In this dynamic and intensive program, a cohort of students at USF will embark on an exciting journey to Vietnam with two professors to study the social structure and how this rapidly developing country is coping with the current and future energy demands. Students will spend 4-5 days at the Mekong delta, where large populations are relying on agriculture for livelihood, to observe current efforts to harness energy from animal waste and other waste products. They will be involved in projects conducted by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to improve energy harvesting techniques that are unique to this geography.
Subsequently, they will travel to Vinh University at Vinh City to spend 2-weeks for a learning experience that is unique to this program. They will live, work, play, and travel together with a group of Vinh University students. While at Vinh, students will attend two lectures everyday, one in Renewable Energy Technologies and the other in Sociology. At the end of the program students with their Vietnamese partners will make joint presentations on a project that they researched during their stay in Vinh.
Tentative schedule for the program is outlined below.
July 07 - Leave Tampa to Saigon, Vietnam
July 08 – Arrive in Saigon
July 09 – Tours in Saigon
July 10 to July 14 – Project in Mekong Delta
July 15 – fly to Vinh City and Join the Vinh University student group
July 16 to July 26 – Attend classes and visit local attractions
July 27 – Final Presentations
July 28 – Leave to Hanoi by train
July 29, 30 – Flight back to Tampa
Who Can Participate?
This program is open to Honors and Non-Honors students of any academic discipline, undergraduates and graduates, and non-USF students. USF in Vietnam is ideal for rising freshmen and sophomores.
Academic Program and Course Information
Students can take 3 or 6 credits. This program is open to undergraduates, graduates, Honors, and Non-Honors students. Honors students will receive honors credits. Prior to the departure to Vietnam, students will be required to participate in a week-long on-line course in the US. Students will also have a full-day of orientation in Tampa prior to the groups' departure to Vietnam.
USF Tampa Student Course Offerings:
ISS 3930: Special Topics: Vietnam in Perspective
PSC 2515: Energy and Humanity
PHY 4936: Physics
USF Tampa Honors Students Course Offerings:
IDH 3350: Honors Physics
IDH 4200: Geographical Perspectives: Vietnam in Perspective
USFSP Student Course Offerings:
ISS 3930: Special Topics: Vietnam in Perspective
How to complete the REQUIRED Course Approval Form:
Upload your completed form to the Course Approval Form Questionnaire.
Course Evaluation:At the end of the course students will take a multiple choice test based on the material covered in lectures. They will also prepare a poster presentation of a project jointly with their Vietnamese student partners. Subsequent to returning to US, they will submit a written report describing their study abroad experience.
2018 Program Fee: $3550 (new lower cost!) (includes tuition)
Program Fee Includes:
Double/triple or quad accommodation throughout the program
Program related transportation in-country
In-country airport transfers
Program related cultural and academic excursions and entrances
Emergency health and evacuation insurance and 24-hour emergency support
On-site USF faculty and staff support
Pre-departure and reentry event programming
The study abroad program cost does NOT include:
Optional trip cancellation/travel insurance
Financial Aid and Scholarship Funding
The Education Abroad Office offers Study Abroad Scholarships. These are partial scholarships awarded on a competitive basis to degree-seeking USF students. Please visit here for application information and deadlines. Please note that these scholarships are never guaranteed, and awards can only help pay for a portion of your total costs. We highly encourage you to apply to many other scholarships.
Students who are eligible for loans and grants to take classes at USF may be able to use their assistance to study abroad. USF students should contact the University of South Florida Office of Financial Aid (813) 974-4700 or visit here for further information.
USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. Those who will travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S.
U.S. citizens goingto Vietnam on this program must have a passport valid for 6 months beyond the last date travel date (Last Updated: July 2015). U.S. citizens are also required to have a visa to enter Vietnam. For more information, see the Department of State website for Vietnam.
Non-U.S. citizens should check with their own country's consulate regarding visa requirements for Vietnam. Non-US citizens should also check-in with the USF International Services Office to ensure reentry to the US.
Additional Safety Information
Participant's safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Please click here for detailed country-specific safety and health information given in our Country Study Report.
Because of the added stresses associated with operating in a foreign culture and language, even the safest foreign locations are likely to carry more risk to your safety and health. For this reason it is vital that you learn as much about the places you will be traveling to as possible; the more you are familiar with the host country's geography, culture and language, the safer you will be. All participants will be required to attend a general study abroad orientation as well as program-specific orientations. In addition to these sessions, you should consult the USF Safety website as well as the websites listed below that provide useful information regarding your host country, and preparation for your international travel.
Vietnam is a comparatively safe country with limited crime (low rates of violent crimes, particularly as compared to the US), primarily focusing on pick-pocketing, scams involving gambling and similar non-violent crimes, although cases of violence are increasing. It is a Communist country with penalties for criticisms against the government. Health and medical facilities are not up to Western standards, particularly in more rural areas outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Students should also be aware that the weather will be quite warm (similar to Florida summers) and rainy during July. Unlike Florida, air conditioning is not widely available and will be far less effective than in the US.
Students should visit USF's Travel Clinic to determine recommendations for vaccinations at least 6 weeks prior to the program.
You will be responsible for reserving and purchasing your international transportation to Vietnam. The USF Education Abroad will assist in identifying an itinerary for students who wish to travel with USF faculty to and from Vietnam.
Do NOT purchase an airline ticket until your Program Advisor has instructed you to do so. You must provide the Education Abroad Office with your final flight itinerary.
In Hanoi and the MeKong Delta, students will be staying in double/triple rooms in a tourist hotel. In Vinh City students will be staying in Vinh University accommodation with Vinh University students. Particularly in Vinh the quality of accommodation will not be equal to US hotel or residence hall standards. Students should be prepared for significantly lower levels of service, electricity, internet access and the like. While accommodations will be good to very good for Vietnamese standards they will be lower than those in the US.
Faculty and Contacts
Frank Biafora, College of Arts and Sciences & Professor, Sociology, (USF St. Petersburg).
Dr. Biafora has lead numerous study abroad programs, and served a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam. His primary research interests include: Adolescent Development and Comparative Delinquency, Social/Structural Barriers to Student Academic Achievement, Epidemiology of Adolescent Substance Use & Social Science Research Methodology and Statistics.
Sarath Witanachchi, Professor of Physics at USF (Tampa).
During this period he has taught variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and has been involved in energy related research. In October 2011 he visited several universities Vietnam, including universities in Hanoi, Vinh, and Ho Chin Min, to establish education and research collaborations between USF and these Universities.
Guest lectures will be given by Vinh faculty throughout the program.