DURING YOUR STAY IN HO CHI MINH CITY

ORIENTATION WEEK

We strongly recommend you to join our Orientation Week, a very important event since IU and all academic related issues will be introduced to you, including IU regulation, your university account, your registered courses as well as useful tips when living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

There are possibilities for incoming students to book outing trips such as Mekong Delta Tour, City Tour in the Orientation Week.

CAMPUS TOUR

A Campus Tour scheduled at the end of the Orientation Session will help international students to have a better understanding about the University, its Schools and Departments and the associated facilities. It is also an opportunity to know more about the Student Clubs and other on-campus services.

STUDENT ID CARD

New students will receive their student ID Card after the Orientation Week. On the Orientation Session, you will be assisted to take a portrait photo for your Student ID Card (it will take you less than 05 minutes).

Please remember to keep your IU Student ID Card all the time because it is your gateway to many services at IU. It is a requirement for access into many buildings on campus and will serve as your library card. You could always show it to the bus  driver to get Student-type bus ticket (2,000 VND/ticket)

LOST, STOLEN OR BROKEN CARD

If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, you may want to visit ISSC to request a new card. All replacement cards must be ordered and purchased.

ORIENTATION WEEK - EXCURSION ACTIVITIES

TOURS

CITY TOUR

A great way to get to know Ho Chi Minh City is exploring the city with us via our City Tour, right in your first week at IU. This trip will deliver a profound understanding of our city in terms of main architectural projects, sightseeing venues, and restaurants in the city centre and near your place.

Estimated cost per student: approx. 21USD.

MEKONG DELTA TOUR

The Mekong River, known as Song Cuu Long in Vietnamese (“Nine Dragons River” for its nine major branches), is the longest river in South East Asia. We will stop by at a local house where we can see how they make coconut candy, rice-paper, and rice wine. You will have a chance to spend time with local farmers, enjoying traditional music and tropical fruits, having a traditional lunch at a local home, including the popular dish of ‘Elephant Ear Fish’.

Estimated cost per student: approx. 29 USD.

 

EVENTS

WELCOME PARTY

With an expectation to bring all international students together, our welcoming party is a unique opportunity to build cross-cultural relationship through experience sharing. There are numerous exciting activities for participants to explore. We will organize party differently each year.

CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR

Although the predominant religion in Vietnam is Buddhism, and Lunar New Year is our main celebration, Christmas and New Year still remain the two popular holidays in Vietnam with a lot of activities. Therefore, during this event’s week, ISSC will hold a cozy dinner with small talks, mini games, and gift exchange among participants.

FAREWELL PARTY

A Farewell Party is usually organized after the end of the final examination. It will be a good time to look back at the exchange semester, sharing our best and worst memories, and saying goodbye to each other.

OUR CAMPUS - SERVICES & FACILITIES

INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES

Main Campus: Quarter 6, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc District

City Campus: 234 Pasteur, District 3, HCMC

L-Building – VNU HCMC (for classes only)

LIBRARY

Library is located on the 1st floor‘s hallway connecting the 2 buildings at the main campus, which contains more than 2,000 books of various categories. At the library, users can access well-known academic databases such as InfoTrac, Springer Link, Taylor & Francis, ProQuest, IEEE, ACS, and Wiley, etc.

SELF-STUDY HALL

The hall is located on the 2nd floor’s hallway connecting the 2 buildings A1 and A2 at the main campus. There are three specific areas for: individual study, group-work and meeting room with writing boards and LCDs for presentation. The meeting room (for group of 5 people minimum) can be booked at the receptionist for a maximum duration of 3 hours.

FOOD COURT

IU has built up a 1,600 square meter canteen located on the ground floor with 7 stalls serving breakfast, lunch and refreshment. At our canteen, a variety of cuisines, from Vietnamese traditional dishes to Western and Asian cuisine are of your choice.

COFFEE SHOPS

These following shops in IU campus provide mainly drinks and snacks:

Foresta Coffee: 2nd floor of A1 building

Coffee Story: 4th floor of A2 building

The Zero: next to IU canteen

UNIMART

Location: 3rd Floor, block A1, International University

Convenience Store

The convenience store provides products for students’ spontaneous demands while learning at university such as fast food, soft drinks, ice cream, instant noodles, and selective confectionery. In particular, there are several country-adapted product lines for international students.

