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Global Engagement Studies Institute in Vietnam

Global Engagement Studies Institute in Vietnam website  (map)

Sponsor: Northwestern University Global Engagement at the Buffett Institute

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam


Sponsor: Northwestern University’s Buffett Institute for Global Studies and Kaya Responsible Travel

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam


The Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) is a study abroad program that provides undergraduates with the knowledge, tools, and experiences to confront
shared global challenges. Through service-learning in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Uganda, or Vietnam, teams of students join the efforts of local organizations to advance community-driven change.

Students work through Kaya Responsible Travel, an organization that focuses on ethical and intentional volunteering. Students will work with one of three organizations:

  • The Kenan Institute of Asia, an NGO that works throughout Southeast Asia. Work areas are in public health, young entrepreneurship, labor rights, human rights, and corporate social responsibility.
  • Green ID, a Vietnamese NGO that focuses on sustainable energy, water, air governance, and green development.
  • The Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (SCAGA), a Vietnamese NGO focused on gender equality, domestic violence, women trafficking, gay rights, and violence against children.

Hanoi is a fast-moving place filled with universities, markets, and urban life. Here you will find a blend of ancient history and modern comforts with both Japanese and French influences. Located on the Red River Delta, Hanoi is warm and humid, with fragrant markets and vibrant street life.

Your Vietnamese host family will likely be a middle-class family with WiFi, and A/C or an electric fan. Dinner will be eaten with your family, but most people in Hanoi eat breakfast outside the home and lunch with work colleagues. GESI students also have a “buddy,” a Vietnamese university student who can show you around the city and provide cultural support and context. There will be a cooking lesson, and your buddy will go shopping with you for the best market haggling and ingredients!

Program Type: Northwestern-Sponsored


  • Summer

Languages: English

Language Requirements: 



Home stays

Program Costs: 

The cost of the program is equivalent to tuition for two credits.  In summer 2018 this is $8707. 

Although equal to the cost of tuition, this program fee includes much more, such as room and board while abroad, GeoBlue health insurance coverage, and more.

Visit the GESI website for more cost information details, including our breakdown of additional expenses for use in planning.

GESI Scholarships: 

GESI scholarships exist so that qualified Northwestern undergraduate students have the opportunity to gain international and community development experience, regardless of financial constraints. Learn more about the two types of scholarships that are available to qualified Northwestern students for GESI Vietnam:

  • Bonnie and Mike Daniels Scholars: Up to 15 scholarships that cover full tuition and other costs, and are based on financial need, community engagement, and interview/application quality.
  • Buffett Institute GESI Scholarships: Award amounts vary and are based on financial need, community engagement, and interview/application quality.

Visit the GESI website for more information about GESI scholarships and financial aid.

Schedule an Appointment with GESI

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Financial FAQs