Skip to Content
USF World | USF Home | Search USF | Student NetID Login | Incoming/Non-USF Login | Faculty/Staff Login

University of South Florida

Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
USF in Vietnam: Society, Energy & Humanity
Ha Long, Vietnam; Hanoi, Vietnam; Hue, Vietnam; Vinh City, Vietnam (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Eligibility: Please see below for requirements.
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2015 02/15/2015 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirements:
Program Type:
USF Sponsored
Level of Study:
Graduate, Undergraduate
Open to:
Non-USF Applicants, USF Students Only
Credit Offered:
USF Credit
Program Advisor:
Krissy Loveman
Sponsoring College:
Arts and Sciences, USFSP
Program Primary Subject:
Natural and Physical Sciences, Social Sciences
Program Description:

Ha Long Bay

Program Overview

In this dynamic and intensive program students will fulfill up to 6 credits in breathtaking and exotic sites in Vietnam. The country, its history, culture and political and economic systems will provide students with an unparalleled opportunity to examine topics such as the relationship of the individual to society, and the use and conservation of energy in developed and developing countries. One of the most unique aspects of the program will be that students will be paired with Vietnamese students from Vinh University who will attend classes and other cultural events with USF students.

Program Blog for Summer 2013

The program will begin in Hanoi, the capitol of Vietnam located in the Northern part of Vietnam followed by several days in Ha Long Bay, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its beautiful rock formations. Following this, students will live in residences with Vietnamese students at Vinh University in Vinh City, a coastal city south of Hanoi on the Gulf of Tonkin.

Ho Chi Minh

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.

Through this program, students will:

  1. Gain exposure to the Vietnamese culture by studying and living with students in Vinh University
  2. Learn about energy resources in the world, there availability and limitations, how they are being used, and associated environmental and human health challenges. Students will interact with rural communities in Vietnam to understand how energy consumption, conservation, and use of renewable sources affect the future energy needs of the developing countries in Asia.
  3. Learn how the Vietnam War has transformed the ideology of the current generation and scope of future US-Vietnam economical and political relations.

Return to top


Located in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is bordered by China, Laos and Cambodia. While highly influenced by China, Vietnam retains its own distinct culture combining elements of Confucianism, Communist ideology, Hinduism, and French Colonialism. As summarized in the State Department website, "Vietnam is a developing, mainly agrarian country that is moving from a centrally-planned economy to a market economy." It is a fascinating culture and exotic location that will enthrall and amaze participants.

Return to top

Host Institution

USF is partnering with Vinh University

In addition to USF faculty, instruction will be provided by faculty from Vinh.

Vinh University front

Return to top

Academic Program and Course Information

USF Tampa Student Course Offerings:
ISS 1102 Self & Society, 3 credits (for undergraduates who need a General Education Social Science course) 
• ISS 3930 Special Topics: Vietnam in Transition, 3 credits (for undergraduates who need an Upper Level Elective)
PSC 2515 Energy & Humanity, 3 credits (for undergraduates who need a General Education Natural Science course)
• PHY4936/PHY6938 Selected Topics-Impact of Renewable Energy in Developing Countries, 3 credits (for undergraduate and graduate science majors)
Directed Reading and/or Independent Study, 3-6 credits (for undergraduates & graduates in any discipline so as long as there is a faculty of record from the appropriate academic department)  Please contact the faculty for further details.

USFSP Student Course Offerings:
ISS 1102 Self & Society, 3 credits (for undergraduates who need a General Education Social Science course)
• ISS 3930 Special Topics: Vietnam in Transition, 3 credits (for undergraduates who need an Upper Level Elective)
• Directed Reading and/or Independent Study, 3-6 credits (for undergraduates & graduates in any discipline so as long as there is a faculty of record from the appropriate academic department)  Please contact the faculty for further details.

*Students are encouraged to take up to 6 credits.  Students CANNOT take both ISS courses.

