FutureDocs AbroadHue, Vietnam: June 29th - July 14th, 2024
Code of Conduct
As a reminder, you signed the following Code of Conduct Agreement as part of your enrollment:
As a student enrolled in FutureDocs Abroad, I agree to the following expectations with regard to safety and conduct.
I agree to complete to the best of my ability all aspects of the FutureDocs Abroad Program and successfully participate both as an individual and a representative of The National Leadership Academies. I agree to conduct myself in such a way that supports my own learning, and supports the learning of my peers, the teaching of physicians, and the guidance of the chaperones.
FutureDocs Abroad is an alcohol-, smoking-, and substance-abuse-free experience. I agree to refrain from use of these substances as well as any illegal substances.
I agree to not engage in any behaviors that will put my health or life at risk, such as but not limited to departing from the scheduled itinerary and tour, entering restricted areas of host medical school and medical centers, entering financial agreements with locals, inviting strangers into the program or hotel, and providing locals with personal information such as passport information, credit/debit card information (other than secure bank/vendor), home addresses, and phone numbers.
I agree to remain in the assigned hotel or dormitory room as indicated by staff. Any changes or breach of this security precaution could lead to expulsion from the program.
I agree to not solicit any FutureDocs Abroad or host university or institution’s students or staff for my own personal financial benefit.
I agree to maintain all required dress code standards as set forth by FutureDocs Abroad staff or requested by participating medical school/medical center policies. I also agree to remain with my assigned mentors, physicians, or other assigned staff at all site visit locations.
I agree to abide by the host university or institution’s standards and requirements.
I understand not complying with the above-mentioned expectations may result in dismissal from the program and return to the United States at my and my parent’s or guardian’s expense.
I agree to make FutureDocs Abroad administrators and staff aware as soon as possible of any difficulties I may encounter regarding my health, safety, finances, or any other issue that I consider serious or should be disclosed.
You must be up-to-date on all routine immunizations outlined by the CDC, including:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
As a reminder, a copy of your immunization record is due by March 31st, 2024. Please reach out to your primary care physician as soon as possible to begin the process of obtaining your records.
You are also required to submit proof of Typhoid vaccination in order to participate in clinical rotations at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy. We recommend that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or a nearby travel clinic as soon as possible if you are not already vaccinated.
Please note that either administrative routes (intramuscular injection or oral medication) are accepted for the program. Proof of vaccination can come in the form of an International Certificate of Vaccination against Typhoid, a copy of your prescription for the orally administered Typhoid vaccine, or a copy of your routine immunization record that includes Typhoid. Proof of vaccination is due by May 31st, 2024.
Please visit the CDC website for additional information on prevention and resources for getting vaccinated against Typhoid.
We have seen a general increase in inquiries from families regarding Japanese Encephalitis following their appointment at the travel clinic for Typhoid vaccination. Transmission within Vietnam is heightened throughout the rainy season within rural areas in north and south Vietnam. Hue city is located in central Vietnam and considered low risk, but we encourage families to consider evaluating their options with a physician and make an informed decision as to whether or not they choose to get vaccinated.
Please visit the CDC website for more information on Japanese Encephalitis.
GETTING OR RENEWING YOUR PASSPORT
Your passport will need to be valid through December 29th, 2024, in order to enter Vietnam. Vietnamese immigration requires all passports to have at least 6 months’ validity beyond our departure date from Vietnam. Check the expiration date on your passport.
This is a VERY IMPORTANT STEP AND TIME SENSITIVE as you will need a valid passport through December 29th, 2024 in order for us to apply for your Vietnamese Visa and secure your international flight.
If your passport is VALID through December 29th, 2024, take a picture of the photo page of your passport and upload it in the onboarding section as soon as possible.
If your passport is NOT VALID through December 29th, 2024, visit the State Department website for instructions on how to renew your passport.
If you DO NOT HAVE A PASSPORT, please visit the State Department website for instructions on how to apply for a passport immediately.
NOTE: Passports can take up to four weeks to arrive, so please make sure you apply immediately to avoid delays. All students are required to have a valid passport book to travel to Vietnam. Passport cards are not valid for international travel to Vietnam.
