Global Service- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Summer 2021

Program Dates: Anticipated June 25th-July 24th 2021

Interested in this program? Please complete our Interest Form

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is known for its culture and high energy. The city was once known as Saigon and was a part of Cambodia until the 17th century. Furthermore, Saigon was the capitol of Vietnam from 1956 to 1975. Beautiful HCMC is known for their temples, museums, and is bustling with commerce. Because much of Vietnam was a French colony from 1887-1954, there are many French cultural influences, including language, architecture and cuisine. The people of HCMC are extremely friendly and welcoming, which makes visitors reluctant to leave.


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

  • Mai Am Mai Tam/HIV Centre-providing care, educational enrichment and companionship for orphan children suffering from HIV.
  • 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.
  • Pouisse De Vie-English language teaching, mentorship, leadership and athletic activity focus for poor and at-risk youth.

In addition to the above internships, we will work on some group service activities, including Cu Chi, supporting a micro-financing project

Accommodations and Meals

Students will reside in shared bedrooms (2-4 students per room) in the Thu Duc neighborhood of Saigon. The neighborhood is safe and livable, and offers many inexpensive restaurants and delicious Vietnamese street food. Meals will not be provided.

Excursions will include:

  • Mekong Delta
  • Saigon
  • Cu Chi
  • Da Nang
  • Vietnamese Cooking School/cultural activities


All students will be enrolled in a 0-credit hour prerequisite orientation and cultural studies course that takes place during the Spring 2021 semester. A second 6-credit hour course will be taken in-country, and awarded in the Summer 2021 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: Global Service (6). Students will earn 6 credit hours (awarded during Summer semester) for pre-departure workshops, held during the spring semester, and while engaging in intensive service in the host country during the Summer.

Class Schedule – must attend all classes

Monday’s between 8 pm to 10 pm towards the end of the spring semester (dates to be determined)

SRV_LRN 0501 The 0 credit hour prerequisite course takes place during Spring 2020 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. This course prepares you for your service abroad and students must participate fully in order to remain in the program.

SRV_LRN 3028  Students will earn 6 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

Excursions are considered to be a part of the coursework and should be looked upon as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Part of the final grade will come from participation and attitude towards learning during these activities and excursions.

Program Costs

Please see below for our anticipated budget for the Summer 2020 program. We anticipate costs for Summer 2021 to be similar.

Students are advised to schedule a meeting to discuss financial planning.

This program is supported by the Office of Service Learning.


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 TBD.


For more information, please contact Yvonne Binfield in the Office of Service-Learning. To schedule an appointment, visit MUConnect on Canvas, go to your “My Success Network”, type in “Service-Learning”, and click on the link to make an appointment with Yvonne. You can also complete our Interest Form