Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions that you may have about studying at the Vietnam Center:
There is no requirement that you have experience with Vietnamese to study, volunteer, or intern at the Vietnam Center. In fact, very few students have previous Vietnamese language experience.
There is no language requirement for your time at the Vietnam Center. That being said, the vast majority of students take either Elementary Vietnamese course (VIET 101) or the Intensive Vietnamese course (VIET 111) to be able to engage more fully in the culture of Vietnam.
All courses, besides language courses, will be taught exclusively in English. The courses are the same syllabi as what is taught at Loyola University Chicago, but have been adapted for the Vietnamese context.
You absolutely can! You do have to get approval from your home institution to make sure that you get appropriate academic credit, but we welcome university students from all across the world! Please note: the stated tuition and fees listed on this site are meant for Loyola University Chicago students. You should consult your home institution’s study abroad office for more information on the cost of attendance.
The vast majority of courses are taught by Vietnamese faculty members, most of whom did advanced or terminal degree work in the United States.
Vietnam as one of the safest countries for you to visit and Ho Chi Minh City is an incredibly safe place to live. Violent crime is almost non-existent and civilians are not allowed to own guns or knives.
You do have to exercise caution with your valuable goods, though, because petty theft is something that students may experience, but that is not unique to Vietnam.
All US residents will need to obtain a study visa before arriving in Vietnam. The Office for International Programs at Loyola University Chicago will help you with the application and process to obtain your visa on arrival. The price for the visa tends to range between $150 and $200 per semester. Please note: if you are a resident of another country, you may have different requirements and need to apply for your visa in advance. Please email Vietnam@LUC.edu for more information.
Apart from the mandatory academic excursions, you will have 3-day weekends and longer breaks throughout the semester for personal travel. Whether you choose to explore Ho Chi Minh City, other parts of Vietnam, or popular destinations in the region (Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, etc.), you will have ample time to do so. Your academic calendar will allow you to plan these travel experiences with your peers, but it is encouraged that you wait until you get to Ho Chi Minh City before finalizing personal travel. The academic calendar is subject to change.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control does not require any vaccines for those traveling to Vietnam. We do, however, recommend that you consult with your physician about vaccines and explore what vaccines may be required or suggested for the other places you plan to visit during your time in Vietnam.
Most students will spend between $2,000 USD and $4,000 USD in personal expenses and meals for their semester in Vietnam. Depending on your personal spending habits, however, the answer to this question can vary widely. Remember, meals are not included in your program fee, so you should plan for $10 USD per day to cover food and bottled water during your program. We encourage you to create your own budget to figure out how much money you will need for your personal travel and day-to-day expenses.
ATMs are widely available in Ho Chi Minh City and throughout Vietnam. You should have no issue withdrawing Vietnamese Dong (VND) whenever you may need. Make sure that you have let your banking institution(s) know of your travels to avoid any fraud issues with your credit and debit card(s). It is usually helpful to bring some USD cash with you for your trip to Vietnam, but we do not recommend bringing more than $100 USD.
We strongly encourage you to have a cell phone and to get a SIM card with data for your time in Vietnam. Most students can get “pay-as-you-go” plans with data for as little as $2 USD a month. Also, Wi-Fi is readily available in your residence hall and at coffee shops, restaurants, and stores throughout Vietnam, so you should have few connectivity issues. Make sure that your smart phone is unlocked for international travel to ensure that it will accept other network SIM cards.