Study Abroad in Ho Chi Minh City

Back to Programs

A Guide to Studying Abroad in Ho Chi Minh

With a rich history from ruling of Chinese and Khmer settlers to French and Spanish occupation to the rage of Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh is more than just a city with a very rich history. Geographically located in the southern part of the country, Ho Chi Minh is known for its French colonial architecture, cheap hawker food stalls, and warm welcoming people. As the biggest city in a fast developing country in Southeast Asia, it is becoming a more and more popular destination for study abroad in Vietnam.

Study Abroad in Ho Chi Minh

The bustling city of Ho Chi Minh offers various options for international students, from short summer programs to year long intensive opportunities. The city houses many qualified academic institutions with international accreditation and compelling curriculum to meet the needs of international students, the following subjects are just a few of the top subjects of study in Ho Chi Minh:

History & Culture. Studying history and culture in Ho Chi Minh is made more interesting by intricately planned programs created specifically for international students, which often include homestays and cultural activities. Daily interactions with local communities, alongside homestay accommodation, make learning about Vietnamese history and culture even more compelling. There is no better way to truly enjoy learning about a new culture than joining the local people in their own communities.

Vietnamese Language. There are several public and private institutions offering basic language courses and intensive programs for international students who want to learn the Vietnamese language through study abroad in Ho Chi Minh. Most of these courses are made specifically so students can quickly learn, understand, and converse in Vietnamese, which will no doubt be helpful during their time in Ho Chi Minh.

Service Learning. For students interested in learning about the local culture while also giving back through community service projects, there are several institutions that offer service learning programs in Ho Chi Minh. These sustainable projects encourage students to not only learn about the country’s people and history, but also to provide sustainable change and community development through volunteer work. Service learning study abroad programs in Ho Chi Minh often provider a more reflective and challenging environment for curious students seeking a more unique study abroad experience.

Program Basics. Students can choose to study abroad in Ho Chi Minh for as short as four weeks or as long as four months, or even a year. Most study abroad programs in Ho Chi Minh include basic language courses, which help students with speaking Vietnamese and reading comprehension.

Life in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh is a booming metropolis, when it comes to cities in Vietnam. The city life is visible in many ways, and upscale cafés and restaurants are located on almost any corner of any street. There are an array of places for students to spend their free time in, from coffee shops to gyms to markets to shopping centers.

Both local and international students enjoy having their own means of transportation in Ho Chi Minh, although public transportation is affordable and easy to use. Many students find it is convenient to rent or purchase a motorbike, which are the major form of transportation in the city. However, the bus system covers most locations in the city, including downtown area, markets, and shopping centers, for about $1.00 per ride and there are taxis and motorbikes for hire as well.

Costs & Affordability

Study abroad programs in Ho Chi Minh vary in cost based on what is included and how long the program lasts; normally, programs that include accommodation, visa fees, excursions, medical insurance, and textbooks cost between $15,000 and $20,000 for a semester long program, while a summer program may be $5,000 to $10,000. There are a variety of funding opportunities that students can take advantage of for study abroad in Ho Chi Minh, including many scholarships.

Living in Ho Chi Minh is quite cheap compared to most Western cities. An average meal costs between $1 and $3 from basic restaurants, but meals can be up to $10 or $15 in more expensive places. When it comes to housing, apartments vary from $70 for a single to $200 for a double room, but could be much  more expensive in higher end apartment buildings.

Accommodation & Visas

Institutions that provider study abroad programs in Ho Chi Minh often arrange housing for international students, or at the very least a list of options. However, students usually get to choose which housing arrangement they would like to have. Students will find that there are a number of accommodation options to choose from within a 10 to 15 minute walk to everything they need in the city. Along with homestays, there are also various types of apartments and guest houses where students can choose to stay. There are also some institutions that provide accommodation on campus in the form of dorms are other student housing, ranging from single bedroom units to shared three to five bedroom apartments, for those with a sociable personality. All on campus apartments are typically fully furnished and well maintained.