Additionally, confirm that you have signed your passport on the page opposite the photo page. A U.S. passport is only valid once it is signed! If you have NOT signed your passport, use a non-ballpoint pen and make sure the ink is dry before closing your passport. We recommend that you add your contact information in pencil on the Personal Data and Contact Information page as well. If you lose your passport, this will give you the best chance of getting it back.
You must submit a copy of your passport into the student portal by December 31st, 2023.
Please inform the Admissions Team of any possible delays in obtaining your passport by emailing email@example.com, or by calling us at (888)986-6563.
DO YOU HAVE A FOREIGN PASSPORT?
The visa process may differ for students who hold a passport from any country other than the United States. Our Admissions Team will reach out to you directly to discuss details relevant to that process as needed. Please note that additional documentation may be requested to ensure that students are able to re-enter the US after the program.
SUBMITTING YOUR PASSPORT
As a reminder, we need your passport information in order to attain your ticket for your international flight and your visa to enter Vietnam. The photocopy of your passport ID page is provided to the Vietnamese Immigration Department and must meet the following requirements in order for your visa to be granted:
- Shows your passport as being valid for at least 6 months beyond our departure date from Vietnam: December 29th, 2024
- All of the details on your passport must be clearly legible and free from obstructions (fingers, light glares, shadows, etc…)
- All four corners of your passport ID page must be within the frame of the photo
- Your passport must be lying flat on a neutral surface
- NOTE: Scanned copies of your passport must be in color
We will reach out to you directly if your passport does NOT meet the following requirements. These are time sensitive requests and should be handled in a timely manner. If we do not receive your passport by the deadline, or if we do not hear back from you, you will risk enrollment cancellation.
ATTAINING YOUR VIETNAMESE VISA
Your visa is included in the cost of tuition. We will complete all the necessary application paperwork on your behalf and submit it to the Embassy. You will receive your visa upon check-in at the airport on departure day.
In order for us to complete your application, we must receive your headshot and passport scan by December 31, 2023.
The Admissions Team will reach out to you directly if there are any problems with your visa application. You will be provided a copy of your visa upon arrival to JFK airport on June 29th.
Failure to upload your ID photo or upload a copy of your passport will result in you not being able to travel to Vietnam and participate in the FutureDocs Abroad program.
Please notify the Admissions Team if any of the following apply to you:
- You hold a Vietnamese Passport
- You have a valid TT or VR Vietnamese visa for visiting relatives in Vietnam
- You have a valid 5-year Vietnamese Visa Exemption Certificate
Domestic Travel Information
BOOKING YOUR DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Our flight to Vietnam is scheduled to depart from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York on June 30th at 12:50 AM EST. You must book your domestic flight to and from JFK and provide us with a copy of your trip itinerary so that we know when to expect you. Plan your travel so that you arrive at JFK between 12:00-7:00 PM EST on June 29th, 2024. If given the choice, we highly encourage families to opt for an earlier flight to avoid potential delays impacting ones ability to attend the program.
Our flight home will arrive at JFK around 11:20 AM EST on Sunday, July 14th. We recommend that domestic flights leave between 3:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on July 14th, 2024 to ensure that students have enough time to navigate through immigration, collect their luggage at baggage claim, and check-in for their flights without fear of missing their flight. Our Admissions Team is happy to help weigh in on potential itineraries as needed – please feel free to reach out.
We have partnered with Atlas Travel to provide complimentary travel arrangement for FutureDocs Abroad students. An Atlas Travel Agent will use information provided via their registration form to find you a variety of flight options and make sure that you arrive to and depart from JFK within the designated arrival/departure frames. If interested in taking advantage of this service, please keep an eye out for additional information to come in January 2024.
ARRIVAL TO JFK – JUNE 29TH
There will be FutureDocs Abroad staff on the ground at JFK waiting for you in Terminal 1 near the Korean Airlines check-in area. It is crucial that you check in with the FutureDocs Abroad team upon arriving at JFK because you CANNOT check-in for our international flight without the group. Specific instructions for navigating to the group check-in area will be provided to students using our WhatsApp group chat the day before travel.
After you have picked up your luggage from baggage claim, you will need to follow the signs to the air train which will take you to Terminal 1. Upon arrival into Terminal 1, follow the signs to international check in and locate the Korean Airlines check-in desk. Please check-in with a FutureDocs Abroad team member and await further instruction.
If you are unable to find the group meeting point after exiting your domestic flight, please send a message in the WhatsApp group chat notifying staff members that you have arrived and are having trouble finding the group. A member of our staff team will call you and meet you where you are in the airport.
