UF in Vietnam Internship
Offered Summer Terms
Welcome to Vietnam, a land of stunning natural beauty, cultural complexity and rapid economic transformation. The UF in Vietnam internship program offers students a unique opportunity to learn about this strategic emerging market while completing a professional internship in the financial center and trading hub of the country. Students who participate in this program will gain valuable industry experience related to their major, develop professional skills, network with business professionals in Vietnam, and learn about what it is like to work in a multinational and multicultural setting.
Vietnamese language is not required. All interns will have an English speaking supervisor.
The Country: Vietnam
Vietnam’s dynamic collection of staggering landscapes, exhilarating megacities, ancient temples, and peaceful small villages is both compelling and humbling. The country is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites with natural gems such as the famous Ha Long Bay and Hoi An Ancient Town. Aside from its visual wonders, the tropical climate, warm inviting culture, mouthwatering cuisine, and robust economic growth are making Vietnam an increasingly attractive place for foreigners to work and live. With growth oriented government policies, significant increases in foreign direct investment, and a young and highly literate workforce, Vietnam is now the third largest startup ecosystem in Asia and poised to be one of the top ten fastest growing economies for the next 35 years.
The City: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it is known to locals, is a city of contradictions. Flocks of worn Honda motorcycles pass by well-kept storefronts which sell high-end designer brands. A statue of the resolute communist leader who bested foreign militaries and unified Vietnam now stands in front of a French colonial hotel with advertisements for large foreign banks illuminated in the background. Vietnamese farmers sell vegetables, fruit, and live frogs on the street outside of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant serving a new and more confident Vietnamese middle class consumer. Droves of American tourists visit the hidden Viet Cong tunnels once used to liberate the country from American soldiers. The city forfeited to an encroaching communist government in 1975 is now leading the economic and capitalist renaissance for reunified Vietnam and leading the way for its South East Asian neighbors. Today’s visitors to Saigon experience a high octane blend of history, international fusion and modernity that is driving forward with pulsating energy.
- Vietnam is the fastest growing economy amongst ASEAN countries
- In 2019, Ho Chi Minh City was ranked as the 4thbest city in Asia for millennial employment prospects
- The cost of living is 60% less than New York and London, with food, taxis and movie tickets priced lower than the global average
- According to CNN Business, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the 10 best emerging cities to launch a start-up
- The country has a young and vibrant population, with 70% under the age of 30
The nine-week program splits into three sections; Pre-departure research, on-site cultural discovery, and professional application. The pre-departure research portion of the course takes place on the UF campus from May 4-May 8. Students will learn about Vietnam’s commerce and culture through lectures and investigative assignments. The on-site cultural discovery portion of the course will take place in Vietnam, from May 22 –May 29. During this week, students will learn about Vietnamese culture firsthand by exploring some of the country’s cultural and natural treasures, including the American War Museum, Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta, Cai Rong Floating Market, Water puppet show, Saigon River Cruise and more. During the professional application portion of the course, running from June 2 – July 22, students will integrate what they learned in a two-month internship with a Vietnamese company located in Ho Chi Minh City.
Students will complete 6 credits over the course of the program. All students attend an onsite pre-departure training class at UF from May 4-May 8. The class will provide students with a rudimentary understanding of Vietnam and involve internship preparation activities.
For Engineering majors:
- EML 4930: Engineering in a Global Context (3 credits)
- EML 4930: Industry Practicum (3 credits)
For all other majors:
- GEB 4956: UF in Vietnam Commerce and Culture (3 credits)
- GEB 4941: Vietnam International Internship (3 credits)
- This program satisfies the UF summer credit requirement.
- This program satisfies the internship requirement for business majors.
Vietnam Culture Week
Before starting the internship, students will enjoy a week long cultural tour from May 22-29. Students appreciate learning about Vietnamese culture through program activities and site visits in and around Saigon. The following culture week activities are included in the program cost. All transportation, entrance fees, and most meals are included for the cultural week.
