Vietnam as a country is undergoing rapid change and is seen as one of the world´s greatest success stories the last decades in terms of development. After several years of a "centrally planned economy", the economic reforms following 1986 have created upheaval in peoples´lives.

Vietnam has an exciting, but sometimes tragic history. Years of war and occupation have clearly made an impact. Still, we see that our previously glum impressions of a war torn country is changing into travellers´stories of amazing nature, beautiful beaches and a rich cultural heritage. While it remains a poor country, it is rich in astonishing experiences, amazing stories and friendly locals.

Hoi An

With its narrow streets and historical buildings, located along the Thu-Bon river, Hoi An is often described as the pearl of Vietnam. Its increasing tourist appeal has also brought growth to the whole region, making it an interesting case study on the effect of tourism.

The former trading town with its old houses and slow pace of life was from the 15th century to the beginning of the 19th century a center for trade and a winter port for traders from all over Asia. A history as cultural meeting point you will still see reflected in its people and architecture. 
Hoi An stands out with its numerous talented tailors and pristine beaches.

The city is also an excellent base for travels around Vietnam. Its is closely connected to both the mountains and the highlands. The city of Danang, with a million inhabitants, is the closest neighbor. The old imperial town Hue is an uforgettable train ride away.

The study center

Kulturstudier has a study center at the local Phan Chau Trinh University, centrally located in Hoi An.

Culture and history

The Vietnam War is undoubtedly still the first thing many people think of when one mentions Vietnam. Countless films and books deal with this war and its consequences, both for the Vietnamese and the Americans. Apart from focusing on the many wars and numerous attempts at occupation that the Vietnamese people have lived through during the last millennium, the majority of the literature deals with how Vietnamese society is organised and how the Vietnamese live their lives.

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The programme fee includes accommodation and breakfast all week days. The selection of eateries in Hoi An can be overwhelming, but you will quickly find your favourites.  All the students houses have kitchens where you can cook your own food.

In Hoi An we live in privately owned houses that we rent just outside the old parts of the city. The students typically share double- to quadruple rooms. It is however possible to pay more and stay in a single room. You can also choose to arrange your own accommodation and get a deduction in the fee.

As Hoi An is a small city, you will find most of what you need within walking distance. The student accommodation will be roughly 15 minutes on foot from the university and city center.  Bikes are cheap and practical for local transportation. Facilities such as grocery stores, internet cafés, bank, post office, medical center and hospital are all easily accessible. Thanks to tourism you will find many bars and cafés.

Travel in Vietnam

Many students take the opportunity to explore the region before and after the study period. The studies and life in Hoi An will be the natural focus during the semester, but there will be opportunities for short weekend trips. Our collection of travel stories from previous students might awake the explorer in you.

Travel stories


Follow @kulturstudier.vietnam   

Student blog

In the student blog you will find great photos and storys from student life in Vietnam:



The climate in Hoi An is tropical. During the spring semester temperatures will rise steadily from comfortable to really hot, with little rain. The autumn semester offers comfortable warmth, but a more humid climate and occasional rain. Sometimes the monsoon coincides with the semester bringing days of hard rain. Roughly every third year we experince a typhoon during the autumn semester, but our  local staff is well equipped to handle weather related situations and we have never experienced any injuries. Click on the link below to see average temperature and yearly rainfall.

BBC Weather climate info

Gained international perspective on energy and environment

Before Ida Langvik Flaaten started her bachelor at NTNU she studied development in Vietnam and Ghana

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You arrange your flights yourself. But we recommend that you buy flexible tickets. Plans often change when you make new friends. Many students decide to combine their studies with travelling before or after their study period. Our travel agent can organise joint departures for those who wish to travel with fellow students. If you have registered for a course you will receive more information on this in due time. You should not buy tickets before you receive a go ahead for this from Kulturstudier.


With Kulturstudier you can study in Vietnam, with fully transferable credits (ECTS - European Credit Transfer System), which will qualify for financing from many European state educational loan funds.

In addition to the programme fee (that includes accommodation) you will need at least 3000 Euro for travel, books, pocket money and other expenses.

Courses in Vietnam

Development studies 1

Facts on Vietnam

  • Official name:

    The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S. RV)

  • Area:

    331 210 km²

  • Population:

    92 mill. inhabitants (July 2013)

  • Major cities:

    Hanoi (capital), Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Nha Trang

  • Borders:

    Laos, China and Cambodia

  • Religion:

    Buddhism (9,3%), catholisism (6,7%), taoisme, islam and hinduism

  • Official language:

    Vietnamese (kinh)

  • Literacy:

    94% of the population above 15 years

  • Population below poverty line:

    11,3% (2012)

  • Source:

    CIA Factbook

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