You will be provided with a neck wallet/name badge, your Vietnamese visa, and international health insurance card upon checking in with FutureDocs Abroad staff. Note that your name badge must be worn at ALL TIMES throughout the program. Depending on what time your domestic flight lands, you may be waiting outside of security for awhile. This serves as an opportunity to get to know your chaperones and peers! If you are driving into JFK, follow signs to Terminal 1 – International Departures. Drop off between 12:00 PM and 7:00 PM EST.
Our group will begin moving through the Korean Airlines check-in line at approximately 8:00 PM on June 29th. We will proceed through security as a group around 9:00 PM. NOTE: The group will not wait for individuals unless we are aware of delays.
Special notes to remember for flying to JFK:
- The night before you travel, check online flight departures for any delays on your domestic travel from your hometown.
- The morning of your flight, check again for any delays. Apps like flighttracker.com can be used to check delays or you can type your airline and flight number into Google.
- If you have any issues at all with your travel plans or disruptions, please call us immediately so we can put the appropriate measures in place ahead of time. (We will provide you with the emergency number closer to program lift-off)
- Once you arrive at JFK remember to pick up all of your luggage at the baggage claim before heading to the group meeting point! Terminal 1, Korean Airlines. Your baggage will NOT automatically check through for our international flight.
- If your baggage is lost or delayed upon arrival into JFK airport, please call the Admissions Team to inform us. We will give you instructions based on connection time for our international flight.
FDA POLICY ON MISSED CONNECTIONS
FDA will assign one staff member to oversee your wellbeing and ensure you make your rescheduled flight if you miss your connection. If you miss your international flight on departure day, you will be rescheduled on the next available flight to the host country. If you miss your domestic flight home on arrivals day, or if your flight is canceled, you are responsible for organizing your travel arrangements home.
You will be responsible for all expenses incurred as a contingency, including:
- Additional airline fees, change fees, agent fees, and baggage fees for yourself
- Meals for yourself
- Overnight accommodations for yourself, if necessary
- Transportation costs, if necessary
We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for peace of mind and to safeguard against unexpected trip interruptions.
International Travel Information
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT DETAILS
The group flight to Vietnam is on Korean Airlines and is scheduled to depart from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York on June 30th at 12:50 AM local time (just past midnight). The group will fly from John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul, South Korea (about 15.5 hours). There is a 6 hour layover in Seoul, followed by a roughly 5 hour flight into Da Nang International Airport (DAD). Further information on the outbound flight can be referenced below:
- Airline: Korean Airlines
- Departure Airport: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Departure Time: Sunday, June 30 @ 12:50 AM (EST)
- Arrival Airport: Da Nang International Airport (DAD)
- Arrival Time: Monday, July 1 @ 1:50 PM (ICT)
- Flight Numbers: KE86, KE457
- Route: New York (JFK) → Seoul (ICN) → Da Nang (DAD)
The group will mirror the outbound flight path on the way home; going from Da Nang to Seoul, then Seoul to New York. The inbound flight will return to the United States at about 11:20 AM on July 14th. Further information on the groups’ inbound flight can be referenced below:
- Airline: Korean Airlines
- Departure Airport: Da Nang International Airport (DAD)
- Departure Time: Saturday, July 13 @ 11:50 PM (ICT)
- Arrival Airport: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Arrival Time: Sunday, July 14 @ 11:20 AM (EST)
- Flight Numbers: KE462, KE81
- Route: Da Nang (DAD) → Seoul (ICN) → New York (JFK)
AIRLINE BAGGAGE POLICY
Please visit the Korean Airlines Website for baggage policies.
NOTE: All students will be traveling in economy class. Checked baggage in excess of the airline’s free checked baggage allowance, and any domestic airline baggage fees, are not included in the program tuition cost and are the responsibility of the student. It is advisable to bring only 1 carry-on bag and 1 checked bag. The savvy traveler will restrict luggage to one carry-on bag and one checked bag to limit the possibility of lost items.
PASSPORT CONTROL AND IMMIGRATION
The information below is to prepare you for the arrival process into Da Nang, Vietnam. Be sure to read through this very carefully.