Stationery

Supplying stationery products which are currently sold outside the campus and stationery products associated with International University’s brand identity.

IU Brand Identity

Providing students and faculty with IU brand products such as: shirts, hats, backpacks, bags, clocks, graduation teddy bear, bracelets, cups, water bottles, pens, books, papers, rulers, erasers, glues, stickers, cards, wrapping papers, …

Photo & Printing

If you need to photocopy or print out (black/white/color) any of your documents, Unimart is an ideal place for you.

LIVING IN HO CHI MINH CITY

INTERNET

Internet access in Vietnam, especially in Ho Chi Minh City, is quite easy. Most of coffee shops, stores, shopping malls have free Wifi. Some of public places such as Ben Thanh Bus station also offer free Wifi without any special log-in requirement. To get 3G or 4G Internet connection, you could ask your buddy to help registering a data plan, or come to mobile retails to buy 3G/4G SIM Card.

WORKING IN VIETNAM

International students are allowed to apply for a job without time limit. However, please pay attention to the labor contract to protect your rights; you are supposed to sign the contract prior to the beginning of your work.

LIVING COST

Based on our survey among previous exchange students, except for their accommodation renting fee, the monthly expense per student may vary as below:

MARKET AVG. RANGE RESTAURANTS AVG. RANGE
Milk (regular) (1 liter) 1.41$ 1.20-1.72 Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 2.14$ 1.29-2.57
Loaf of fresh White Bread (500g) 0.68$ 0.43-1.20 Meal for 2 people, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 17.15$ 12.86-21.44
Rice (white) (1kg) 0.8$ 0.6-1.11 Meal at McDonalds (for Equivalent Combo Meal) 4.29$ 3.43-5.15
Eggs (12) 1.31$ 1.03-1.54 Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 0.86$ 0.64-1.29

Chicken Breasts(Boneless,

Skinless), (1kg)

3.2$ 6.43-27.87 Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 1.72$ 1.03-2.14
Beef Round (1kg) (or equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 9.72$ 2.14-4.29 Cappuccino (regular) 1.69$ 1.07-2.35
Apples 2.64$ 1.5-4.29 Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 0.50$ 0.34-0.86
Banana (1kg) 0.88$ 0.51-1.29 Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.29$ 0.21-0.43
Oranges (1kg) 1.37$ 0.86-2.14 TRANSPORTATION AVG. RANGE
Tomato (1kg) 0.84$ 0.64-1.07 One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.3$ 0.26-0.3
Potato (1kg) 0.99$ 0.73-1.50 Monthly Pass (regular price) 8.58$ 4.29-8.58
Onion (1kg) 0.90$ 0.64-1.29 Taxi start (normal tariff) 0.48$ 0.43-0.64
Lettuce (1 head) 0.62$ 0.39-0.64 Taxi 1km (normal tariff) 0.51$ 0.43-0.64
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.5$ 6.43-15.01 Grab Booking on app
Bottle of Wine (Mid-range) 10.72$ 0.43-1.10 Gasoline (1liter) 0.86$ 0.76-0.94
Imported beer (0.33 liter bottle) 1.26$ 0.86-1.43 UTILITIES (MONTHLY) AVG. RANGE
SPORTS AND LEISURE AVG. RANGE Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 59.38$ 34.31-99.341

Fitness Club

Monthly fee for 1 Adult

22.38$ 12.86-42.88 1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No discounts or plans) 0.07$ 0.04-0.13

Cinema, International Release,

1 seat

3.43$ 2.79-4.29 Internet (10mps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 11.16$ 7.72-17.15

Source: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Vietnam&displayCurrency=USD

RELIGION

BUDDHIST TEMPLES IN HO CHI MINH CITY

• The Jade Emperor Pagoda (Obama visited this pagoda in May 2016): 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, District 1, HCMC
• Quan Âm Pagoda: 12 Lao Tu Street, District 5, HCMC
• Vĩnh Nghiêm Pagoda: 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC
• Xá Lợi Pagoda: 89B Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Street, Ward 7, District 3, HCMC
• Giác Lâm Pagoda: 118 Lac Long Quan Street, Ward 10, Tan Binh District, HCMC

CATHOLIC AND CHRISTIAN (SCHEDULE FOR MASS IN ENGLISH)

