Journey through diverse ecological systems and immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture. Float through mangrove forests and explore marine ecology while learning about current challenges to the conservation of Vietnam’s natural environments.
July 4, 2018APPLY NOW
Begin your environmental studies in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s bustling capital, before traveling to mangrove forests, the Central Highlands, and the Mekong Delta to explore jungle and coastal areas. Acquire firsthand knowledge of Vietnam’s ecology while discovering the threats, including climate change and development pressures, impacting the country’s natural environments and indigenous communities.
During an excursion to the mangrove forests in Can Gio, you will canoe down the Dong Nai River for an intimate view of monkeys and birds in their natural habitats. You will visit an endangered primate rescue center and learn about conservation efforts and challenges at Cat Tien National Park, home to mammals such as elephants and sun bears. You will attend seminars on climate change, visit the floating markets on the Mekong River, discover marine ecology and bike, trek, and snorkel on the beautiful island of Phu Quoc, which boasts numerous coral reefs and seagrass beds.
Immerse yourself in the daily lives of two Vietnamese families during homestays in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Lat. During the program’s rural stay in Hoa An village, you will take Vietnamese language classes and participate in a community service project, such as building a biogas system or teaching English to children. Travel to the Central Highlands, learn about indigenous traditions, attend workshops on Vietnamese folk music, and practice Zen meditation. You will meet with local NGOs working to advance the quality of life of vulnerable people and communities. Continue learning about Vietnam’s history and culture through visits to historical sites such as the Cu Chi tunnels, one of the longest systems of underground tunnels from the Vietnam War. Your trip concludes with an overnight visit to the gorgeous white sand beaches on the island of Phu Quoc while en route back to the capital for final exploration and reflection.
July 4, 2018 - August 2, 2018 (4 weeks)
Ho Chi Minh City, 3 days
Ho Chi Minh City*, 6 days; Da Lat city (Central Highlands)*, 3 days
University dormitory, educational institute, hotels
Orientation in Ho Chi Minh City
During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
Urban Homestay in Ho Chi Minh City
Outdoor Excursion (Thematic Focus)
Can Gio Mangrove Forest
During this period, you will stay in the home of a family.
Homestay in the Central Highlands
Thematic Focus at Cat Tien National Park
During this period, you will stay in the home of a family in Dalat and in guest houses.
Excursion to Can Tho and Hoa An
During this period, you and your group will stay in an educational institute and a centrally located hotel.
Excursion to Phu Quoc Island (Thematic Focus)
During this period, you and your group will stay in a guest house.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City
During this period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located hotel.
Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Ho Chi Minh City
During the reflection period, you and your group will stay at a nearby hotel.
Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.
These are leader bios from summer 2015.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Jake spent two years in Thailand teaching English and coordinating a teach abroad program for an international education organization. A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder with a BA in film studies, Jake first caught the travel bug when he studied abroad with Semester at Sea, and has lived in, studied in, and explored 23 different countries since!
Prior to living in Thailand, Jake worked as the teen programs coordinator for a residential camp in Oregon and as a unit leader for a camp in Colorado. Jake is scuba certified, TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certified, and he is an active community volunteer. In his free time, Jake enjoys film, basketball, playing music, skiing, and backpacking.
A native of upstate New York, Sarita Upadhyay graduated from Cornell University with a BS in natural and environmental systems. While in college, she spent seven months living and studying in Melbourne, Australia. She also co-founded Big Red Bikes, Cornell’s first bike-share program, and raised $50,000 to ensure the program could be funded and continue to operate past her own graduation. After college, Sarita followed her love of the outdoors to the Amazon in Ecuador, where she coordinated a teaching program, and then to Cuzco, Peru, where she managed logistics and tours for a travel company.
Sarita worked on developing green infrastructure projects in Chicago, Illinois, at an urban sustainability-themed think tank before leading The Experiment’s summer 2014 Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology, and Sustainability program. She has traveled extensively in Asia, with highlights including living on a farm in Laos, taking a motorcycle trip in Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, and visiting family in Delhi, Mathura and Mumbai, India. Currently, Sarita lives in San Francisco where she studies psychology and works on research in health-related psychological interventions at the University of California, San Francisco. Sarita is a PADI-certified Advanced Open Water Diver and former lifeguard. In her free time, she is an avid cyclist and hiker.
Congratulations on your upcoming Experiment summer on the Vietnam: Ecology & Conservation program. Please download these important pre-departure documents about your host country and program by clicking on the links below. Visit our Pre-departure page for information about our expectations, communications, and travel planning