In preparation to go through Passport Control, make sure you have:
- Your passport in hand
- Your visa (provided to you at JFK)
- Your boarding passes
There are two different types of entry. One is strictly for Local Passport Holders and the second is for All Passport Holders. Please make sure you queue in a line for All Passport Holders.
Once you reach the front of the Passport Control line, you will speak to an agent. The agent may ask questions about the purpose of your visit. Below are some possible questions and suggestions for how to answer them.
Q. How long are you here for? A. Two weeks.
Q. What are you doing? A. A summer program at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
Q. Where are you staying? A. Park View Hotel in Hue.
The immigration officer will stamp your passport and hand it back to you along with your Vietnamese visa. Keep your Vietnamese visa inside your passport and place it in your travel wallet for safekeeping.
Once through Passport Control, you will be directed by a chaperone to the baggage claim hall.
Da Nang International baggage claim is a small hall consisting of 5 carousels. A chaperone will guide students to the correct baggage carousel, where you will need to watch for your luggage to arrive.
It is strongly advised that you place an easily identifiable ribbon or luggage strap/tag on your luggage so you recognize your suitcase as it arrives on the carousel. Most importantly the luggage tag should have your name and address clearly written on it. Another slick trick for travelers is to place a label on top of all your belongings inside your bag should the luggage tag fall off in transit.
Once all students have collected their luggage, we will walk to the Customs area together.
Each person will go through Customs individually with their own luggage. When you pass through Customs, individuals will be chosen at random to place their luggage onto the scanner belt to be screened.
A customs officer may ask to inspect your luggage and ask if you have firearms, drugs, certain electronics, and other items that are not allowed or cannot be imported duty-free.
If you are selected for the inspection, don’t worry. The additional screening is a simple procedure and designed to keep everyone safe. Just be ready to answer a few questions and run through a brief inspection.
A chaperone will be on hand at all times should any student need assistance.
A few notes on Vietnamese Customs and Immigration to prepare you before travel:
- All prescription medications in your luggage must be labeled in it’s original bottle and packed in a clear plastic bag.
- Liquids in your carry-on bag must be under 3.4 oz per container.
- We strongly encourage you to review current regulations and import restrictions for Vietnam here.
Shared below is a basic packing list for FutureDocs Abroad. Keep in mind this list is intended to provide basic guidance for essentials. This does not necessarily include every item that you may personally require.
- Phone charger and chargers for any other electronics
- Small notebook
- Entertainment for the plane ride (headphones, phone, playing cards, book, etc…)
- Empty reusable water bottle (you’ll need to fill it up after you get through airport security)
- Vietnamese adaptor and power converter (See Electronics tab)
- A change of clothes for 2-3 days – It is very important to include a change of clothes that will be appropriate for Orientation and the Opening Ceremony (refer to Dress Code section) in your carry-on. In the event that your hold luggage is lost in transit, you will need to be prepared for the first couple of days of the program. Lost luggage normally takes between 1 to 3 days to be returned.
- Prescription medications**
- 5-6 sets of scrubs for rotations. Packing 5-6 sets of scrubs (and planning to do laundry once or twice) should cover the trip
- 1-2 white full-length lab jacket(s). Short sleeved lab jackets are acceptable
- 2 business casual outfits and appropriate footwear for orientation and the closing ceremony at the university.
- MEN: Trousers/khakis and collared shirts
- WOMEN: Knee-length dresses or skirts, trousers, collared shirts, blouses
- NOTE: No jeans, shorts, or athletic wear
- Clean, comfortable, closed-toe shoes for rotations (sneakers are fine as long as they are clean)
- Clothing for cultural tour – Please refer to Dress Code section below for appropriate guidelines
- Pajamas/sweats for your overnight accommodations
- Travel outfits (2-3 recommended)
- Compression socks for travel. NOTE: Many students and staff experience swelling in their legs/ankles/feet while traveling to and from Vietnam. It is highly recommended that you wear compression socks, drink lots of water, and stretch throughout the airplane ride
- Socks and undergarments
- Bathing suit if you wish to use the hotel’s pool
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Body wash or soap
- Small first aid kit
- If needed, glasses/contacts, contact case and solution
- Surgical masks (2 week supply)
- Ladies, please be mindful that feminine hygiene items are difficult to come by in brands and styles you might be comfortable with. Be sure to pack these items with you, it’s better to be overprepared!
