SIT-Traditional Medicine and Community Health

Program Details

Program Location Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Sponsor SIT
Program Type Co-sponsored
Course # SA 30019
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
Summer 2024 06/01/24 to 07/14/24
Page Links
Click here to apply for this program!
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


Explore Vietnam’s ancient and traditional health systems, from bustling and dynamic Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho in the Mekong Delta to Dalat Flower Garden in the Central Highland. Traditional Vietnamese medicine, also known as southern medicine (Thuoc Nam) and traditional Chinese medicine, or northern medicine (Thuoc Bac), have evolved closely for more than a millennium. Starting at the program’s base in Ho Chi Minh City, learn about the social, economic, and cultural paradigms that frame traditional Vietnamese medicine and Vietnam’s extensive community health network. You will also learn about the use and local practices of southern medicine in rural Hoa An village in Mekong Delta. During a week-long excursion to Dalat, see how indigenous local groups such as the K’ho peoples are affected by climate change, globalization, development, and sustainability efforts. Learn to differentiate Vietnamese and Chinese traditional medicines and allopathic systems, gaining a multidimensional view into healthcare and health delivery among diverse groups including marginalized and indigenous populations. Visit with doctors and professors at the Vietnamese University of Medicine and Pharmacy as well as traditional medicine hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta. Shadow Chinese traditional health practitioners in Cho Lon (China Town), meet herbal healers in Hoa An village, meet with traditional medicine practitioners in Central Highland, and visit Truc Lam Buddhist Monastery to learn how yoga and meditation practices have been integrated into Vietnamese traditional healing practices.

For more program information, please visit the program website. This program is sponsored by:SIT.


The program is open to Purdue students in good standing who have completed at least two semesters of university study by the start of the program. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity, and a desire to experience another culture.

GPA Requirement: 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit

Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Liberal Arts] [College of Pharmacy] [College of Health and Human Sciences]
Specifically from: HK, PUBH, HSCI, NUR & PSY (HHS)

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Explain the main theoretical foundations that inform traditional Vietnamese and/or Chinese medicine;
  • Analyze the concept of “holistic health” and discuss its significance in Vietnamese and Chinese philosophical perspectives;
  • Identify the pressing community health issues that Vietnam, and especially ethnic minorities, currently face;
  • Use Vietnamese or Chinese language and intercultural skills to provide a brief and focused presentation on Vietnamese and Chinese traditional medicine.
Click HERE for more information on courses.


Stay for four weeks with a middle-class family in Ho Chi Minh City, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city representing the rapid changes underway throughout Vietnam. Homestay families often have multiple generations in one home and typically at least one university student about your age. Practice language skills with family members, learn about Vietnamese culture, and participate in discussions about Vietnamese life. Take part in family activities including family visits, weddings, and outdoor picnics. Whenever possible, visiting students and host families are matched according to professions and interests.

Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss. 

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

The program and housing fees include: tuition, housing, meals, and educational excursions.

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Summer 2024

Costs per term to be billed by Purdue and Co-sponsor
Program Fee $7,243.00
Study Abroad Fee $609.40
Housing $3,658.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00
Program Discount for Purdue Students - $1,500.00

Approximate additional costs per term
To be paid by the student.
Round-trip Airfare $1,400.00
Visa $170.00
Books and Supplies $100.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $1,150.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents (typically an essay, transcripts, 1-2 recommendations, and copy of passport) before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline. To ensure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Summer Programs Mar 1

Returnees Information

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email