Program & Schedule
This program is based in a government-operated hospital, serving the community of Ho Chi Minh. Observation, recording and analysing will be a key part of this project, as it is a hands-off experience.
It’s important to note that these institutions are bound by government regulations and cannot allow international participants to perform tasks independently. For this reason, this project is best suited to pre-medical or medical students hoping to gain more insight into the Vietnamese healthcare system.
You will have the opportunity to shadow nurses, doctors, and therapists. Depending on your choice and availability, your daily tasks may consist of medication preparation, blood pressure measurement, basic triage and wound care.
The hospital has an x-ray room, a children’s ward, an adult ward, a physiotherapy department, as well as an operating theatre, all of which participants may be actively involved in. You may also have an opportunity to observe staff in the acupuncture and occupational/physical therapy departments.
It is important to keep in mind that the English level of the placement staff does differ, however you will always be supported by an English-speaking coordinator from the local team. Participants are allowed to be involved with medical issues and ask the staff questions.
After completing your observational experience, you will be awarded a certificate to reflect your learning accomplishments!
Aims & Objectives
- Gain insight into the Vietnamese healthcare system
- Observe the medical practices of local staff at the hospital in Ho Chi Minh
- Broaden your perspective of international medical care and treatment
If this is your first week and you have signed up for Culture Week, you will start with an orientation with fellow participants consisting of a tour of Ho Chi Minh’s cultural icons, Vietnamese language and culture classes. If you did not sign up for Culture Week, you will be given a brief orientation on Monday and begin your placement on Tuesday.
Tuesday to Friday
At the beginning of your placement, you will start with a full introduction to the hospital. You will also discuss your upcoming role, as you shadow and observe local medical professionals in a variety of settings throughout the hospital in Ho Chi Minh. You may have opportunities to participate in basic triage, wound care, blood pressure measurement and medication preparation.This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: 18
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Arrival
Passport copy required: On Signup
Resume copy required: On Signup
Required qualification: Medical Background
- You must have an established medical background – studying on a pre-medical track, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, occupational/physical therapy, or working in a relevant field.
- You will need to submit your qualifications ( Medical study transcripts) and CV/Resume and a copy of your passport by email to the local team at least two weeks before beginning the program. Your documents will be sent to the hospital for review.
Living & Location
Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon, is located in the southeastern region of Vietnam and is the country’s largest city. During your stay, you will be living in a dorm on college campus right in the center of the city.
The accommodation is located on a campus in a college dorm. As such, it follows certain campus rules such as a night curfew.
We also have a room reserved as an “office”, where you can go to if you want some peace and quiet. We have books and magazines available here for you to borrow.
There is the nice local café next to our dorm. A beautiful and peaceful place where you can enjoy fresh juices, snacks etc..
Basic Vietnamese meals are provided on campus. Food include some western dishes such as sandwiches, spaghetti and bread.
There are many taxis around our campus. You can easily catch one from the main road to reach your destination of choice in Ho Chi Minh.
There are several ATMs in the area where we stay. The nearest one is about 10 minutes walking distance from our campus.
All necessary amenities can be found in the city, remember we are located in the country’s capital after all!
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Here are some interesting places to visit in your free time/weekends!
Within Ho Chi Minh
As a large city, Ho Chi Minh has a lot to offer from shops to Vietnamese water puppet shows. Here are a few suggestions:
For those who fancy some retail therapy.
Dam Sen Water Park
No explanation really needed here!
Jade Emperor Pagoda
Built in the 1900s by Taoists and Buddhists, this is one of the most impressive and atmospheric temples that Ho Chi Minh has to offer.
This is a lively and character filled stretch of shops and bars.
Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve
Located 40km from Ho Chi Minh City, is a listed biosphere reserve by UNESCO and is an important wildlife sanctuary in Vietnam.
Mui Ne/ Vung Tao beaches
Lay back and relax on these beautiful white sand beaches.
As an ancient capital of Vietnam it is now considered to be the country’s cultural capital.
Ba Den Mountain
Popular for its beautiful temples and theme park, this mountain is found in the Tay Ninh province of Vietnam.
Here you will find the iconic rice terraces set amidst rolling hills.
As the capital of Vietnam, although smaller than Ho Chi Minh, it has a lot of cultural history.
From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):
- Mekong Delta
- Phan Thiet
Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Population: 92 million
Currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)
Time zone: UTC +7
Vietnam is currently the world’s 13th most populous country and occupies 331,211 square kilometers. Today, although scarred by its past, Vietnam is a fast-growing economy helped by tourism that its interesting history and beautiful sights draw in.
One frequent thing to hear is that it has not yet been subjected to the western influence that Thailand and, to an extent, Cambodia have been. The Vietnamese still tend to prefer their traditional cuisine to the fast food chains that seem to be taking over the world.
Aside from the beautiful countryside of the north, rice fields and beaches, Vietnam is a country that is very much on the move. Roads are being upgraded, new hotels are opening everywhere and its cities are fastly developing.
Due to the country’s land mass, its climate varies from region to region. On average, temperatures range from 22-27°C year-round with a generally warm and humid climate. Although temperatures don’t vary much in the southern parts of Vietnam, the northern areas can get quite cold during the winter.
Tropical monsoons can be expected between October and April in the centre of Vietnam and from May to September in the north and south. Outside of these rainy seasons it remains almost completely dry.
Although Vietnamese culture is rooted in the ancient indigenous Dong Son culture with wet rice agriculture as its economic foundation, certain aspects of its culture have Chinese influence. In more recent times, the country has been exposed to Southeast Asian, European and American culture as well as their media.
Having said this, it is safe to say that Vietnam has not yet absorbed as much western culture when compared to some of its neighbours.
Vietnamese cuisine is heavily influenced by the Asian principle of 5 elements which correspond to the five elements: wood (sour), fire (bitter), earth (sweet), metal (spicy) and water (salty). This yin and yang principle is an art of balance to make food beneficial to the body.
Traditional Vietnamese cooking is known for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, plentiful use of herbs and vegetables and what’s more, it is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.
Typical dishes might include rice vermicelli noodles, jasmine rice, dried shrimp, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, and bean sprouts to name a few!