University of Oregon

Community Development in Hanoi

Program Overview

As Vietnam has emerged from the ravages of war and moved towards administrative reform, decentralization and re-integration into the global economy, civil society is gaining strength. Particularly important are the growing number of community development organizations, which can be loosely equated to Western-style NGOs. These organizations play an important role in educating people about different issues; empowering minorities and women; managing natural resourced; and supporting poor communities.

As community development organizations have grown an broadened their scope, .many have come up against the limits of their capacity. Limited financial resources, lack of trained staff and poor networking skills hinder their potential.

Program Description:

  • Work five (5) to seven (7) hours a day in a local community organization that works across multiple issues, including children's rights, education, environmental conservation and rural development.
  • Interns work closely with the local staff to help strengthen the operations of the organization
  • The activities of interns are driven by the needs and goals of each organization; typically they include:
    • designing fundraising drives
    • fostering local and international alliances
    • setting up education and online marketing campaigns
    • computer-related help like creating presentations and maintaining web sites is also in high demand
    • helping the local staff improve their English


  • Eager to contribute.
  • The flexibility to participate in many different tasks depending on the ever-changing needs of the organization.
  • The creativity and initiative to work in a n environment with limited resources.
  • Education and/or professional experience in a relevant business, computer or NGO-related field like accounting, fundraising, marketing, non-profit management, finance or web design.


  • It is each intern's role to fit in with their project and not the other way around. Being able to adapt, adjust and fit in is challenging, but also what makes an international internship so special.

This internship is self-directed. Participants must be able to work independently and contribute wherever the need arises, even if it means being involved in activities you were not expecting to work in.

This service learning internship opportunity is made possible through a partnership with UBELONG, the world's leading social organization for high-impact volunteering and learning opportunities abroad. UBELONG's mission is to bring people together across borders to share their humanity and take action for positive change.

Internship Details

Students must intern for a minimum of 30 hours per week, for a total of at least 240 hours for an 8-week internship.  This will earn 8 internship credits.

In addition to 8 internship credits, students will enroll in a 1-4 credit Intercultural Communication online course.  This course is designed to provide ongoing support to students who do internships abroad.  Students will observe, explore and investigate the core cultural values in their host country during the service learning internship, conduct comparison in the differences between their host and home country, and develop critical thinking skills and culture learning strategies. Some of the topics discussed in this course include: attitudes toward time, space, age, gender and authority, different views on self/others, conflict styles and culture shock. 

A weekly assignment for the online course includes: reading assignments, group discussions and/or a weekly journal.  The number of enrolled credits will determine the course workload.  It will begin one week before your internship begins and end one week after completion.

Eligible applicants will be considered automatically for a Freeman Fellowship for up to $6,000 in funding toward internships in East and Southeast Asia.

Housing Description

The Intern House is part of a lively hostel located in the city center near restaurants and shops. Staff is available 24/7 at the house to assist interns with any needs. Interns generally share a room with one to three other interns.

Additional Requirements

  • Prior to arrival, participants must provide a police background check.
  • Must be 21 years or older

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.