International students will need a visa in order to study abroad in Ho Chi Minh. Most institutions will arrange the necessary visa for students prior to arrival. The fee for a student visa is $45 for a three-month single entry and $95 for multiple entry. Students who are studying abroad in Ho Chi Minh for longer durations will need to consult their program provider or university on the best visa arrangement for them.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

The Local People. As a rapidly developing city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is a foreigner’s haven. Locals are friendly and very open to foreigners, especially international students. Although locals speak limited English, they will still try to help foreigners in any way they can. Learning basic Vietnamese will be very helpful for students studying in Ho Chi Minh.

Weather. Ho Chi Minh has a tropical climate with two seasons: wet and dry. The hottest days are in April and May, while coolest in December to March. In the wet season, May to October, heavy rains are prevalent during the afternoon.

Read our comprehensive guide on studying abroad in Vietnam.

Read More

A Guide To
Studying Abroad in Ho Chi Minh


 Find Study Abroad Programs in Ho Chi Minh City Now


Summer in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City)

Make the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City – still known to many as Saigon – your home this summer. Study in English at a contemporary university with Vietnamese classmates and international faculty. Your three weeks in Southeast Asia will expose you to the country’s history, vibrant food, and diverse entertainment it is known for in the region. Vietnam’s central location in Southeast Asia makes it a gr...


ISA Study Abroad in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City began as a small fishing village and has since transformed into the most populous city in all of Vietnam. The city's personality is found in its unique dichotomy, as it is the perfect blend of traditional and modern. Ho Chi Minh City boasts everything from fine dining to street food, upscale hotels to inexpensive guesthouses and hostels, and premium shopping centers to the chea...


This listing has been saved 3 times

Semester at Sea - Fall/Spring Voyage: Viet Nam

Semester at Sea is a global journey that brings students face-to-face with a diversity of our world's cultures and perspectives. Every spring and fall, Semester at Sea explores up to 11 developed and emerging countries and 15 cities on a 100-day voyage. Students represent nearly 25 different countries and 250 institutions, and with the faculty, staff, and crew become a supportive and collabo...


The Vietnam Center in Ho Chi Minh City

Feeling adventurous? Study at the Vietnam Center of Loyola University Chicago based in Ho Chi Minh City and discover the immense beauty of Southeast Asia! Choose from a broad range of courses offered and explore a promising country with abundant life and adventure while studying the social, cultural, political and economic dynamics currently shaping contemporary Vietnam. Students will be im...


This listing has been saved 1 time

Faculty-Led Program in Vietnam with SE Vietnam

SE Vietnam has been working closely with foreign universities from different countries to organize short-term study abroad programs in Vietnam for their students. That does not only help internationalize their campuses but also create and nurture future leaders with cultural understanding and a more global mindset. With a large network of partner institutions and service providers across Vietna...


Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development

Examine economic and social development in the cultural context of Vietnam, one of Asia’s most dynamic and rapidly changing countries. This program examines how, after emerging from decades of war and isolation, Vietnam today is experiencing tremendous growth and, over the last decade, has boasted one of the strongest economies in Asia. Students consider critical issues such as sustainable...


This listing has been saved 9 times

Southeast Asia Gap Year Semester | Pacific Discovery

Who do you want to be in the world? Join Pacific Discovery for a life-changing, overland journey through the cultural heart of Southeast Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. On the Southeast Asia Semester, participants will travel in a fun, safe, and supportive small group with two experienced international instructors to facilitate and mentor the experience. Participants will get in...


This listing has been saved 1 time

Study Abroad in beautiful Vietnam: with scholarships

If you’ve always wanted to experience another culture without taking a break from school, pursue your higher education studies in picturesque Vietnam. Attend Bach Khoa University, a leading university in engineering and a member of the National University of Vietnam. Choose from 12 Engineering and 1 Business program, as well as English programs accredited and qualified by prestigious organiz...


This listing has been saved 28 times

Gilman International Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering scholarships to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. Each year, the program supports over 2,000 students participating in Fall, Spring, Academic Year or Summer study ...