing regions. Consider the impacts of war and post-conflict resolution. See how communities are responding to dam projects. Witness the effects of tourism on Vietnam, from its remote islands to its large cities.

Courses That Show You Vietnam

Your courses allow you to see and do what you’re learning about in the classroom. Learn about the health effects of Agent Orange during a visit to the War Legacies Museum. Photograph scenes of street life, then discuss your work in class. Interview your Vietnamese roommate. Attend a dance performance and see traditional music cross paths with modern choreography. Practice your Vietnamese by bargaining at the fruit market—and enjoy an avocado smoothie while you’re at it. 

Curriculum & Syllabi

Are you a Fall 2017 student? Your syllabi can be found here.

Development Studies

Global linkages, local impact. Learn about economic and social development through globalization.

VS250 Development Studies in Southeast Asia

3 credits

Vietnamese Language

If you want to take 3 credits of Vietnamese language, you are placed into one of these courses:

VL100 Beginning Vietnamese
3 credits

VL200 Elementary High Vietnamese
3 credits

VL300 Intermediate Vietnamese
3 credits

VL400 Intermediate High Vietnamese
3 credits

VL500 Advanced Vietnamese
3 credits

If you want to take 9 credits of Vietnamese language, you are placed into one of these courses:

VL110 Intensive Beginning Vietnamese
9 credits

VL210 Intensive Elementary High Vietnamese
9 credits

VL310 Intensive Intermediate Vietnamese
9 credits

VL410 Intensive Intermediate High Vietnamese
9 credits

VL510 Intensive Advanced Vietnamese
9 credits

Are you a heritage learner? We can accommodate you!

Faculty Advisory Committee

CET maintains a faculty advisory committee of US-based scholars that provides guidance and expertise, and helps shape program development.

Dr. Mai Do

Tulane University

Assistant Professor, Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Erik L. Harms

Yale University

Associate Professor on Term of Anthropology and Southeast Asian Studies

Dr. Binh Ngo

Harvard University

Senior Preceptor in Vietnamese and Director of the Vietnamese Language Program

Dr. Dieu Thi Nguyen

Temple University

Associate Professor of History

Quang Phu Van

Yale University

Senior Lector, Vietnamese Language and Literature, Council on Southeast Asia Studies

Dr. Andrew Wells-Dang

Oxfam in Vietnam

Senior Governance Advisor, and former CET Vietnam Immersion Resident Director

Course Availability

Our goal is to offer every single course every term, but sometimes factors like faculty availability and program enrollment keep us from reaching that goal. If you’re concerned about needing to enroll in any one particular course, please contact us! We’ll try our best to get you the course you need.