Vietnam as Fulbright’s Classroom


19 Co-Design Year Students in the Introduction to Vietnamese History and Culture course are currently in Hue City (Central Vietnam) for one week. Hue is known as the land of historical and cultural heritages of Vietnam. It is also home to five UNESCO heritage sites.

Two founding faculty members at Fulbright, Dr. Nguyen Nam and Dr. Andrew Bellisari, chose Hue as their classroom for the second week of their Vietnamese Studies Course: Introduction to Vietnamese History and Culture.

“In high school, we saw pictures in textbooks to show history. Now, we’re looking at it up close and learning different stories interpreting it,” said Co-Designer Nguyen Cao Minh Thao. “Professors Nam and Andrew are challenging us to rethink how we look at our country’s development.”

Students are looking at the history of the city to illuminate Vietnam’s history broadly and the forces that shaped imperialism, nationalism, and revolution. Experience-based learning means students are using not only their intellect but also their senses and their feelings to observe history.

“One of the things I like about the trip is that it brings more humanity into what we learned. We learn argumentative essays and put on a very distant, academic face,” said Co-Designer Nguyen Cao Nghi. “When we get into tombs and get a sensory experience. There’s an emotional attachment to what we learn. It is the epitome of what we learn in a liberal arts education. We get to know it with depth and breadth.”

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