The Past and The Future


Duration 8 days
Suggested group size 12 - 20 students / 2 Envoys Field Staff
Suggested ages 14 - 18
Experience Development & Water is Life


The Past and The Future


This program invites students to explore Vietnam, looking at the megacities pushed by a booming manufacturing and trade economy, and the blend of Chinese, Khmer, and French influences on their culture. They experience the natural beauty and traditional lifestyle found throughout the Mekong Delta.

“Landscapes mirror the warmth of its people, weaving a story of resilience, traditions, and the allure of a dynamic nation.“


“Echoes of history resonate through ancient temples and bustling markets.“


Impact Statement Everywhere we go, we carry a promise – to engage with respect, act with purpose, and leave a positive imprint. As envoys of our journey is more than travel; Our footprint is light, but our impact is profound, creating bridges of cooperation and mutual growth across the globe.

Day 1

Students land in Ho Chi Minh City and are warmly welcomed by Envoys educators. After checking in, they gather for a safety briefing and group activity. They then venture out to explore the area, followed by a welcome dinner featuring Thai cuisine, marking the beginning of their exciting journey.

Day 2

We explore Ho Chi Minh City starting at the Bitexco Financial Tower's Saigon Skydeck for a panoramic view, the Taoist Jade Emperor Pagoda, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Saigon Central Post Office. In teams, we use various modes of transportation, immersing ourselves in local life.

Day 3

We start our day at the War Remnants Museum, delving into Vietnam's memories of the war and reflecting on its lasting impact. At the Cu Chi tunnels, we explore the intricate network used by Viet Cong soldiers. Later, we participate in a Vietnamese cooking class.

Day 4

We journey through the vibrant Mekong Delta, the agricultural heartland of Vietnam. Guided by a local expert, we gain insights into the vital role of water in the Delta's sustenance and development, navigating the complexities of resource management amidst agricultural, urban, and conservation needs

Day 5

We fly to Da Nang and travel to Hoi An, a trading port with an architecture that blends indigenous and foreign influences. We visit the Golden Hands Bridge, then stroll through Hoi An Old Town, exploring landmarks like the Japanese Covered Bridge, Fujian Assembly Hall, and Chuc Thanh Pagoda.

Day 6

We start our day at Hoi An Central Market, where we observe Vietnamese life along the Thu Bon River. Students engage in empathic interviews with market vendors. In the afternoon, we visit Cua Dai Beach, and in the evening, we explore Hoi An's Riversideand.

Day 7

Students join local fishermen for crab fishing in the canals. Then, we enjoy a cooking class, discovering traditional culinary techniques. Building on insights from market interviews, we reflect on water's significance in Vietnamese life. Finally, an afternoon for free time before a festive dinner.

Day 8

We fly back to Ho Chi Minh City. Students have a chance to spend the whole day meeting with scholars from a local university and participating in round-table discussions. We share a final lunch together and take some time to reflect on the program as a whole.

Day 9

We head to the airport on our final day to begin our journey home.

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Lenses of Inquiry



Students examine the complexities of Western NGOs in Southeast Asia, recognizing potential unintended consequences. Students question assumptions about NGO impact and political neutrality, exploring funding sources and motivations. We reflect on alternative models for addressing social issues.



Exploring water in Vietnam offers rich opportunities to study its crucial role in the nation's dynamic landscape. From the iconic Mekong Delta to urban centers, students investigate water pollution, flood management, and climate change impacts.



Exploring Vietnam through the lens of war and memory offers a profound journey into the country's past and enduring resilience. Visits to key sites evoke emotions and highlight the consequences of conflict. Personal stories from war veterans deepen understanding and promote peace.


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