• Saigon Pastoral Center: 6 Ton Duc Thang, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC Saturday (Sunday liturgy) at 6:00PM
• Dakao Martino Church: 16A Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Da Kao Ward, District 1, HCMC Every second Sunday each month at 8:30AM (Bilingual English and Vietnamese)
• Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC Sunday at 9:30AM
• Ba Chuong Dominican Church: 190 Le Van Sy, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District, HCMC Sunday at 10:30AM

 

FOOD

Downtown Saigon hosts an excellent selection of mid-range Western and Asian restaurants leaving visitors a myriad of choices – from Tom yum to Tapas, salad to sushi, main courses are generally 80,000 to 250,000 dong ($5-$15).

VIETNAMESE CUISINE

• Quan Ngon – 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Str, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC.

• Co Ba Vung Tau Vietnamese Pancake: 40B Tran Cao Van Str, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC.

• Pho 24 – 5 Nguyen Thiep Str, HCMC (and many more). T: (028) 821 7208. Daily 06:30-23:00

• Chi Hoa – 31A Le Thanh Ton Str, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC.

• Wrap &Roll – 62 Hai Ba Trung Str, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC. T: (028) 823 4030. Daily 07:30-22:30

WESTERN CUISINE

• Al Frescos – 27 Dong Du Str. HCMC. T: (028) 822 7317. Daily 08:30-23:00

• Black Cat – 13 Phan Van Dat Str. HCMC. T: (028) 829 2055. Daily 07:30-24:00

• Cantina Central – 51 Ton That Thiep Str. HCMC. T: 914 4697. Daily: 10:00-Midnight.

• Pacharan – 97 Hai Ba Trung Str. HCMC. T: (028) 825 6024. Daily 07:00-24:00

• Santa Lucia – 14 Nguyen Hue Str. HCMC.  T : (028) 822 6562. Daily 09:30-22:30

• Skewers – 9A Thai Van Lung Str., HCMC. T: (028) 822 4798. 11:30-14:00 Mon-Sat, 18:00-23:00 Mon-Sun.

• Taco Leo- 20 Cao Ba Nha Str, District 1, HCMC. T: 093 799 73 26 . Daily 09:00-22:00

• La Fiesta – 33 Dang Thi Nhu Str, District 1, HCMC. Daily 11:00-22:00

JAPANESE CUISINE

• Sushi Bar – 2 Le Thanh Ton Str, District 1 , HCMC – (028) 38238042 – (028) 38244491 There are more stores’ locations: http://sushibar-vn.com/location/

• Tokyo Deli – 240 Le Thanh Ton Str, District 1, HCMC – (028) 5404 2244 There are more restaurant’s locations of Tokyo Deli chain: http://www.tokyodeli.com.vn/en-US

• Sushi Tei Viet Nam- 200 Ly Tu Trong Str, District 1, HCMC

• Ichiba Sushi – 204 Le Lai Str, District 1, HCMC. Daily 10:00-23:00

HALAH CUISINE

• Satay House Malaysia (Very Halal Food) 35 Mac Dinh Chi Street, District 1, HCMC. Hours: 7AM to 10PM. Phone: (028) 822 1727

• Taj Mahal 241/265/1 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, HCMC. Cuisine: North Indian. Phone: (028) 246 1108

• Bon Mua Four Seasons 2 Thi Sach Street, District 1, HCMC. Cuisine: Malay. Hours: 10AM to 11PM. Phone: (028) 825 7186

 

ENTERTAINMENT & NIGHTLIFE

SHOPPING

Ho Chi Minh City is a paradise for shopping if you have a good bargaining skill (it could go down by 1/2 of the suggested price) and a good eye. Your bargaining skill will be useful except when it comes to major shopping centers. While there are fine shops, malls in District 1, there are several streets especially good for shopping, namely Dong Khoi and Le Thanh Ton behind Rex Hotel. Recommended shopping centers:

  • Takashimaya – Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC
  • Parkson Center – 35-45 Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC
  • Diamond Palaza – 34 Le Duan, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC
  • Vicom Center HCMC – 72 Le Thanh Ton, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC
  • Ben Thanh Market
  • SaiGon Square – 7 Ton Duc Thang, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC (Bargain is possible)
  • Taka Center – 102 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC (Bargain is possible)
  • Vivo City -1058 Nguyen Van Linh, District 7, HCMC
  • Vincom Megamall – 159 Hanoi Highway, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, HCMC

CINEMAS IN HO CHI MINH CITY

Below is the list of top cinemas in Ho Chi Minh City.

