Vietnam

Culture, Social Change, and Development

Accessibility

This information is provided to assist you in identifying possible accessibility barriers and preparing for an accessible educational experience with SIT Study Abroad. You should be aware that while in-country conditions and resources vary by site, every effort is made to work collaboratively with qualified individuals to facilitate disability-related accommodation. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact SIT’s Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu for additional information related to access abroad and to discuss possible accommodations.

Academics

During the coursework phase of the program, you will generally be in class five to six days per week for six to eight hours per day. You will have breaks between classes. Learning is typically assessed through take-home assignments, in-class assignments, written assignments, oral presentations/exams, group assignments, and in-class quizzes/exams. Course readings and in-class materials are typically available in a digital format.

If you have questions about alternate format materials, testing accommodations, or other academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Program Center

The program office is accessible by a set of exterior stairs. There are two interior elevators to the floors with program spaces. Interior pathways/hallways and doorways can be less than 32 in. (82 cm.) wide. There is not currently a wheelchair-accessible restroom on the floors with program spaces. The program has a small library space that is open during the day but does not have a separate computer space or student lounge. Please note that the SIT program center is scheduled to move to new location in August 2017. Please check back for updated information.

Activities/Excursions

The program includes day excursions to historical and cultural sites including temples and monasteries, nature reserves, local markets, orphanages, schools, and factories. The program also includes multi-day excursions throughout different regions of Vietnam including the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands. Volunteer opportunities may include helping a community with a farming project. Program excursions vary each semester to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities.

Housing

There are two homestays on this program: a four-week homestay with a university student of the same age and gender in Ho Chi Minh City and a homestay during the excursion to Da Lat with another student on the program. Other accommodations during the program include guesthouses, hostels, educational institutions, or small hotels. When you first arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, you will share a hotel room with another student. For the accommodation during the Mekong Delta Excursion, you will stay in a basic dormitory at Can Tho University.

The program’s homestay coordinator will be responsible for placing you in your homestays. These placements are made based, first, on health concerns, including any allergies or dietary needs, to the extent possible. If you have questions about homestay accessibility, you are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as early as possible.

Dietary Needs

In Ho Chi Minh City, breakfast often consists of pho, a noodle soup usually made with beef or chicken. Lunch will typically consist of rice with meat or fish, plus a side vegetable dish and soup. Bread, more specifically the baguette (bahn mi), or sandwiches with pâté and other fillings are also common quick meals. Vietnamese dinners are often more elaborate, including several shared meat and vegetable dishes, usually accompanied by rice and soup. Milk and dairy products are rarely used in cooking; however, yogurt is available and often used in blended fruit drinks.

SIT Study Abroad works with students, program staff, homestay families, home colleges and universities, and others to accommodate dietary needs whenever possible. For more information on dietary needs and dietary preferences, please the Student Support section of the Student Health, Safety, and Support web page.

Transportation

In Ho Chi Minh City, you will typically be a 30- to 60-minute bus or taxi ride from your homestay, classes, and/or placement sites. Although taxi car services are available, the primary mode of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City is moto-taxis. While there are paved sidewalks in much of the city, it is not uncommon for there to be moto-taxis parked on the sidewalks.

Walking, buses, trains, bicycles, taxis, and boats are used for program excursions. Public transportation options generally lack wheelchair lifts and ramps. There is often heavy traffic in Vietnam. It is important to be careful when moving in traffic, walking, or crossing the street.

If you have questions about alternate transportation, including accessible moto-taxis, you are encouraged to contact Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu.

Technology

Most of the places where you will stay in Vietnam will offer internet services, and many places have wireless internet available. In addition, there are some up-market coffee shops in Ho Chi Minh City with wireless internet access. There will be times during the semester, particularly when on excursion, when you will not have internet access. You are expected to bring your own laptop and other academic technology (e.g., recording device) to Vietnam.

Health Resources

Vietnam has a variety of medical services, including international clinics and national hospitals. You will be given contact information for recommended clinics and hospitals during orientation. Mental health services are not as widely available, though there are counselor and psychiatrist services available in the case of an emergency.

Once admitted, you are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns about accessing health services or medication while abroad during the health review process. Read more about the health review process and the summary of benefits for student health insurance.

Requesting Disability-Related Accommodations

To request disability-related accommodations once admitted, you should contact the Office of Disability Services. For more information about the accommodation process, documentation guidelines and a link to the accommodation request form, please visit the Office of Disability Services website.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact Disability Services at disabilityservices@sit.edu or 802 258-3390 as early as possible for information and support.

Additional Support Resources

MIUSA (Mobility International USA) is a cross-disability organization serving those with cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities. It offers numerous resources for persons with disabilities who wish to study abroad and/or engage in international development opportunities.

Abroad with Disabilities (AWD) is a Michigan nonprofit organization founded in 2015 with the goal of promoting the belief that persons with disabilities can and should go abroad. AWD works diligently to empower clients to pursue study, work, volunteer, and/or internship opportunities outside of the United States by creating dialogue, sharing resources, and spreading awareness.