Student Exchange Vietnam provides a range of unique internships in a variety of fields in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Interns from most academic backgrounds will find opportunities that allow for a once-in-a-lifetime professional and cross-cultural experience. Student Exchange Vietnam offers positions for students interested in business, environment/agriculture, animal science, engineering, hospitality/tourism, law and legal studies, medicine/health, and education.
Appropriate internship opportunities are identified based on students’ interests and skills, and Student Exchange Vietnam works to provide a high level of support for successful applicants. Interns will gain first-hand knowledge about Vietnam and its distinctive role in regional and global affairs.
Student Exchange Vietnam has been developing a network of companies and organizations across Vietnam in order to provide internships to international students interested in agriculture, business, finance, consulting, education, engineering, hospitality, law, medicine, and more. Student Exchange Vietnam works with each student to determine an individualized placement that meets each student’s professional and academic interests and skills. Interns with Student Exchange Vietnam are assigned to a local “buddy” who can provide support and help with the integration into Vietnam. Student Exchange Vietnam strongly encourages students to immerse themselves in local life via activities, city exploration, excursions, and community service. Most internships are based in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Other locations may be possible if requested.
Vietnam has been shifting from a traditional agriculture-based economy to an industrialized economy, providing a unique look at the challenges of this shift in the areas of agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, and sustainability.
Sample placements: The Centre for Sustainable Rural Development, the Tropical Development and Investment Corporation (Tropdicorp), Root of Peace, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, EraHouse, SNV Netherlands Development Organization, Cham Island Biosphere Reserve, Vina Xanh Environment.
Vietnam has undergone a significant education reform to open the door for international education philosophies. Schools and students are eager to develop their international experience and English language skills for the country’s increasing role in the global world. Interns who speak English, Japanese, or Korean have the opportunity to teach in classrooms. Further opportunities available for those interested in early childhood education or special education. Monthly stipend is available.
Sample placements: Apollo Education & Training, Language Link Vietnam, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Bac Lung Secondary School.
Vietnam is one of the fastest growing technology markets in the world. Internships provide valuable industry experience within the specializations of architecture, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, IT, telecommunications, and software. Monthly stipend may be available.
Sample placements: VNU University of Science – Faculty of Chemistry Lab, Aurecon Vietnam, Korn Architects, Eastern Medical Equipment Company, East Agile Vietnam, ABIVIN, Mobitouch JSC, VISOFT PTE.
Vietnam’s strategic location in SE Asia and as a transport hub between the Pacific and Indian oceans has helped it to increasingly attract international investments and business, but local human resource law and legislature has struggled to meet industry demand. Internships within firms in Vietnam will provide students with a first-hand look at market research, marketing and sales, human resources, public relations, finance, accounting, auditing, law, banking, and real estate.
Sample placements: Tilleke & Gibbins, Phu Thai Group, Unistars International Auditing Co., Techcombank, StoxPlus Corporation, Kinh Do Corporation, HG Holdings, VBPO.
Vietnam continues to rise as a popular destination for tourism in SE Asia. The cultural beauty, landscape, and increasing infrastructure has facilitated investments in the hospitality industry and creative competition. Interns can work within tourism agencies or hotel management, specifically reception, guest services, concierge, and culinary management. Small stipend and reduced/free accommodation may be available.
Sample placements: Paradise Vietnam, Bloom Restaurant Saigon, Fortuna Hanoi Hotel.
Internships are available in hospitals and health care centers, providing interns with the chance to observe medical work in a variety of departments including nursing, physical therapy, orthopedic, speech therapy, critical care, nursing, acupuncture, and public health.
Sample placements: VINMEC International Hospital, Hospital of Hanoi Medical University, National Hospital of Acupuncture, FV Hospital.
As Vietnam’s economy has developed, the country has also seen a rise in social issues. Vietnam is home to many non-profits, NGOs, and social enterprises seeking to address topics such as child rights, mental health, disability, nutrition, family planning, sustainable development, social justice, and post-war issues. Interns interested in public health, social work, non-profit management, and community development can work within a variety of arenas.
Sample placements: MACDI, Good Neighbors International, Kenan Institute Asia, TÒHE.
