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									Temple in Vietnam:
History and Asian Studies
Summer II: July 9-August 18, 2007*
*dates are tentative and subject to change

The Temple in Vietnam program provides a unique educational opportunity for undergraduate students of
history, Asian studies, political science, and related disciplines. The program is based at An Giang University,
a dynamic institution in Longxuyen City, An Giang province, in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam. It
includes on-site lectures, guest speakers, and travel throughout the Mekong Delta, southern, and central
Vietnam. The courses are taught by Dr. Nguyen Thi Dieu, Professor of History at Temple University and a
native of An Giang province.

An Giang Province is located approximately 200km from Ho Chi Minh City, in the western region of the
Mekong Delta between two Mekong tributaries, adjacent to the Cambodian border. An Giang has a diverse
ethnic population of Kinh (ethnic Vietnamese), Cham, and Khmer. As a result of this diversity, most
mainstream religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and widespread Animistic practices and beliefs) are
represented in the region in the form of famous temples, pagodas (e.g., chua Tay An), churches, and festivals
such as Ba Chua Xu’s, which attracts thousands of people from all over the country and from places afar.

Economically, An Giang is one of the most important producers in Vietnam of rice for export as well as
catfish and other aquatic products. The area has also revived its traditional silk weaving handicraft at the
village of Tan Chau (the famous lua Tan Chau/Tan Chau silk) and maintained ethnic Cham and Khmer
weaving traditions.

Undergraduate students enroll in two courses: History 0118: Introduction to Southeast Asia-Mainland (3
cr.) and History 0222: History of Vietnam (3 cr.), cross-listed with Asian Studies 0222. It is also possible to
do independent study courses with special permission of the program director.

The first course, Introduction to Southeast Asia-Mainland, covers the histories of Myanmar (Burma),
Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam from the sixteenth century until modern times. It is a course designed to
introduce students to the analysis of such forces as culture, religion, statecraft, and trade, and the manner in
which they have shaped the mainland countries of Southeast Asia from pre-modern to present times.

The second course, History of Vietnam, traces Vietnamese history from its mythological origins to the Central
Efflorescence/Trung Hoa (“China’s”) millennial domination, to its independence in the 10th century, and
considers the shaping of Vietnam’s identity through the syncretic adaptation of varied politico-economic, socio-
cultural, and religious influences from inside and outside of the country. The course concludes with a panoramic
view of Vietnam in the 21st century, an age of globalization.

Music, films, photos, maps, museums, field trips, and guest speakers enhance the content of both courses.

The program director, Dr. Nguyen Thi Dieu, is a native of Longxuyen, An Giang Province, Vietnam and is a
fluent speaker of Vietnamese, French, and English. She was born by the banks of the Mekong River that
flows through the city, grew up in Saigon (formerly the capital of the Republic of Vietnam) during the
American War, and has earned advanced degrees in Asian (Indochina and Japan) and American history in
France. Dr. Nguyen is the author of The Mekong River and the Struggle for Indochina: Water, War, and
Peace (Praeger, 1999), and co-author with Mark McLeod, of Culture and Customs of Vietnam (Greenwood,
2001). She has also published a number of articles on water resources, environmental and ethnic impacts of
dam construction and hydraulic development.

During the first local field trip, students visit the silk making village of Tan Chau, the largest crocodile farm
of Vietnam, a fishing cooperative, and Chau Doc’s famous temples. Students also navigate the Mekong River
to see the floating market of Can Tho and visit villages.

The second excursion brings students to a number of sites in the Mekong Delta that illustrate topics discussed
in class such as religion, the American War, and economic development. The excursion includes visits to Tay
Ninh, the “capital” of Caodaism, one of the major religious sects in the south; the Cu Chi tunnel network; Can
Gio’s guerrilla base in the mangroves; and Ho Chi Minh City to explore the Museum of War Remnants and to
learn about urban expansion.

The third excursion transports students to central Vietnam to visit historical locations such as the 17th parallel
at the river Ben Hai where the country was divided into two by the Geneva Accords of 1954; the caves of
Phong Nha, where traces of the ancient Cham civilization could be found; the cemetery of fallen soldiers of
the Truong Son/Annamite Cordillera Chain; Hue, the imperial city with its royal mausoleums and Perfume
River; Hoi An, an ancient port and a small city that has kept intact its traditional architecture; and Da Nang,
the former US base, now a sprawling city.

Modes of transportation during excursions include airplanes, boats, and air-conditioned buses. English-
speaking guides lead the group, and students are housed in comfortable hotels.

Housing and meals are arranged in a comfortable hotel situated about 2 km from An Giang University’s
campus. Students share double rooms, and each room is equipped with a bathroom, desk, television, and air

For all summer programs, to be eligible, applicants must:
•        Possess a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
•        Be enrolled as a full-time matriculated student at the time of application.
•        Be in good academic and disciplinary standing; students on academic and/or disciplinary probation or
         warning may not participate.

No Vietnamese language or course pre-requisite is required. However, awareness of non-Western cultures and
of socio-economic underdevelopment leading to unsanitary conditions, poor hygiene, agrarian framework,
etc., is recommended. Although it is not a requirement, a familiarity with Southeast Asian cultures will help
students adapt to their new environment. Students must be willing to travel in and adapt to circumstances that
may be less comfortable than in the United States.

Students will be selected mainly on the basis of their intellectual purpose and emotional maturity; successful
candidates are usually notified within two weeks of receiving a completed application. Early application is
encouraged; applications are considered on a rolling-admissions basis. A non-refundable $200 deposit is
required for all admitted students in order to reserve their place, but the amount is credited toward the cost of
the program. Students with questions about financial aid should contact Student Financial Services.

Interested students should contact International Programs. Applications will be available in International
Programs, 200 Tuttleman Learning Center, at the end of fall semester.


Undergraduate (6cr)                      Pennsylvania Residents   non-Pennsylvania Residents
Tuition                                  $2250                    $3786
Vietnam Fee                              $1500*                   $1500*
*The fee is based on estimated costs and is subject to change.

The Vietnam fee includes lodging, meals, local travel, and excursions. In addition, students must budget for
round-trip airfare from the United States to Vietnam estimated at about $1,400; personal expenses, estimated
at about $500; immunizations, estimated at $400; visa fees, $100; health insurance; and the International
Student Identity Card (currently $22).

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Nguyen Thi Dieu, Temple University History Department, dieunguy@temple.edu, 215-204-1897 or
International Programs, 200 Tuttleman Learning Center, study.abroad@temple.edu, 215-204-0720.

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