Course Description:

(PSC 2515 Energy & Humanity) We are living in a continuously evolving dynamic universe where every event that is taking place in it is driven by energy. Discovery of new sources of energy and the ability to manipulate energy has given rise to advancements in civilizations. With a steadily increasing population that is expected to exceed 9 billion by year 2050, the destiny of the human race will be determined by how we harness, use, and conserve energy in both developed and developing nations. This course will introduce students to various forms and sources of energy, basic scientific principles behind energy conversion technologies, and the effect of these sources on the environment. In addition to classroom learning, students will take part in several field trips to rural villages in Vietnam to learn what energy sources are available for people in remote areas of developing countries and how they manage their energy needs.

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.

Return to top


Frank Biafora, Dean, 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.

Frank and Sarath

Return to top

Program Costs

Summer 2013: $2,325
Summer 2014: TBD

The Study Abroad Program Cost Includes: 3-6 USF (undergraduate credits), double/triple or quad accommodation throughout the program, program related transportation in-country, in-country airport transfers, on-site orientation, program related cultural and academic excursions and entrances, most meals, emergency health insurance and 24-hour emergency support, on-site USF faculty and staff support, pre-departure and reentry event programming, USF study abroad t-shirt.

The Study Abroad Program Cost Does Not Include: Passport & visa processing, international airfare, personal expenses, trip cancellation/travel insurance, books & materials, ISIC card, personal travel.

Return to top

Living Arrangements

In Hanoi and Ha Long, 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.

Return to top

Who Can Participate?

This program is ideal for rising freshman and sophomores, but is OPEN TO ALL students of any academic discipline, undergraduates and graduates.

SW_Hanoi Boat Ride

Return to top

How and When to Pay

Please click here for further details regarding payment.

Return to top

Getting There

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.

Please DO NOT purchase your air ticket until you have been advised to do so by the program coordinator. You must provide the Education Abroad Office with your final flight itinerary.

Return to top

Medical Insurance and Travel Documentation

USF provides program participants with sickness/accident and emergency medical evacuation insurance 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 that is valid outside the U.S. If not provided through your domestic health insurance carrier, this can be purchased separately through CISI or through another agency.

Please click here for more detailed information.

U.S. citizens are required to have a visa to enter 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.

Return to top

Financial Aid and Scholarship Funding

Many funding opportunities are available to USF students who are planning to study abroad. Please see our funding page for further details.

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 for further information.

Students attending other universities should apply to their home institutions for financial aid. Please inform the Education Abroad Office early if you expect to receive financial aid. Note that students are responsible for meeting program payment deadlines regardless of financial aid disbursement time-frame.

The Education Abroad Office offers a variety of scholarships for study abroad. These are partial scholarships awarded on a competitive basis. Please visit our funding page for application information and deadlines.

Return to top

Safety & Health

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. Make sure to read up on country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

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.

Country Specific Information:

Preparing for your trip:

Students should visit USF's Travel Clinic to determine recommendations for vaccinations at least 6 weeks prior to the program.


Return to top

Special Terms

Man holding child

Students should carefully review the Education Abroad Participant Contract, included in the Education Abroad application process. It describes students' responsibilities with regard to participation, and includes information on insurance, and cancellation and refund policies. Students will be asked to electronically sign this document. To view this document before applying, please click here.

This program will involve intensive interactions with Vietnamese students and the host country culture; participants from USF should be eager to engage in a very different culture and be prepared for different foods, customs, and levels of services.

Return to top

Contacts for More Information

In St. Pete:

Wendy Baker, International Programs USFSP:

Dean Frank Biafora: Tel: 727-873-4292,

In Tampa:

Carleen Ben, Education Abroad Office: Tel 813-974-4314,

Professor Sarath Witanachchi: 813-974-2789,

Frances Bryant, Education Abroad Office (Payments and Financial Questions): 813-974-4314,

Return to top