• Vietnam

Overview

During this program, students will learn how perspective informs “truth & accuracy.” American students will collaborate with their Vietnamese counterparts on journalism assignments that will represent multiple perspectives. The group will find & write stories aimed at helping Americans better understand contemporary Vietnam & its people.
Prior to the trip, students will gain a basic understanding of the Vietnam War through the ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series “The Vietnam War.” Much of our time in country will then be devoted to understanding the Vietnamese point of view of the “American War” (as it’s known in Vietnam). 

Highlights

  • University of Social Sciences & Humanities – Discuss backpack journalism with students, faculty & Journalists.
  • War Remnant Museum – Learn about the Vietnamese perspective of the war.
  • Cu Chi Tunnels – Crawl through the underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong.
  • US Consulate – Meet with representatives to discuss current relations with the Vietnamese.
  • Project RENEW – Visit this veteran founded project aimed at removing unexploded ordnance left over from the war.
  • Academy of Journalism & Communication – Partner with Vietnamese students to write stories that will help Americans better understand contemporary Vietnam.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh

Visit the University of Social Sciences & Humanities for an introduction to South Vietnam. Then, meet with students, faculty & journalist . Then, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh

Return to the University of Social Sciences & Humanities for a joint exercise with the USSH students. The group will discuss the backpack journalism trend & the increased demands it places on reporters.

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh

Visit to the War Remnant Museum to learn about the War in Vietnam from the Vietnamese perspective. The museum contains exhibits containing more than 20,000 documents, artifacts & films.

Day 4: Cu Chi Tunnels

The group will discuss first impressions of the country while driving to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This immense network of tunnels was used for military operations during the Vietnam War, most prominently by the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive in 1968. After an introductory film, the group will walk through a gallery of handmade weapons before crawling through the tunnels to experience what life was like for Vietnamese soldiers. Return to Ho Chi Minh for a free afternoon.

Day 5: Ho Chi Minh

Journey to the U.S. Consulate to meet with representatives to discuss the U. S. perspective of the war & current relations with the Vietnamese.

Day 6: Ho Chi Minh – Hue

Enjoy some free time before transferring to the airport for the flight to Hue. Upon arrival, meet your English-speaking guide & transfer to the hotel.

Day 7: Quang Tri

Discuss the DMZ on the way to the Vinh Moc tunnels. The North Vietnamese built three levels of tunnels 100 feet underground in response to the relentless bombing by American troops.
Next, visit the Ancient Citadel of Quang Tri, built in 1824 as a military fortress & known for being severely attacked during the 1968 Tet Offensive. This citadel is located right on the Thach Han River where, once a year, people drop flowers into the water in memory of the lives that were lost at the Battle of Quang Tri.
Finally, see the Hien Luong Bridge which physically divided North & South Vietnam, a symbol of what was lost during the 21-year conflict.

Day 8: Quang Tri

Spend the morning seeing other historical monuments in the area. Then, visit Project RENEW. Founded by Vietnam veterans but operated by the Vietnamese, Project RENEW is working to rid Quang Tri province of unexploded ordnance left over from the war. Return to Hue for the night.

Day 9: Hue – Hanoi

Take a morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, meet your guide & transfer to your hotel. Welcome to North Vietnam!

Day 10: Hanoi

Take a half-day city tour, discussing the war from the Hanoi point of view.
In the afternoon, visit the Hoa Lo Prison Museum. Hoa Lo was first used by French colonists to imprison Vietnamese revolutionaries, then by the Northern Vietnamese to keep U.S. prisoners during the Vietnam War. You’ll also stop by the Kham Thien memorial site where you’ll find a statue of a mother & her dead child, dedicated to the victims of the U.S. air raids in Christmas 1972.

Day 11: Hanoi

Visit the Ho Chi Minh complex, named after leader “Uncle Ho” who devoted his life to liberating the Vietnamese people. Next, stop by the French-style President’s House & garden before visiting the House on Stilts. This traditional, stilt-house is where Ho Chi Minh lived between 1958-1969. Afterward, stop by the Ho Chi Minh Tomb as well as the One Pillar Pagoda. The One Pillar Pagoda was originally built by Emperor Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 – 1054. Its unique structure is said to represent a lotus flower growing up out of the water.

Day 12: Hanoi

Visit with student & faculty at the Academy of Journalism & Communication. Discuss contemporary Vietnam & begin your joint project. Partner with Vietnamese students to find & write stories that help Americans better understand Vietnam today. Then, transfer to a local restaurant for your farewell dinner.