I spent part of last Monday morning speaking and listening to a group of 17 US students who are in Viet Nam for the spring semester under the auspices of a School for International Training’s (SIT) program entitled Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development.
They started out in HCMC (Saigon) on 1 February and will now spend the remainder of their time in Hanoi. Most are female (12 out of 17, or about 70%) and come from a variety of mostly private colleges and universities from 11 states. These include – in A-Z order – Bates College, Emory University, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, Maryland Institute College of Art, Skidmore College, University of Mississippi, Siena College, University of Vermont, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, Vassar College, Washington University in St. Louis, Whitman College, and Williams College
Thei majors represented include Anthropology, Economics, Finance, Gender Studies, History, Human Development, Illustration/Design, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy, Social Work, and Sociology.
In addition to their coursework and program-related activities, the students are either working on an independent study project or doing an internship.
We discussed a wide range of issues related to Viet Nam, its development, and its recent history, as well as about concepts such nationalism, patriotism, and global citizenship. They were engaged, curious, and well-informed.
Thanks to SIT for the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite topics – Viet Nam!