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CET Vietnam: Development Studies

What is the Traveling Seminar?

The Traveling Seminar is a mid-semester, 9-day journey with the CET cohort to explore the north and central regions of Vietnam. But this trip is anything but simple tourism—it challenges you to take what you’ve learned in the Development Studies in Southeast Asia course and identify those things in real time as you travel through Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi, and Mai Chau.

Connect the Dots

You’ve done your homework and now it’s time to see development in play. Tour the United Nations Development Programme compound in Hanoi and learn of their engagement projects with indigenous groups in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Visit Mai Chau and have an open dialogue with members of the Hmong minority on tourism’s role in cultural preservation. Participate in a round table discussion with Towards Transparency, a local consultancy firm fighting corruption in public and private sectors through the advocacy of accountability mechanisms. You can’t do this kind of learning at home.

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Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Hanoi. Visit the United Nations Development Programme compound. Go on a walking tour and then have dinner as a group.

Day 2: Visit the Museum of Ethnology. See the Ho Chi Minh Museum and visit the Temple of Literature. Attend a showing of The Soul of Vietnamese Village. 

Day 3: Start the journey to Mai Chau. Visit the Luong Van Commune (Hmong minority community).  Group dinner at Mai Chau homestay, followed by a Thai dance workshop.

Day 4: Go for a local bike tour, have lunch at your homestay, and then head back to Hanoi.

Day 5: Meet with staff from Towards Transparency, a local non-profit consultancy firm aimed at fighting corruption. Special guest lecture on Vietnamese nationalism in film and television.

Day 6: Free time followed by a flight to Danang.

Day 7: Meet with student members of Danang Fablab, a local space for creative collaboration across communities. Bike tour and then free time.

Day 8: Travel to Hue. Visit the Eurasia Foundation and have dinner as a group.

Day 9: Visit Hue’s Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then head to Thien Mu Pagoda, followed by a free afternoon and a flight back to Ho Chi Minh City.