Vietnam is a country in transition from a primarily agricultural economy to a more industrialized nation. It is also the home to 29 ethnic groups. Hanoi serves as the government capital of the country, while Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is the economic capital.

Programming is focused on Hanoi, the economic hub of the country, and the home of the US Embassy and many non-governmental organizations and cultural institutions. Programming is also possible in Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Sapa, and Cuc Phuong National Park. Rural family stays can be arranged in rural Vietnam with a minority community.

Possible Program Themes

  • War, peace, and reconciliation
  • Economics and globalization
  • US relations and politics
  • Human rights
  • Environmental issues
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Health issues, including HIV/AIDS
  • Religion and religious freedom
  • Gender issues

Potential Visits and Excursions

  • Visit Friendship Village, a facility established by war veterans of five countries that provides rehabilitation and vocational training for veterans and children of Vietnam affected by Agent Orange
  • Tour the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature.
  • Meet with officers from the US Embassy to learn about US activities in Vietnam and the current relationship between the two countries
  • Tour the Ethnology Museum and speak with the director about Vietnam’s many ethnic groups
  • Attend a presentation on economics and globalization by a senior economist with the United Nations Development Programme and former president of the Central Institute for Economic Management
  • Meet with doctors, nurses, and administrators at the National Hospital of Traditional Medicine to learn about their research and therapies for cancer and AIDS using traditional techniques


CGE does not have permanent staff in Vietnam, but partners with an organization based in Hanoi.  A qualified CGE trip leader from one of our other sites will accompany your group and help facilitate the programming.


Groups stay at a modest guesthouse or hotels. Some travel seminars may include a family stay to introduce you to family life in a minority community.

To take the next step, please call our office or go to our Overview and How-to page for more information.