- American War Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels
- Overnight Mekong Delta excursion
- Visit to the Cao Rong Floating Market
- Vietnamese water puppet show
- Saigon river cruise
- Binh Tay Market and Ben Thanh Street Food Market
- Visits to Buddhist, Daoism, and Cao Dai Temples
- Visit to Black lady Mountain
- Saigon Street Food Tour
- Saigon City Tour
Professional Internship Experience in Saigon
Students will apply their knowledge of Vietnamese commerce and culture through a two-month professional internship with a Vietnamese or multinational company in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Students are matched with over 400 companies across a variety of sectors, offering students a breadth of professional opportunities. All companies are visited and vetted prior to hosting an intern and required to comply with western emergency/safety standards. Student interns will have an English-speaking supervisor and be assigned specific projects throughout their internship.
Students will work between 35-40 hours per week during the internship. The experience is designed to help them develop the following learning objectives:
- Gain valuable professional skills for career development and enhanced employability
- Obtain industry knowledge and experience to improve the resume
- Achieve a cultural understanding of Vietnam and Asian business practices
- Enhance cultural agility to work in foreign contexts and networks
- Develop global connections and networks
Placements: Every effort is made to match students with a sector and company that aligns with their major and interests. Although students are not guaranteed placement in a particular sector, more than 90% of interns are successful in getting a placement within their first sector choice. Placements are available in the following sectors:
- Architecture and Real Estate
- Finance & Accounting
- Green Technology
- Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
- Information Technology & Computer Science
- Media & Creative Industries
- NGOs & Charities
- Public Relations
- Tourism & Travel
Students will stay in a centrally located condominium for the duration of the program. Students will have their own bedroom and share a kitchen, living room and western style bathroom with one or two other students of the same gender. The facilities include a swimming pool, gym, 24-hour convenience store, and bilingual reception staff. Rooms are equipped with a television, washing machine, microwave, kitchen utensils, towels, hairdryer, iron, ironing board, air conditioning, and internet Wi-Fi.
Students have the option of an 8 week or 10-week program. Engineering majors are encouraged to select the 10-week program. The dates are as follows:
- December 6: First round application deadline
- January 31: Second round application deadline
- February 14: Third round application deadline
- February 28: Final round application deadline (pending availability)
- March 2: Deadline for all application materials
- April 1: Withdrawal deadline
- May 4-8: Classes on campus from 11am to 2pm, Monday through Friday
- May 22: Arrival in Vietnam
- May 22- 28: Vietnam culture week activities
- May 29: Induction Day & Welcome Banquet
- June 2: Company drop-off day
- July 21: Last day at internship for 8-week program
- July 22: Return flight to U.S. for 8-week program
- August 4: Last day at internship for 10-week program
- August 5: Return flight to U.S. for 10-week program
- Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA
- Students must have a valid U.S. passport
- Students must submit resume
- Students must interview with program director and internship provider
- Students must be flexible, reliable, professional, and culturally sensitive
This program is open to students in all colleges and majors. Vietnamese language ability is not required.
- $7,400: 8-week program fee
- $7,900: 10-week program fee
Program cost includes tuition, airport pick-up, welcome weekend banquet/orientation, guided tours, transportation and entrance fees for first week, housing, business and networking seminars, international health insurance, a prepaid international sim card, visa processing, 24-hour emergency support, and UFIC application fee.
Other Estimated Expenses:
- Airfare: ~$2,000
- Visa: ~50
- Passport: $135 (If not already obtained)
- Meals: ~$200**
- Personal Expenses: ~$300**
* Expenses vary depending on student preferences
The currency in Vietnam is the Dong.
Program applications are located on the UF International Center website. Students are not accepted into the program until they submit their application and deposit to the UF International Center. Please note that the program operates on a first-come-first-serve basis and may reach full capacity prior to the application deadline.
Terms of Agreement
Students assume full responsibility for the cost of the program by April 1. Students on the participant list as of this date become financially obligated. Only in extreme circumstances (e.g., serious personal injury, family emergency, etc.) will a student be allowed to petition to remove him/herself from the list of participants prior to the start of the program. Petitions will be reviewed by the Director of the School of Business.