CET Vietnam: Development Studies

Hands-On Learning in Vietnam

Intern or do research.
Study international development.
Gain a nuanced view of complex issues.
  • Internships + an internship course
  • Directed Field Study
  • 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. An internship not for you? Take Directed Field Studies, and delve into an academic research topic of your own choosing.

Ready to begin your study abroad experience?Apply Now

Travel to North & Central Vietnam

Step outside of Ho Chi Minh City for a 9-day journey through the north and central regions of Vietnam. Concepts from your Development Studies in Southeast Asia course come to life as you visit local organizations in the field, see how development is affecting minority groups, and speak with locals about the impacts of corruption. Then unwind by learning to make banh ram it (fried sticky rice dumplings), or taking a bike tour around Mai Chau. You’ll round out your knowledge of Vietnam as you explore with your CET cohort—all the while checking sites off of your Vietnam bucket list.

Heritage Learners Welcome

CET Vietnam regularly enrolls students of Vietnamese heritage and offers opportunities for a curriculum tailored to unique language abilities and interests. Understand the many influences of the Vietnamese diaspora, from politics and economy to literature and pop culture. Take language classes designed for heritage learners. Jump into Vietnamese work culture with an internship and connect with a local community, or dig into that research topic you’ve been looking to unpack for quite some time. And trust that no matter what, on-site faculty and staff are there to support you in any way they can.  Your Vietnam experience is up to you, but we’re here to help.

Curriculum & Syllabi

Are you CET student from Fall 2018 or prior? Your syllabi can be found here.

Step 1

Enroll in the Core Course

Step 2

Decide How Much Vietnamese Language You Want

Are you a heritage learner? We can accommodate you!

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

HC/DEVS 250 Development Studies in Southeast Asia

3 credits

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

HC/LANG 100 Beginning Vietnamese
3 credits

HC/LANG 150 Elementary High Vietnamese
3 credits

HC/LANG 200 Intermediate Vietnamese
3 credits

HC/LANG 250 Intermediate High Vietnamese
3 credits

HC/LANG 300 Advanced Vietnamese
3 credits

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

HC/LANG 110 Intensive Beginning Vietnamese
9 credits

HC/LANG 160 Intensive Elementary High Vietnamese
9 credits

HC/LANG 210 Intensive Intermediate Vietnamese
9 credits

HC/LANG 260 Intensive Intermediate High Vietnamese
9 credits

HC/LANG 310 Intensive Advanced Vietnamese
9 credits

Step 3

Choose an Internship or Directed Field Study

Due to time commitments, we encourage you to choose only one.


HC/INTS 350 Internship: Bridging Theory and Practice
3 credits for course + placement

Step 4

Add Electives

If you haven’t already met the recommended total of 15 to 18 credits, add electives to get there:

Faculty Advisory Committee

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

Erik L. Harms, Ph.D.

Yale University

Associate Professor on Term of Anthropology and Southeast Asia Studies

Kristy Kelly, Ph.D.

Drexel University

Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Education

Ken MacLean, Ph.D.

Clark University

Associate Professor of International Development and Social Change

Binh Ngo, Ph.D.

Harvard University

Director of the Vietnamese Language Program

Thuy-Anh T. Nguyen

University of Michigan

Lecturer of Vietnamese Language

Thuy Tranviet

Cornell University

Senior Lecturer, Vietnamese Language

Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.


Senior Governance Advisor, Oxfam in Vietnam

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.