- Advil, Midol, Imodium, Vitamin C, Hydration tablets/packs ….to name a few of the most common items
Below you will find a breakdown of our various activities and the dress code for each.
It is important to keep in mind when packing that Vietnamese people dress conservatively, and visitors should do the same. Men and women should keep their shoulders covered and shorts should always be knee length. The only time when this note is not applicable is on travel days, and our mid-program rest day.
Travel to and from Vietnam:
Ultimately, comfort plays a large part in making long-haul flights pleasurable. Always wear comfortable clothes, and this includes your travel shoes.
- Wear layers – You will need pieces that you can easily take off or put on to help you combat the varying temperatures you encounter throughout your journey
- Wear something that you can keep on for the next 24 hours – total travel time to Vietnam will be at least 24 hours
- Wear clothes that don’t restrict you
- Wear natural, breathable fabrics
- Wear socks and comfortable footwear
Opening and Closing Ceremonies:
This will be your first and last impression when greeting and saying goodbye to your Vietnamese hosts at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Dress to impress with a business casual outfit
Ladies: Plan on wearing dresses/trousers/knee-length skirts and shirts with a collar or blouses, and comfortable shoes
Gentlemen: Wear trousers/khakis and collared shirts, and comfortable shoes
NOTE: Absolutely NO athletic wear, NO jeans, and NO shorts.
Rotations at Hue UMP:
Students will be asked to wear scrubs, a long white lab coat, and surgical masks for all sessions at the hospital and medical facilities.
- Scrubs can be any color/pattern/short sleeve/long sleeve
- Lab jackets are required for most rotations (Short sleeve if possible as it is very hot)
- Comfortable/clean footwear – You will be on your feet for long periods of time so comfortable, closed-toe, clean shoes. Sneakers are permitted for rotations in the hospital but must be clean.
Cultural Tour Day:
A full day is planned to explore the fascinating history of Hue. Keep in mind that Vietnamese people dress conservatively, and visitors should do the same. Men and women should keep their shoulders covered and shorts should always be knee length. Another factor to keep in mind is the weather. It will be incredibly hot and humid, so light, natural fabrics like cotton are advisable.
- Wear comfortable/breathable casual clothes (shoulders must be covered and shorts should be knee-length)
- Wear comfortable shoes (sneakers are a great option)
- Bring a sunhat
- Wear sunscreen
You are welcome to kick back and relax in whatever clothes are most comfortable for you. If you plan on spending time at the pool, be sure to pack a swimsuit.
Students will be staying at the Park View Hotel in Hue. The hotel is about a five minute walk to the main campus of Hue UMP where students will be doing their rotations. Each student will be paired in a double-room with a roommate of the same sex and in age order.
The address is 09 Ngó Quyén, Vĩnh Ninh, Tp. Hue, Thúa Thiên Hué, Vietnam.
All students will be given a room key upon arrival. You must keep this on you at all times to access the elevators and your hotel room. If you lose your room key during your visit, you will need a valid form of photo identification and a $2 fee will be due to the Park View Hotel Reception in order to receive a new key.
The hotel reception desk is available 24/7 on the ground floor for any questions you may have. Remember, our very own team of experienced staff will also be available 24/7 should you need any assistance at all.
The Park View Hotel is air-conditioned throughout, but the clinical facilities are not.
Hue is situated in central Vietnam near the coast. Summer months in central Vietnam are generally hot, humid, and sunny, with temperatures in the high 80s-90s. There are occasional rain showers.
Laundry service is available throughout the program. Further information will be provided here closer to lift-off!
The Park View Hotel offers Wifi throughout. Wifi in clinical locations is available but can be unpredictable depending on the location.
Each hotel room offers a quiet and peaceful place to rest and relax. There is also a dedicated desk for study in each room. Otherwise, the hotel has plenty of communal areas for study or relaxation within the main lobby, or you can opt to unwind by the pool.
Meals and Water
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided in the hotel. A large selection of food will be available including authentic Vietnamese fare, and a variety of American classics. It is important to remember that we will be situated on the other side of the world for this incredible two-week adventure. Most of our meals will be provided in the Park View Hotel, however, it is a huge part of cultural immersion to understand that the culinary delights will be very different from home. It is important to come with an open mind and embrace the culinary diversity of our host country.
Meals will also be provided on off-campus activity days and will include lunches in local restaurants depending on the location of activities.
