Global Service in Vietnam – Summer 2018


 Deadline To Apply: February 28, 2018

Program Dates: June 14, 2018 – July 15

Our group will live and work in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). We will experience the remarkable history and sights of South Vietnam at the same time as we work in several community-based service projects. Students may choose from one of the focus areas listed below:

  • Mai Am Mai Tam/HIV Centre-providing care, educational enrichment and companionship for orphan children suffering from HIV.
  • Son Ky Children Star Orphanage and Mai An Orphanage-providing support, attention and care for children who have no family and have been homeless,
  • Nhat Hong Center for the blind-teaching, interacting with and providing support and companionship for blind and intellectually disabled children.
  • Tam Ha School and Vinh Son School-teaching, mentoring and providing enrichment activities at schools which provide quality education for poor and disadvantaged children.
  • Thien Elder Homeless Center-helping to create loving and supportive environments for elderly women who have been homeless and now live at the Center.

In addition to the above internships, we will work on some group service activities, including traveling to Cu Chi to participate with the Cu Chi Women’s Union with the Hero Mother’s Program and the Cu Chi micro-financing project.


All students will enroll in a 3-credit hour prerequisite orientation and cultural studies course that takes place during the Spring 2016 semester. A second 3-credit hour course will be taken in-country, for a total of six undergraduate or graduate credit hours, awarded in the Summer 2016 semester. These courses are designed to integrate academic and experiential learning with cultural immersion, identity exploration, and global engagement. The general undergraduate course numbers are listed below. Undergraduate students interested in other credits and graduate students may earn credit by arrangement with the Office of Service-Learning and their individual departments.

SRV_LRN 3028 or 3028H: Orientation and Cultural Studies (3). The 3 credit hour prerequisite course takes place during spring 2016 on the MU campus. The course focuses on building cultural competencies, critical thinking, and self-discovery. In addition students will research and study the host country’s history, culture, languages, politics and geography.


SRV_LRN 3028 or 3028H: Global Service (3). Students will earn 3 credit hours while engaging in intensive service in the host country. The main objective of this course is to promote service-learning through direct contact, classes, discussions, reflections, and projects while living in host country. Academic coursework will emphasize the development of critical consciousness while engaging in reflection and group dialogue.

Academic Credit

Grades earned on this program will calculate into the MU GPA and appear on students’ MU transcripts when grades are recorded by the Program Leader. Students must work with their academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how the courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Additional Learning and Academic Activities

While living in the host country students will participate in multiple cultural activities that may include lessons in cooking, weaving, and Quichua or Spanish language. Excursions are considered as part of the coursework and should be looked upon as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Part of the final grade will come from their participation and attitude towards learning during these activities and excursions.


Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is known for its culture and high energy. The city was once known as Saigon and a part of Cambodia until the 17th century. Furthermore, the city used to be the capitol of Vietnam from 1956 to 1975. HCMC is a beautiful city full of temples, museums, and bustling with commerce. Within the HCMC there are French influences which can be seen in the architecture of the city. The people of HCMC are extremely friendly and welcoming, which makes visitors reluctant to leave.

Accommodations and Meals

Students will reside in shared bedrooms (2-4 students per room) at the Kaya Guest House in the Tu Duc neighborhood of Saigon. The guest house offers a large shared living room and dining area, and meals will be provided.

Example Travel Itinerary

  • July 7th: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
  • July 8th: Orientation
  • July 9th: Tour Ho Chi Minh City
  • July 10th-14th: Intern at NGO’s
  • July 15th: Mekong Delta Tour, overnight trip
  • July 16th: Free day in Ho Chi Minh City
  • July 17th-20th: Intern at NGO’s
  • July 21st-22nd: 2 day activity in Cu Chi, a Hero mothers program and micro financing sites
  • July 23rd: Cu Chi/Travel to Hanoi
  • July 24th-27th: Intern at NGO’s
  • July 28th: Nike Partner School
  • July 29th: Visit Mui Ne
  • July 30th: Mui Ne/Travel to Ho Chi Minh City
  • July 31st-August 4th: Intern at NGO’s
  • August 5th-6th: Free weekend or optional excursion to Angor Wat
  • August 7th: Departure

Possible Service Sites

  • Mai Am Mai Tam/HIV Centre
  • Son Ky Children Star Orphanage and Mai An Orphanage
  • Nhat Hong Center for the Blind
  • Tam Ha School and Vinh Son School
  • Thien Elder Homeless Center

Possible Excursion Sites

  • Mekong Delta
  • Saigon
  • Cu Chi
  • Beach Excursion
  • Vietnamese Cooking School
  • Angor Wat

Program Costs

Estimated program costs for the Summer 2017 session can be found here: Budget – Global Service in Vietnam

Application and Eligibility

Before you apply to your chosen program, please review the How to Apply page.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of a student’s academic transcript, quality and depth of response to the personal statement. In addition, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be in good disciplinary standing with the University for consideration. A personal interview may be required. Admission to a global service program is not guaranteed.

To apply for this Global Service Program, please submit the Online Application by:

Final Application Deadline is February 28, 2018.

For more information, please contact Office of Service-Learning. To schedule an appointment, visit MUConnect on Blackboard, go to your “My Success Network”, type in “Service-Learning”, and click on the link for Global Service staff on the Service-Learning page.


Apply Now