Experience Unprecedented Culture and Language Studies
Vietnam is a nation of conflict, both historic and contemporary. Students have not always been able to travel to this area of the world, but are now taking the opportunity to experience its foreign culture and ancient civilization. Located in Southeastern Asia, Vietnam borders the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, as well as China, Laos, and Cambodia — making for a rich and diverse landscape of peoples, cultures and interests. (There are more than a handful of ethnic groups spread throughout the country.) While Vietnamese is the official language, English is increasingly becoming the second main language — a boon for students wanting to become immersed in the region’s evolution between globalism and Old World agrarian ways.
- There may be no more unique and challenging country in Southeast Asia in which to take up studies than Vietnam. The David L. Boren Scholarships established by the federal government help fund the international educations of hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students each year. The key question is, “Is it a country of critical need to the United States security agencies?” Because Vietnam remains rooted in Communist rule, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Undergraduate students wishing to study in Vietnam and who may consider a long-term career in national security may earn up to $20,000; graduate students can apply for up to $30,000. Eligible applicants must be academically talented in a program that will enable them to experience Vietnam’s language and culture from the inside-out. In return for each year of scholarship money, recipients are expected to repay in service through working in a federal national security department.
- The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships is another federal government offering, but this time the focus is diversifying the next generation of international decision makers, global business leaders and other professionals. Deserving undergraduates from under-represented populations who are receiving the Pell Grant and want to study in Vietnam should apply for this prestigious award. More than 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 annually are given for study programs around the globe, including Vietnam. Eligible candidates must be academically outstanding and demonstrate a serious financial disadvantage. Preference is given to minorities and disabled.
The privately funded Freeman-ASIA Scholarships have become one of the better-known awards for students heading off to destinations to undertake Asian Studies. If you’re planning to study in Vietnam, don’t ignore this fund. Primarily awarded to financially needy students, it also takes into account your academic standing. You can apply for a summer, semester or year program and earn up to $7,000 depending on length of study. It includes the cost of the study abroad program and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation, and books. Act quickly: Funding will no longer be available for Summer 2013 and beyond.
The Vietnam Center in Lubbock, Texas, funds the Leroy Herron Scholarships, named in memory of a soldier killed in the Vietnam War. Scholarship monies are earmarked to help fund Texas Tech University students studying some aspect of the Vietnam War for fieldwork or research in Vietnam.
Students attending the University of Minnesota who are interested in spending time Vietnam have a menu of international study scholarships to consider, including:
- Judee J. Kleffman Scholarships are open to full-time students participating in a study abroad program. Awards are $500 and based on academic merit.
- Billman International Scholarships benefit Minnesota residents with awards of $1,000. They are available to undergraduate and graduate students.
- Joshua and James Haglund Memorial Peace Scholarship for study in specific countries, including Vietnam, provide at least one award of $750 annually.
- Glen Hendricks International Study Fund awards undergraduates and graduates $1,200 for a semester of study or $2,000 for an academic year.
Study Abroad Organizations
The School of International Training (SIT) provides innovative international programs for students. The Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development program is an excellent chance for students with no other opportunity to study in Vietnam. Through interdisciplinary coursework, field study, educational excursions led by experts, and homestays with local residents, students learn about Vietnam’s history, social characteristics, and recent economic development trends. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Here are some of the several awards:
- The Sally Bragg Baker Memorial Scholarships go to a female participant in any who demonstrates international awareness and a desire to create a more peaceful world through international exchange.
- Residents of Houston, Texas may apply for the Houston International Scholarship.
- SIT Pell Grant Match Award matches federal Pell Grant funding for all study abroad programs.
- The Compton Fund is for students enrolled with environmental, peace studies, or sustainable development themes.
- SIT Fund is for students with demonstrated financial need.
- HBCU Scholarships are for students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).