Meals are not provided during travel with the exception of the meals and snacks the airline provides. Although this may differ from airline to airline or route taken, generally, two meals and soft drinks, water, and coffee will be provided on the long-haul section of your journey. A snack may be provided on the connecting flights to Vietnam. If you would like to purchase additional snacks in the departure or connecting airport, it is advisable to carry a widely accepted bank card (Visa or Mastercard) to make purchases in the airports easily.
Be sure you have indicated any special dietary requirements on the medical history form so we can be sure to not only prep the chef ahead of your arrival, but also pre-request any special requirements for meals that may be provided on your long-haul flight to Vietnam. If you have any concerns, please reach out to the Admissions Team.
Vietnamese tap water is not safe to drink. One bottle of water is provided within the hotel room daily per person. Bottled water is easily accessible in local convenience stores either within the hotel or right across the road. Chaperones will be organizing trips to the local convenience store as needed.
It is strongly advisable not to digest the ice while in Vietnam. Ice is generally produced from tap water. Small fridges are located in all hotel rooms to refrigerate drinks.
The voltage supplied in electrical outlets, as well as the outlet type, varies in countries throughout the world, so in order to charge your devices when you visit another country, it’s important to check the voltage and outlet requirements of your host country.
- You will need an adaptor for all electrical devices as the sockets in Vietnam are different
- The standard voltage is 110 / 220 V. This is the same as U.S. power outlets
- The power outlet frequency differs in Vietnam at 50 Hz compared to the U.S. at 60 Hz
Be warned! Be especially careful with moving, rotating and time related appliances like clocks, shavers, hairdryers, and hair straightening devices to list a few. You will not be able to use these electrical appliances in Vietnam without an adaptor and converter.
Other appliances only require a Vietnamese plug adaptor and do not need a frequency converter. Check the label on all of your appliances that you plan to bring. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in Vietnam with the correct plug adaptor. This is common for chargers of tablets/laptops, cameras, cell phones, toothbrushes, etc.
In either case, check your devices and determine if you will need to bring along a converter and/or an adaptor.
INTERNATIONAL CELL PHONE USE
In all likelihood, your cell phone plan does not accommodate international texting, calling or data use. If you use these functions while traveling abroad, you will likely rack up a huge roaming bill – possibly in the thousands of dollars. To ensure this doesn’t happen, be sure to turn off your cellular data and put your phone in airplane mode before we depart on our international flight. You will still be able to connect to Wi-Fi where available while on airplane mode. It’s safest to leave your phone in airplane mode for the duration of the trip, and only use Wi-Fi for internet access, in order to avoid a surprise phone bill when you get back.
Local sim cards are available to purchase from the airport or local convenience stores with unlimited data and free local texts and calling for a 30-day period. Cost depends on the provider, but most local sims range between $5-$15. If you plan to utilize this option, you may want to check your phone is unlocked and available to be used by alternative carriers before you depart from the U.S.
Alternatively, you can explore options with your cell service provider for international travel plans. Most cell service providers offer a daily or monthly plan ranging from $5-$20 per day for international travel. Be sure to explore all the limitations before traveling.
Currency and Payment
Tuition includes all program costs, international airfare, accommodations, local in-country transportation, and meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner while on location. Please note that meals are not provided during travel to and from our host destination, with the exception of meals provided by the airline.
Students may want to bring pocket money for their own personal expenses, shopping, personal care items, souvenirs, snacks, etc. ($100-$300 should be more than adequate). In advance of your trip to Vietnam, we recommend you decide on how you will pay for personal expenses while abroad. You may choose to carry a credit card, withdraw Vietnamese Dong using an ATM card, bring U.S. dollars to exchange in Vietnam, or some combination of these options.
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Vietnam; Discover and American Express are rarely accepted. If you plan to use a credit card while in Vietnam, be sure to ask your credit card company about their international transaction fees and alert them of your international travel plans beforehand to avoid security holds. Check the expiration date on your credit/debit cards and make a separate note in a safe place of their numbers and the service number on the back of the card.
NOTE: We highly encourage students to withdraw Vietnamese Dong from a nearby ATM instead of exchanging physical U.S. Dollar bills. Bills must be in mint condition in order to be accepted for exchange (free from ANY wrinkles, stains, creases, writing, tears, etc…).