More than 45,000 international students come to Vietnam to study abroad because for them the reasons for this choice are not only reasonable prices, delicious food but also countless other values.

International students in ULIS – VNU (source by Lee Hyun Jun) 

According to released information by the Department of International Cooperation at the conference summarizing the reception, training and management of foreign students in the 2016-2021 period and the implementation direction for the 2022-2030 period by the Ministry of Education and Training held on August 19, 2022. Of more than 45,000 international students, 26.6% are enrolled in agreements and 73.4% are outside.

Study abroad in Vietnam – A new choice

“Because the education here is very cheap. It’s very nice to come somewhere where I can afford to study” – That is what Sarah, an American studying at University of Languages and International Studies – Vietnam National University shared about the reason for choosing Vietnam to pursue higher education. 

Tuition fees and living expenses in Vietnam are much lower than in Western countries, making it an attractive option for students seeking a high-quality education at an affordable cost.

Sarah – International student in ULIS (source by doubleTRIPble)

In addition, Vietnam is an excellent environment for foreigners. “Political stability, economic, cultural, and social conditions have greatly improved, and Vietnamese people have always shown a sense of hospitality and respect to foreigners.” Mr. Nguyen Viet Hoa, Lecturer – Deputy Head of Administration – General Department, University of Languages and International Studies – Vietnam National University said.

Mr Nguyen Viet Hoa, Lecturer – Deputy Head of Administration , ULIS. (Source: DoubleTRIPle)

Vietnamese people have always been famous for their hospitality and friendliness with foreigners. Far & Wide – international travel magazine – has just announced the list of 50 friendliest countries and territories in the world in 2022, of which Vietnam is ranked 5th. 

Mr. Hoa shared: “Our country’s open culture always welcomes new winds from foreign cultures. Vietnamese people welcome foreigners with a sense of respect and gentleness. Therefore, foreigners will feel valued when coming here.”

The S-shape country also has a well-developed education system, with many universities and colleges offering high-quality academic programs. Recently, Vietnam National University was named in the top 1000 best schools in the world, according to the Times higher education ranking.

Vietnam National University features in Group 801-1,000 best universities globally (Source: Quacquarelli Symonds – QS World University Rankings 2021)

Challenges lie ahead

While there are many benefits to studying in Vietnam as an international student, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered before making the decision to study in this country. 

Learning Vietnamese is very difficult. It depends on the motivation of the learners. If learning has a specific motivation and course, it is easier for them to achieve the goal.” said Mr. Hoa. Although many universities offer programs in English, it is still difficult for international students to communicate with locals and navigate daily life. 

Talking about the cultural adaptation of Western students, Mr. Hoa also commented: “Some special subjects, such as philosophy or Marxist-Leninist economics and politics, offer separate courses for foreigners. This indicates that foreigners also find it difficult to accept different cultures and ideologies when receiving the education.

Amazing student life experience

Vietnam is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich culture and history, and there are plenty of activities that foreign students can do to explore the country and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Exploring the history and culture of Vietnam by visiting museums, historic sites can offer many benefits, from developing critical thinking skills to fostering cross-cultural understanding and empathy. Beside, participating in festivals can also provide foreign students with a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture and society


International students study in VNU (source by Global Student United (GSU) – VNUIS)

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, foreign students studying in Vietnam mainly participate in higher education level and short courses. The number of international students studying for master’s and doctoral degrees is quite modest; doctoral students are mainly Lao, Cambodian and some Chinese, Korean and Japanese students studying Vietnamese studies. Besides Laos and Cambodia, the number of international students’ accounts for a large proportion with nearly 80%, the remaining 20% of international students come from a number of countries such as Korea, China, France, and Japan. Educational institutions that attract many international students (over 1,000) and diverse nationalities include Hanoi National University (74 nationalities); Hanoi University (44).

By students in ENG3029 Course (Online Journalism)