Nongovernmental Organization Internship

Get professional, intercultural experience as you intern at a Vietnamese nongovernmental organization seeking to create inclusive and sustainable change.

At a Glance





Courses taught in



Jun 15 ‎– Aug 3

Program Countries


Program Base

Ho Chi Minh City

Critical Global Issue of Study

Development & Inequality

Development & Inequality Icon

Climate & Environment

Climate & Environment Icon


Why intern with an NGO in Vietnam?

Vietnam’s rapid economic growth, combined with its breathtaking beauty, offer an ideal way to experience a nation in astonishing transition. Explore community development, ethnic minority rights, cultural preservation, environmental conservation, public health, agriculture, education, or sustainable business in a five-week internship matching your customized goals. Experience the culture, challenges, and local realities of Vietnamese life. From your base in Ho Chi Minh City—Vietnam’s financial center and an emerging megacity—get a grounding in development policy and how nongovernmental organizations, cultural institutions, and international nongovernmental organizations drive economic and social change. Examine Vietnam’s changing environment, gender roles, and how science and technology impact development. Live with a host family matched, whenever possible, to your interests or chosen profession. Take part in Vietnamese family life and learn the language and customs. Gain professional skills in an academically rigorous environment with weekly discussions, curated readings, and papers reflecting your experience.


  • Study sustainability, the green growth economy, and human rights.
  • Build your résumé and networks through an internship that fits your goals.
  • Receive professional grounding in development politics and NGO best practices.
  • Examine economic and social change in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta.




Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta

You’ll experience a number of site visits within Ho Chi Minh City, including the History Museum, Fine Art Museum, LIN Center for Community Development, and the Union of Science and Technology Associations of Ho Chi Minh City. You’ll also visit communities in the Mekong Delta and learn about poverty-reduction programs focused on marginalized ethnic groups.

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.



Access virtual library guide.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • How cultural, political, social, and economic factors impact policy
  • Strategies for promoting sustainability and green growth economy
  • Challenges faced by nongovernmental organizations in Vietnam
  • Vietnamese systems of NGOs and INGOs across socio-cultural contexts
  • Gender roles in terms of social complexities and cultural diversity
  • How science and technology help to strengthen civic responsibility

Vietnam: Civil Society and Social Change

Vietnam: Civil Society and Social Change – syllabus
(ASIA3000 / 3 credits)

This course explores the theoretical link between current development policies, social change, and roles of nongovernmental organizations toward the joined efforts of building a civil society in the Vietnamese social context. It also helps students build key cross-cultural communication skills for understanding development policy, social change, and practice in complex social-cultural and political contexts of Vietnam in general and as an international intern in local nongovernmental organizations in particular. Designed to provide a grounding in development politics and practices in preparation for an internship in a nongovernmental organization, lectures and site visits during the first two weeks of the program introduce development policy and practice and the roles of nongovernmental organizations in Vietnam. The course emphasizes the overarching political, economic, and legal context of Vietnam that impacts access to and the expansion of the network of nongovernmental organizations in local governance and community-level engagement in social change.

Internship and Seminar

Internship and Seminar – syllabus
(ITRN3000 / 4 credits)

This seminar takes place in conjunction with a five-week internship with a local community organization, research organization, sustainable social enterprise, or local or international NGO. The aim of an internship is to enable students to gain valuable experience and enhance their skills in an international internship environment. The internship placement and the student’s internship activities, including the Internship Learning Agreement, must be approved by SIT’s academic director. The internship will be approximately 30 hours per week, in addition to regular reflection and assessment meetings held with the academic director or internship coordinator to review the progress of the internship and learning associated with the internship experience.

Sample internships:

  • Leading workshops on micro-credit programs and women’s empowerment at the Center for Community Health and Development
  • Innovating green living, public space improvement, and organic agriculture with the Action Center for City Development
  • Supporting the Research and Training Center for Community Development’s efforts to reduce poverty
  • Conducting market research for the Development and Policies Research Center
  • Supporting rural communities’ adaptation to a changing environment at the Center for Sustainable Rural Development


Ho Chi Minh City

You will experience interactions between “modern” development and “traditional” cultures with your host family during a 10-day homestay in Ho Chi Minh City, following three days of orientation. Practice language skills with your host family, learn about Vietnamese culture and participate in discussions about Vietnamese life. Take part in family activities including family visits, weddings, and outdoor picnics. Wherever possible, visiting students and their host families will be matched by professions and interests.

You may choose to continue to stay with homestay families in Ho Chi Minh City during your internship period.

Faculty & Staff

Vietnam: Nongovernmental Organization Internship

Duong Van Thanh, EdD
Academic Director

Discover the Possibilities


    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

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