Viet Nam

Viet Nam extends 1,650 km (1,025 miles) north to south and it is only 50 km (31 miles) across at its narrowest point. Viet Nam also transitions between lowland deltas to highland forests. Because of its shape, the weather and types of foods in Viet Nam is dramatically different between the northern and the southern areas.

Source: CIA World Factbook

The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti-Communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals – many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants – and growing international isolation. However, since the enactment of Vietnam’s “doi moi” (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The Communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups – the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space, and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.

UH CSEAS Spotlights on Viet Nam:

Books Films Music Talks Videos 

Viet Nam Specialists   UHM Vietnamese Language Program UHM Shidler College of Business – Viet Nam Executive MBA


Most Recent Viet Nam Posts:

Join us on Thursday, September 10 for a talk by Emeritus Professor Ben Kerkvliet about regime critics in Viet Nam from the 1990s to 2014.

Attend a Vietnamese film screening and fashion gala/dinner sponsored by VACCH, VBRAH, & PAAC

Vietnam’s National Cinema Department launches a nation-wide festival that starts in Honolulu in July.


In this menu, you will find a wide range of UH-Mānoa related and other online resources or educational modules for community members interested in Southeast Asia. Resource descriptions and links may be viewed by clicking on the UH-Mānoa Related & Online Resources header.

Please contact us with suggestions on educational links which would be useful to you!

Learn more about studying Vietnamese at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa.

Learn more about opportunities to study abroad in Viet Nam for students studying Vietnamese at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa. Students may also arrange an independent study abroad program in Viet Nam through the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa Study Abroad Center.

Funding is also available for undergraduates wishing to conduct research broad in Viet Nam through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa.

The University of Hawaii, Shidler College of Business has partnered with the International University (Ho Chi Minh City) and the Foreign Trade University (Hanoi) to deliver its first-rate Vietnam Executive MBA program that will train, guide, and prepare Vietnam’s top executives who want to elevate their management skills. This 21-month, executive format program allows participants living in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to maintain full-time management positions while earning their degree. Students will learn from an integrated, modern curriculum that incorporates core business disciplines with cutting-edge business practices including: management of information technologies, entrepreneurship, e-business and Asia-Pacific global business strategy. All classes will be held in Vietnam, with an optional summer study at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

CSEAS affiliated faculty member Liam Kelley of the History Department has just launched Viet Texts, a web page that contains translations of the following three important sources for early Vietnamese history:

  • The Outer Annals (Ngoại kỷ) of the Complete Book of the Historical Records of Đại Việt (Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư)
  • The Prefatory Compilation (Tiền biên) of the Imperially Commissioned Itemized Summaries of the Comprehensive Mirror of Việt History (Khâm định Việt sử thông giám cương mục)
  • The Arrayed Tales of Selected Oddities from South of the Passes (Lính Nam chích quái liệt truyện)

The translation of the first two texts above was made possible through the generous support of a translation grant from the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History. The input of the Chinese text for those two sources was supported by a National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.


The Engaging with Vietnam conference was founded in 2009 by Dr Phan Le Ha who was at that time lecturing in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Australia. The Initiative received strong support from the University, particularly from Professor Stephanie Fahey, the then Deputy Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement). This Initiative has brought together scholars, researchers, policy makers, diplomatic officials and the general public to collaboratively engage with knowledge production and scholarship building related to Vietnam. Annual scholarly conferences are a major part of the Initiative. In 2015, the 7th annual conference will be held in Hanoi, Viet Nam from July 7 - 8 in conjunction with the first Vietnam-U.S. Higher Education Forum.

Phan Le Ha is now a Professor of Education at the College of Education, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM), USA, and UH-M has become the new home for Engaging with Vietnam.



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Timor- Leste


Viet Nam