The 3-week Women & Leadership field course in Vietnam is designed to highlight the crucial role of leadership development in the pursuit of social justice and sustainable development. You will be introduced to the social change model of leadership development and explore key concepts of community leadership. You will learn how to better understand yourself as well as others in order to achieve personal empowerment, and you will work with groups of disadvantaged local women and girls in order to develop leadership qualities. The first week focuses on skills development through classroom learning, workshops, field visits and general cultural immersion. Among others, you will receive leadership training by field experts and volunteer as guest trainers for groups of school girls. The second and third weeks then consist of the practical application and multiplication of your new skills through service-learning activities with local host organizations.
- Participate in leadership training workshops by Vietnamese field experts.
- Volunteer to teach leadership skills to Vietnamese school girls.
- Engage in project-based service-learning work at a local host organization.
- Interview Vietnamese women and girls and create stories relating to a pre-determined theme in order to complete your coursework.
- Explore the ‘Asian Dragon’ through unique excursions.
- Create once-in-a-lifetime memories and build lasting friendships.
The course is offered as a 3-week field course. A week of skills development through classroom learning, workshops, field visits and general cultural immersion is followed by two weeks of practical application and multiplication through service-learning with a local host organization. The target audience for the latter typically consists of women and girls.
You will be studying with a multicultural group of students that includes up to 5 local students whom we invite to participate on a full scholarship. The total group size is typically between 5 and 20 students.
There are no academic prerequisites. To be eligible to apply for this course, students can be enrolled in any major and minor, including, among others, business, engineering, social sciences, development studies, health sciences, nursing, public health, or any related area. Service-learning tasks will be tailored to the backgrounds and skills of the students. Enrollment is generally reserved for sophomores, juniors and seniors, or by consent of the instructor. Graduate students and professionals are welcome to apply for participation without credits.
Course requirements and student evaluation
- Course participation and engagement (25%)
- Weekly reflective journal or blog (10%)
- Journalistic article (10%)
- Group presentation (25%)
- Essay relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (30%)
4 academic credits are available from our main U.S. academic school of record, The College of New Jersey.
The Asian Dragon is undergoing some of the fastest socio-economic changes any country in the world has seen. It is a major development success story with remarkable rates of economic growth since the start of massive political and economic reforms in 1986. But the lure of modern living has a deep impact on the traditional networks of family and community that continue to play a pivotal role in society.
The course gateway is downtown Saigon, the bustling city center of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1. The area is known for its maze of little restaurants, cafés and shops. In some cases, projects are located in other parts of Vietnam, particularly in Central Vietnam, including Quang Tri Province, north of Hue.
Students are typically hosted at a local guesthouse. When placed in Ho Chi Minh City, students will be within easy walking distance of many main attractions such as Ben Thanh Market, the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Museum. The guesthouses feature 24-hour reception and security, free Wi-Fi and a daily breakfast. Rooms are typically equipped with individual air-conditioning, a fridge, TV, phone, small safety deposit box and en-suite bathroom with shower. Laundry and dry-cleaning services are available for a small fee.
Weekend excursions are arranged to visit attractive historical and cultural sites.
- Arrival day airport meet and greet
- Accommodation with breakfast
- Transportation for all excursions
- Meals during program activities (typically all lunches and selected dinners)
- On-site orientation
- Course-related activity and entrance fees
- Full-time on-site coordination and support
- Health insurance
Not included are the transportation to/from the destination airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, immunizations, some of the meals, items and services of a personal nature, medical expenses not covered by the insurance provided and other discretionary expenses.
4 academic credits are available at an additional fee of US $500 from the U.S. academic school of record, The College of New Jersey.
Thuy Phan, our Vietnamese Country Manager, is also the Instructor of the Women & Leadership field course. She has a Master’s degree in Gender & Development Studies from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok and previously worked as Vice Director of the Center for Social Research and Development in Hue. She also gained experience as a Visiting Lecturer in different parts of Vietnam.
- Tuition: US $1,615
- Room & board: US $615
- Health insurance: US $60
- TOTAL: US $2,290
4 academic credits
- Program flyer: PDF download