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Students Experience History and Culture in Vietnam

January 03, 2013

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

Six Saint Anselm College students and associate professor of history, Matthew Masur travel through Vietnam Dec. 28 to January 11 as part of the history department course, "Vietnam Past and Present."

The group recently visited the Cao Dai Temple and experienced New Year celebrations in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Follow the group's travels on the program's blog.

The group is visiting Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi with excursions to the Mekong Delta and other historic and cultural sites including Cu Chi, and Cao Di. The two-week program immerses students in historical and modern Vietnam through Vietnamese roommates, academic excursions around the country, lectures, and activities with Vietnamese peers.

Students will learn about pre-colonial and colonial history, the Vietnam War, the modern economy, Vietnamese demographics and society, and the educational system.

Masur aims for his students to make the connection between history and contemporary society in all facets of modern Vietnamese life. The group will visit the Hong Ngoc Humanity Center that supports communities and those with disabilities, discuss environmental issues, and learn about Eastern medicine including traditional Vietnamese medicine and acupuncture.

Part of the immersion process includes a "homestay" where the group will stay with a Vietnamese family during their two-day excursion to the Mekong Delta. The homestay gives students insight into Vietnamese daily life. In addition, while in Ho Chi Minh City, the students will room with Vietnamese college students.

"Instead of rooming together, this arrangement allows them to see things tourists don't usually see," says Masur.

To complete the course, students will journal while abroad and write a final paper.

Professor Masur teaches U.S. History and American Foreign Relations as well as courses on the Vietnam War, Modern China, and Modern Japan.