5 Open Study/Research Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodSeptember Start
Grant Length10 Months
It is a great time to be a Fulbrighter in Vietnam. Twenty-eight years after the establishment of bilateral relations, the United States and Vietnam are trusted partners with a friendship grounded in mutual respect. U.S.-Vietnam relations have become increasingly cooperative and comprehensive, evolving into a flourishing partnership that spans political, economic, security, and people-to-people ties. Fulbrighters play a pivotal role in deepening the relationships between the two countries.
In Vietnam, education has an important role in society, and the promotion of learning and respect for teachers are some of the most important traditional values of the Vietnamese people. In recent years, the education system has continued to improve, but significant educational needs remain to ensure Vietnam continues on its positive trajectory of economic growth. Vietnam’s national educational system is organized into public and private schools. The administration in Vietnam is centralized, with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) generally having responsibility for all education and training at the national level. However, there are several higher education institutions in Vietnam that are under the authority of other national ministries, government agencies or provincial people’s committees, such as the Hanoi School of Public Health, which falls under the Ministry of Health, and Hanoi University of Industry, which falls under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Additionally, the two National Universities, although nominally under MOET, operate independently as separate entities and report directly to the Office of the Government of Vietnam.
The Vietnamese education system is currently undergoing ongoing reforms of curriculum and teaching methods, and education institutions are not always up to international standards, particularly institutions of higher education. Out-of-date teaching methods are a key issue: teachers emphasize discipline, while students are passively attentive and studious. Classrooms often lack vibrant discussions and the focus is often on rote learning.
To facilitate reforms, the government has established policies to allow educational institutions to directly establish partnerships with foreign institutions to improve teaching and learning quality in Vietnam. Because of the dynamic state of Vietnam’s educational system, Fulbright U.S. Students will have a unique opportunity to help Vietnam build up the quality of its institutions and even facilitate partnerships between U.S. and Vietnamese universities. While this can be challenging, many Fulbrighters in Vietnam find it enormously rewarding to build long-lasting relationships with Vietnamese institutions that lead to future cooperation.
Although Fulbright U.S. students mainly focus on research, they often find time to engage with the host institution and community by teaching English to faculty members or students, presenting seminars on soft skills, participating in speaker programs arranged by the U.S. Mission in Vietnam, and engaging in many other academic and cultural events.
Grantees must begin their 10-month grants in September 2024 or January 2025 to attend a mandatory in-country orientation. The exact start date is subject to agreement with the host institution and the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.
Pre-Departure Orientation (Mandatory)
All grantees are required to attend a pre-departure orientation (PDO) in the U.S. in the summer of 2024 as a condition of their grants. The PDO is organized for Fulbright ETAs, U.S. researchers and scholars going to many different countries in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region. Details to be announced and confirmed by the International Institute of Education (IIE).
In-country Orientation (Mandatory)
All grantees are required to attend an in-country orientation in Hanoi in September 2024 or Ho Chi Minh City in January 2025 as a condition of their grant. The in-country orientation is intended to comprehensively prepare grantees for work and life in Vietnam. Details to be announced and confirmed by the Fulbright Program in Vietnam.
Applicants may come from any recognized academic field and be at any academic level; however, they must have completed at least a bachelor's degree at the start of the grant. Applicants should have an excellent academic record and strong reference letters. Since Fulbright grantees are representing their country in all aspects, applicants should have strong intercultural and leadership skills. Proposed projects should be innovative, feasible in Vietnam, fit in the candidate's previous academic training and future objectives, and be based on the candidate's overall academic background and profile
Applicants must be American citizens. Prior experience in Vietnam is not required.
Accepted Degree Levels
Special Application Instructions
Semi-Finalist candidates may be contacted for a virtual interview.
Foreign Language Proficiency
Proficiency in Vietnamese is not required at the time of application, but applicants are strongly encouraged to study Vietnamese prior to arrival. Applicants without Vietnamese language skills should include plans for language study in their Fulbright projects and should plan to study Vietnamese concurrent with their research after arriving. For applicants without Vietnamese language proficiency, feasibility of conducting research must be demonstrated.
Applicants should be comfortable working independently. Conditions and cultural norms in Vietnam may be different than in the United States. Participants must be willing and able to physically and mentally adapt to working in the hierarchical Vietnamese cultural context and the often bureaucratic Vietnamese educational system. There are often not many foreigners working at host institutions, and as a result participants may experience loneliness and isolation.
As cultural ambassadors of the United States in Vietnam, Fulbrighters are expected to exhibit a high level of professionalism and show respect for themselves and others around them. They are expected to share aspects of American culture with their schools and communities. They are also expected to learn and understand about the Vietnamese culture.
Fulbright Proposal Types
Letter recommended but not required at deadline
Candidates will affiliate with Vietnamese academic institutions. Applicants should identify appropriate host institutions for their projects and include affiliation letters with their Fulbright applications. Grantees are encouraged to give back to their host institutions by assisting with English language and other training for faculty members and/or conducting professional seminars. Final affiliation arrangements will be made in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.
Grantee arranges housing by themselves. If they need, the host institution will provide them with assistance in seeking housing.
Host institutions are responsible for grantees’ visa application procedures and fees in Vietnam as well as visa extensions or work permit/ work permit exemption applications, if needed. Grantees are responsible for providing all necessary documents for the visa application and paying any visa issuance fees from their grant allocation. The Fulbright Program in Vietnam will coordinate with the grantees and the host institutions throughout the visa application process.