Ha Noi, Hue, Hoi An, Dong Ha, Viet Nam
In the summer of 2019, the Comparative History of Ideas program once again will sponsor a well-established study abroad program led by Christoph Giebel (UW, Int'l. Studies/History) to explore the legacy of war and ongoing rebuilding efforts in Viet Nam. More than 40 years after the end of the war, areas of central Viet Nam, where much of the fiercest fighting occurred, still must deal with the war’s after-effects. Environmental, community health, and socio-economic challenges stubbornly remain and defy quick solutions. Students will learn how wars—so easily started—will have grave impacts for generations even after their formal end.
Our group of 16-18 students will first pursue cultural-historical studies in dynamic Ha Noi and serene Hue to firmly contextualize and historicize what is commonly called the “Viet Nam War.” In partnership with PeaceTrees Vietnam, a Seattle-based NGO working on land mine clearance and sustainable environmental/community restoration in Quang Tri Province, we will then engage with, and learn from, lowland and remote upland communities near the former Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and participate in rebuilding and reforestation projects. We will be visiting former battlefields such as Khe Sanh and there gain hands-on experience in how areas cleared of explosives at long last enable sustainable agricultural projects and safe play and learning environments for children.
Besides these activities and learning goals, pursued in one of the most stunningly beautiful areas of Viet Nam, we will also critically examine concepts of “helping” and “service learning,” their ethics and pitfalls, and contemplate our position in a world defined by stark inequality in power and resources.
Professor Giebel has directed eight Comparative History of Ideas programs in Viet Nam, all of which have received uniformly enthusiastic student evaluations. Ability to speak Vietnamese is not required, and students from all areas of study are encouraged to apply.
- CHID 470: Understanding Contemporary Viet Nam (2 credits I&S)
- HSTAS 265 / JSIS A 265: The Viet Nam Wars (5 credits I&S)
- CHID 475: S.E. Asia Study Abroad: Engaged Community Learning (5 credits, NW, Diversity)
*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, Study Abroad Insurance ($2/day), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.