Spending Summertime in Vietnam

The St. John’s Department of Global Studies is offering several different programs for psychology, history and education majors to study while in Vietnam for a summer study abroad session.

Psychology and history students can take either graduate or undergraduate courses. For example, students can do a history independent study with Professor Mauricio Borrero, according to the Global Studies website. Undergrad psychology courses will be offered in social psychology and various independent study topics.

Graduate courses for psychology and history students are also available. The psychology courses are also on social psychology, early intervention in early childhood and neuropsychological assessment. The History Department has one graduate course, The Development of the Communist World after 1945, also taught by Borrero, who specializes in communist studies.

For education majors, the School of Education is offering a program for students who want to have the experience of studying in Vietnam, more particular, in Thai Nguyen City. Students will also participate in Academic Service Learning where they become conversation partners with Vietnamese students who are currently learning English.

There is only one graduate course that is being offered, which will be taught by Professor Yvonne Pratt-Johnson and is titled The Structure of the English Language.

The course will focus on the linguistic side of English in addition to studying syntax and analyzing the difficulties that English Language Learners (ELL) have when it comes to English grammar.

“Our goal is to broaden the scope of possibilities and continue to collaborate with through different disciplines throughout our Colleges,” said Cathy Lancellotti, associate director at the Center for Psychological Services and director of Vietnamese Initiatives for Psychological Services.

In addition, psychology and history majors have the chance to study abroad at the Ho Chi Minh City, which is located on the Saigon River in Vietnam. There are many sightseeing activities to do such as visiting museums and city halls in addition to the classes you have to take, the course’s Webpage says.

Along with the museums and city halls, students will be able to see the places like the Cu Chi Tunnels, which was an underground passageway for citizens during the Vietnam War. Two weeks in, students will go to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.

Students partaking in the psychology and history programs will attend an overnight cruise down on the Ha Long Bay of Vietnam, the page says.

Hanoi is the ancient and traditional side of Vietnam. At the Old Quarter of Hanoi, students will be able to see the 600 year-old architecture and also take a trip to Silk Village, where students will have the opportunity to buy elegant clothing, silks and souvenirs.

According to Lancellotti, Dr. Hung Le, who is a former assistant dean of St. John’s College and director of Vietnam Initiatives, created the program. Dr. Le currently lives in Vietnam, she said, and is working with St. John’s to build a strong relationship with Vietnam.

Lancellotti said while students take a three-credit course, they participate in an Academic Service Learning project located in hospitals, orphanages and/or AIDS facilities.

“Students truly step out of their comfort zone while serving and come away feeling inspired,” she said.

Lancellotti described how this study abroad program in Vietnam is different from European countries and how it enhances the University’s mission.

“I think study abroad in Vietnam is different because many students have been abroad to Europe and many have European backgrounds,” she said. “Vietnam truly addresses our Vincentian Mission and I feel certain that the students would find this experience inspiring, as I did.”