The host site fee from Student Exchange Vietnam includes:
Monthly stipends are available for many internships through Student Exchange Vietnam. The availability and amount of each stipend will depend on the placement site and qualifications of the intern.
Most interns have the option of staying in a homestay, dormitory (shared), or shared room. Some sites may provide on-site accommodation (tourism/hospitality sites). Single rooms may be possible for an additional cost.
“In one paragraph I would say that interning in Hanoi was one of the best choices I could have made. The professional experiences were not anything like I imagined. There were times I was not working on anything and still had to come sit in the office for nine hours a day, but then there were days I had 30 minute deadlines and massive trainings to research. I was also exposed to another culture in the hardest way possible with full immersion. I also grew as an adult in my short time here; how to balance a budget for the month, paying for all of my own bills, having to cook at late at night when all I wanted to do was fall asleep. Living in Vietnam was certainly a challenge and there were times I wanted to throw the towel in and go home, but this was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. It was not at all what I thought it was going to be, but it was everything what I needed to experience.”
-Maile, Oregon State University
“My biggest professional reward has been my ability to learn new approaches when working with clients from a SE Asian perspective. The way that human service workers approach issues in the U.S. is very different than the way that we approach it in my host organization. I have had to think critically about the most effective interventions and adapt past models to fit with this new culture. I think that being able to critically analyze situations and problem solve creatively, will greatly help me in my professional future. I have also had a lot of interesting experiences trying to travel outside of the city. You honestly never really know how the experience is going to be, but Viet Nam never disappoints with interesting experiences, even if methods seem a little crazy to you.”
- Haley, University of Oregon
“It is difficult as a premed student to do anything too valuable. However, I helped where I could, including helping move patients to the PACU, helping set up the operating room, helping to sterilize hospital equipment, and especially as a translator for the travelling physicians. Personally, I was able to make contact with a culture I’ve had marginal experience with my whole life. It is a great privilege to be a member of any culture, and to lose that connection is a great loss that many do not realize the magnitude of until it is gone. I was able to pick up right where I left of in my ability to integrate into Vietnamese society. In terms of personal goals, I was able to see the culture that my parents are from, and realize how normal my upbringing was and what traits I have that are bestowed from Vietnam’s very old culture, traits that are not immediately apparent to an outsider. I feel a greater connection to history, and see my place in a much bigger picture.”
- Andrew, University of Oregon
“I believe that my internship experience has had a positive effect on my ability to learn. I thought I had a much better understanding of the world before coming to Vietnam, and the fact is I really know very little about the world. Before I came here I had convinced myself that I was well informed regarding culture, ethnicity, and the ways people think. This experience has given me important insights into the challenges of working abroad and how to deal with them. I learned how to challenge myself in many ways, including learning new skills and applying them to my work. I was constantly faced with unexpected changes and differing work environments from week to week. This was both very good and very bad because it definitely kept things interesting and I was forced to deal with many different circumstances.”
- Jack, University of Oregon
“I learned so much about an ecosystem I knew so little. When there was an opportunity for an excursion at work, I was heartily encouraged to be involved and participate. It still shocks me how lucky I am in regards to this trip, I gained so much and had a wonderful time. However, it wasn’t without effort on my part - I tried my best every day at work, when I had a question I would ask the appropriate people, and adopted culture etiquette in dress and behavior. When I left for Vietnam, I went to get work and cultural exchange experience, to learn about my field and government, and I did just that, but I feel that I learned things that I have found to be more valuable to my humanity rather than my education. While in Vietnam I saw another way of life I knew existed, but never really felt was there until I saw it firsthand.”
- Isabella, Portland State University
“My greatest professional challenge was teaching myself how to be an effective English teacher. The first few weeks required a lot of time and energy invested into the lesson planning and teaching process. My greatest professional reward was seeing the progress in my students over the month or so I worked with them. On my last day teaching in Bac Giang, I taught my eighth grade class without any help from Vietnamese translators, and that class was my most successful for learning outcomes and for the connection I felt with the students. It was immensely rewarding to communicate fluidly with students who several weeks prior would only stare back blankly when I asked a question.”
- Monica, Oregon State University
Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15
- Cross-cultural sensitivity and a high degree of professionalism
- Open to most majors