Useful Tip: You can always buy a ticket online to save time while being able to choose the best seat in the theatre.

FITNESS CENTERS

There are many fitness centers in Ho Chi Minh city with a variety of services and classes available: from yoga to dancing, gym club with modern equipment, facilities:

California Fitness & Yoga Center

http://www.cfyc.com.vn/

Address: Pearl Plaza, 561A Dien Bien Phu Street, Binh Thanh District, HCMC

Getfit Gym & Yoga

http://www.getfit.vn/

Address: 3rd floor, H3 Building, 384 Hoang Dieu Street, Ward 6, District 4, HCMC

OTHER RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

Cooking Class

You could spend a one-day cooking class exploring Vietnamese cuisine. This cooking class is the best way to learn more about ingredients of our dishes from growing, harvesting, selling, cooking, and finally enjoying these dishes.

• Become a real Vietnamese farmer by harvesting your own food, all the required ingredients and vegetables.

• See cows, buffalo, chicken, duck, fish, mushrooms and many different types of herbs, spices, vegetables and understand how to use it for cooking and for other purposes such as medicine.

• Learn and enjoy cooking traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Saigon Cooking Class

Address: 74/7 Hai Ba Trung, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC

Vietnam Cookery Center

Address: 26 Ly Tu Trong, 4th floor, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC

Pottery Workshop

Create your own clay products in the Vietnamese style, while enjoying easy-going class with thoughtful guidance of local instructor.

Meow Pottery Workshop

Address: 402/19 Le Van Sy Str. Ward 14 Dist, HCMC

De-form Pottery

Address: 81/12 Huynh Man Dat, Ward 19, Bình Thạnh Dist, HCMC

Saigon Vespa Tour

The night tour introduces you to over 6 different courses including most popular street food, coffee and beer tasting. The Tour will ride you to different districts, take you out of the lousy downtown and into the more local places barely visited by other tourists.

More information can be found here.

Water Puppet Show

The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theater

Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCMC

Ao Dai Museum

The museum showcases a fantastic collection of “Ao Dai” in different periods, ranging from the earliest days to the modern time, owned by the kings, royal members, noted artists and actresses, etc. In addition, stories around these dresses and their owners are also highlighted.

Address: 206/19/30 Long Thuan, Long Phuoc Ward, District 9, HCMC

VIETNAM FACTS & FIGURES

President: Nguyen Phu Trong

Prime Minister: Nguyen Xuan Phuc

Land area: 125,622 sq mi (325,361 sq km); total area: 127,244 sq mi (329,560 sq km)

Population (2014 est.): 93,421,835 (growth rate: 1%); birth rate: 16.26/1000; infant mortality rate: 18.99/1000; life expectancy: 72.91; density per sq mi: 703

Capital (2013 est.): Hanoi, 7.1 million (metro. area), 2.955 million (city proper)

Largest cities: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 8,190,775; Haiphong 925,000; Danang 834,000

Monetary unit: Dong

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN VIETNAM 

                                               PUBLIC HOLIDAYS NO. OF DAY(S)-OFF
FALL
SEMESTER
02 September National Day 01

Please note that, there is no holiday

as well as day-off on Christmas Day

00

 

01 January

 

New Year’s Day

 

01

Late January to Middle February Vietnam Traditional Lunar New Year Festival
(Tet Nguyen Dan)
02 weeks
SPRING
SEMESTER

10th March of
Lunar Calendar

 

Hùng Kings Memorial Day 01
30 April & 01 May

Reunification Day &
International Labor Day

 

 02

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Most travelers to Vietnam are attracted by the country’s wonderful natural beauty: from the green rice fields in the North to the fascinating bustle of the Mekong Delta in the South. Vietnam is also a country with a long history and ancient traditions. Here are some “must-see” tourist attractions when you travel to Vietnam.

