The Vietnamese also like to refer to their country as “a bamboo pole with two rice bowls”. The bird’s eye view shows: In the south and in the north, the long and narrow land on the South China Sea expands into two fertile river plains. The “rice chambers of the country” impress with their beauty. In addition to endless rice fields, you will also find mangrove swamps, lush jungle areas, dreamy beaches and offshore islands that rise picturesquely from the emerald green water. On the coast of the rather barren, mountainous Central Vietnam, there are spectacular sandy beaches and a fascinating underwater world full of reefs and bays. You can discover all of this for yourself during a semester abroad in Vietnam.
Culture of Vietnam
In addition to the landscape, Vietnam fascinates with its diverse culture: In the south, the influence of India can be seen in places of worship, almost overgrown by the jungle, of the lost Cham culture and a fantastic regional cuisine. In the north, Chinese influences are ubiquitous, while in historical cities like Hoi An the purely Vietnamese culture of the central provinces predominates.
In the capital Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City – better known as Saigon – you can still feel the charm of the old French colonial empire. The former “Paris of the East” Saigon has developed into the pulsating economic center of the up-and-coming country and offers a nightlife that is second to none.
Not to be forgotten is the extraordinary friendliness of the Vietnamese. In the big cities in particular, many of the 90 million inhabitants of Vietnam also speak English and are always open to a conversation.
Study programs for a semester abroad in Vietnam
If you dream of studying under palm trees and want to immerse yourself in a completely new culture at the same time, you are exactly right for a semester abroad in Vietnam. In recent years, the communist country’s higher education system has opened up considerably to international cooperation.
Foreign universities, such as the Australian RMIT University, have set up branches in Vietnam or offer special semester programs in Vietnam. This has the advantage that a high quality of teaching is guaranteed and the lessons are in English.
Together with students from all over the world you will take part in seminars and workshops during your semester in Vietnam and thus easily find contact with fellow students with whom you can spend your free time and explore the country. A semester abroad in Vietnam is the ideal opportunity to get to know the exotic country, gain international study experience and improve your English skills at the same time.
The offers of the individual universities are different: The Study Abroad program of the RMIT University enables international students to take one or two semesters for one or two semesters across subjects and semesters from the complete range of the university.
Other programs, such as the culture study program in Hoi An, offer thematically narrowly defined semester programs with an excursion character, for example on the subject of development studies.
Requirements and application for a semester abroad in Vietnam
According to collegesanduniversitiesinusa, the requirements for a semester program at a university in Vietnam are different. In any case, applicants should have a high school diploma or a technical college entrance qualification. In some cases, the universities expect applicants to have been enrolled at a German university for one year and have achieved good results there.
In some cases, the universities also require proof of sufficient English skills, for example in the form of a standardized test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. Some universities also accept the DAAD language certificate, which you can acquire at German universities.
Costs and financing options
The programs offered are different and so are the fees. For a complete semester abroad at an international university in Vietnam, tuition fees of around EUR 5,600 in the bachelor’s degree and EUR 6,700 in the master’s degree can be expected. You also pay around EUR 5,000 for the “Kulturstudier” programs. This already includes accommodation and meals on a pro-rata basis.
Basically, the cost of living in Vietnam is low compared to Europe. A two-room apartment is available for EUR 150 to EUR 300 per month, a room in a shared apartment is available for EUR 100 to 180. A main course from the wide range of Vietnamese cuisine costs between EUR 1.50 and EUR 5. That depends, of course, on whether you eat in one of the many cookshops or in an upscale restaurant. The prices for public transport are also low.
Nevertheless, you will of course need financial resources for your semester abroad in Vietnam. There are many ways to do this. On the one hand, the federal government offers largely performance-independent funding in the form of BAföG abroad. As part of the Auslands-BAföG, students can receive grants for tuition fees of up to EUR 4,600 as well as additional grants for living costs, health insurance and flights. Foreign BAföG is sometimes also given to those who are not eligible for BAföG for their studies in Germany, as the assessment limits are higher here. So it is definitely worth checking with the responsible BAföG office. For study stays in Vietnam, this is Tübingen.
Performance-based grants for students who can demonstrate particularly good performance offer grants from various foundations or the DAAD. Under certain circumstances, the semester abroad can also be financed with an education or student loan.
Visa and entry into Vietnam
To start the semester abroad in Vietnam, international students need a business visa. In order to receive this, your Vietnamese host university must apply for an entry permit from the local authorities in Vietnam. After they have given their approval, you will receive a reference number from the Vietnamese university, which you will find together with the other application documents
- valid passport
- Visa form
- Passport photo
- Visa fee and
- Sufficiently stamped envelope
submits to the Vietnamese embassy in Berlin.
In addition, you should time yourself to a sufficient immunization and an international health care for the time of your semester abroad in Vietnam.