Study Abroad Opportunities

Vietnam Study Tour (Summer 2010)


From June 4 to June 21, 2010, twenty HPU students, faculty and staff ventured to Vietnam as part of a seven-week graduate seminar within the Diplomacy and Military Studies Program (DMS). The course examined the evolution and ramification of the Vietnamese Communist Revolution (1930-present). It consisted of the following:

  • Three weeks of seminar discussion, language lessons and orientation at HPU.
  • Two weeks of seminars at Vietnam National University (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City campuses) and field trips in Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Cu Chi and Ho Chi Minh.
  • One week of presentation preparation and reentry debrief.
  • One week of student presentations at HPU.

The Vietnam Study Abroad Program was organized by associate professor of history, Pierre Asselin, Diplomacy and Military Studies (DMS) program chair, Russell Hart, and DMS academic advisor, Melissa Matsubara. In understanding the invaluable dimensions a study abroad experience can add to any learning endeavor, the organizers sought to provide students with an opportunity to understand Vietnam’s struggle for independence from a Vietnamese perspective and personally witness how the Vietnamese people live the legacies of that struggle.

Reactions from Some Participants

“The Vietnam Study Abroad Program exceeded all my expectations: it was an academic broadening experience listening to lectures by Vietnamese professors, reinforced by discussion and museum visits. It increased my social awareness, provided a venue to appreciate and respect fellow students and faculty, and was a thought-provoking and unforgettable experience.

~ Edward Zelczak, MADMS graduate student and former Vietnam War veteran

“The DMS Vietnam Program was an incredible opportunity to experience a dynamic country with so much history. A perfect balance of classroom seminars enabled the students to have a robust interpretation of a country so ravaged by war and then explore a nation which grew out of the rubble. Through visits to historical sites and museums and lectures by professors of the leading Vietnam universities, the DMS Vietnam Program set the standard for all study abroad programs to strive for. The educational and social experiences by the HPU students will be carried with them forever.”

~ Robert Heatherly, MADMS graduate student and US Army officer

Read Melissa Matsubara's entire report on the Vietnam Study Tour in HPU's Po'okela July-August issue.