HANOI THE BEAUTIFUL CAPITAL

Vietnam’s capital is the frenetic heartbeat of the nation and a place that befuddles travelers as much as charms them. The motorbike frenzy, pollution, and constant clamor of street vendors can get too much for some travelers, but if you want to dive into Vietnamese city life, Hanoi is the place to do it. The Old Quarter attracts a lot of tourists every year with many small, meandering streets, each shows the name of the goods that were specifically traded there such as Hang Bac (Silver Product), Hang Ma (Paper Product), Thuoc Bac (Herb Product) and Hang Vai (Silk Product), just to name a few. Furthermore, almost all well-know destinations in Hanoi lay close to each other so you can walk or travel by cyclo to visit around there such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, Sword Lake, West Lake, History Museum, Flag Pole, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

SAPA THE MAGICAL HILLS

Sapa in Lao Cai Province, a modest and quiet destination with beautiful hills and mountains, hides the most wonderful magic of the natural scene. Sapa’s natural landscape is a combination of human creativity and the topography of hills, green forests, much like a painting with harmonic arrangement and romantic scenes. From the city center you can see the panoramic view of untouched mountain peaks. Visiting Sapa, tourists will have chance to conquer Fansipan peak, a trip to the village hidden in the mist. Mountain scenery with blooming flowers and floating clouds certainly would delight travelers. Moreover, tourists can also travel to other well-known places in Sapa such as: Muong Hoa valley, Love market, Bac waterfall, Ban Ho.

HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN

This fishing village turned tourist attraction is situated on the coastal plain of Quang Nam Province, about 30 km south of Danang City. Hoi An was an international port in the 16th century; however, the serious trading has long since moved to the city of Da Nang. The heart of the city is the Old Town, where is full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shops. It is sometimes called the “Venice of Vietnam” because of narrow canals cutting through part of the town.

HALONG BAY WORLD NATURAL HERITAGE

Halong Bay is one of most famous destinations in Vietnam, located in the Northeast of the nation. Having thousands of magnificent islands with marvelous landscapes, Halong Bay is recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Area. Halong attracts both domestic and international arrivals due to outstanding natural beauty. Tourists can travel by boat to explore series of limestone caves with majestic appearance around the bay. There are highlight places in Halong such as Kissing Rocks, Sung Sot Grotto (Cave of Surprises), Thien Cung grotto (Heavenly Cave), Bai Tho Mountain, Hon Trong Mai, and Cat Hai Island, etc. Furthermore, Halong is also voted as one of the 7 new world natural wonders.

MUI NE

The formerly little-inhabited beach to the south of the fishing village of Mui Ne has seen some serious development in the last 15 years. Thanks to strong sea breezes, it is a popular destination in Vietnam for kiting and windsurfing. A trip to Mui Ne could not be complete without visiting famous sand dunes located within a short distance from the north of the town. The vast sandy expanse provides some great panoramic views especially during sunset.

DA LAT A RHYTHMIC LAND OF FLOWERS AND ROMANCE

Located 300km northeast of Ho Chi Minh and at an altitude of 1,500 meters, Da Lat has the appearance of an old French city. It was founded in 1897 when Doctor Alexandre Yersin recommended that the area be developed as a resort. Da Lat has many natural and artificial tourist attracting sights such as Xuan Huong Lake, Than Tho Lake, Thien Vien Truc Lam, which are surrounded by rows of pine trees, one of Da Lat’s best-known features. A trip to Da Lat is not complete without a visit to the Flower Garden since the temperate climate is suitable for orchids, roses, lilies, camellias and a wide range of other flowers.

RECOMMENDED TOURIST AGENCIES

SaigonTourist

Vietravel

BenThanh Tourist

Fiditour

 ABOUT ISSC

Need to apply for a visa/ visa extension, find more suitable housing, or support on your academic matters? For the right answers or the right solution, please turn to our International Student Service Center (ISSC).

WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST YOU IN THE FOLLOWING MATTERS:

• Visa Matters • Medical Insurance • Academic Support and Consulting • IU Policies and Procedures • Accommodation Issues • Day-to-Day Challenges (Personal and Social Matters) • Cultural Adjustment • Other Concerns or Problems you may have

CONTACT INFORMATION

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SERVICE CENTER (ISSC)

Office of External and Public Relations

Room: A2.604 (Thu Duc Campus) | Tel : +84 28 3724 4270 – Ext: 3617 | Email: issc@hcmiu.edu.vn

Working hours

Morning: 08:00 AM – 11:30 AM | Afternoon: 01:00 PM – 04:00 PM