Intensive Vietnamese Language (All Levels | J-Term)

Learn Vietnamese, the official language of Vietnam and the common language of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities.

At a Glance





Language of Study


Language Levels

Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced


Dec 28 ‎– Jan 15

Program Countries


Program Base

Ho Chi Minh City

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

Identity & Human Resilience Icon


This three-week January term will integrate grammar, conversation, vocabulary development, and socio-cultural topics complemented by hands-on, practical exercises designed to improve communication competence. You will join in fun, active, participatory language learning. Methods used to assess student performance will include class participation; performance on assignments and tests; oral conversation; effort to use Vietnamese with your host families and peers; quizzes; and practical exercises using field-base education techniques. 

SIT is also offering a supplementary online Vietnamese Language course during the fall semester.


  • Develop practical language skills in a supportive learning environment.
  • Build confidence during individualized tutorials.
  • Put language skills to use while living with a Vietnamese family. 
  • Use language skills during field excursions in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta.


Through oral proficiency testing you will be placed in beginning, intermediate, or advanced classes.  

Program Sites

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

You will live and study in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), a vibrant commercial center and Vietnam’s most populous city. During this three-week January term, you will enhance Vietnamese proficiency and quickly become an active participant in Vietnamese culture and community. Our language instructors will share their insights and experiences in Vietnam, enabling you to actively participate in the community around you. You can expect to learn Vietnamese not only from interactions in class, but also through immersive experiences outside of campus including with your homestay families in Ho Chi Minh City and interactions with local peers. Field excursions will include sites in the Mekong Delta and various nongovernmental organizations in Ho Chi Minh City.  

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.



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.

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

Program Components

  • Language placement tests to assign relevant course levels
  • Daily quizzes, homework, assignments, and midterms.
  • Field visits with language instructors and SIT staff
  • Immersive local homestays.

Beginning Vietnamese

Beginning Vietnamese – syllabus
(VIET 1503 J-Term / 3 Credits)

This J-Term course, with a Vietnamese language pledge,is designed to prepare students for the daily social demands of living in Vietnam and to provide access to the host culture. The goal is to provide students the basic language skills necessary to communicate in the host country language and to be able to apply their language skills in Vietnam. Instruction consists of 45hours of formal classes spread over a 3-week period in Ho Chi Minh City. Additional hours of instruction and guided field practice are integrated during excursions to the Mekong Delta and throughout the homestay period in Ho Chi Minh City. These language practicum classes take full advantage of the local environment, requiring students to practice their skills outside the walls of the classroom, yet in a structured way with the support of the language instructors.

Students also sign a Vietnamese language pledge for the duration of the program.

Intermediate Vietnamese

Intermediate Vietnamese – syllabus
(VIET 2003-2503 J-Term / 3 Credits)

This course is designed for students who have already achieved a basic foundation in Vietnamese and aim to improve general competence, particularly in oral expression and listening comprehension. The objectives of this course are to strengthen students’ knowledge of Vietnamese grammar, sentence patterns and vocabulary, contributing to develop the foundation necessary to further language study. Emphasis is placed on expanding skills—i.e, expression of more complex ideas, successful use of language appropriate to specific social situations, expanding vocabulary beyond simple day-to-day issues and practice comprised of sample conversations, skills, free discussions and presentations. In addition, reading and simple writing are also covered, and students are required to produce structured essays and read short passages for comprehension.

Students also sign a Vietnamese language pledge for the duration of the program.

Advanced Vietnamese

Advanced Vietnamese – syllabus
(VIET 3003 – 3503 J Term / 3 Credits)

This course is designed for students who have already achieved an intermediate competence in Vietnamese and are ready to begin to engage with materials meant for a native audience. Students are thus enabled to enrich all aspects of their experience abroad by functioning in the host language during field methods exercises, and when interacting with homestay families and local contacts. Students in this course attempt to move beyond simple discussions to more complex and nuanced interactions. Speaking practice sessions are less structured than those of the lower level classes and focus on the spontaneous production of lengthier sentences. Writing practice targets structured paragraph production, and reading practice introduces texts meant for native speakers. Instruction consists of 45 hours of formal classroom time spread over a 3-week period in Ho Chi Minh City. Various teaching methods are employed, including in-class discussion on Vietnamese and American subjects, recitations for aural comprehension, and grammar exercises. Homework is assigned daily. Students have opportunities to practice with one language tutor and local student volunteers every week, at least two hours per week. Role-plays and social activities with the instructors are also used as opportunities for learning.

Students also sign a Vietnamese language pledge for the duration of the program.


Ho Chi Minh City

There will be a homestay in Ho Chi Minh CityWhile on excursion, students will stay in small boarding houses or hotels. 

Faculty & Staff

Vietnam: Intensive Vietnamese Language (All Levels | J-Term)

Dao Mai Phuong, MA
Vietnamese Language Teacher
Duong Van Thanh, EdD
Academic Director

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Financial Aid

    The tuition for this program is $3,590. You may be able to use financial aid from your home school, if applicable. Contact your study abroad, advising or financial aid office for more information. SIT Admissions is also available for questions.