In-country expectations

Here are some general rules, tips, and expectations for your time abroad!

Sometimes common sense isn’t enough when traveling abroad because the rules and laws that apply in the U.S. do not carry over to foreign countries. When you study abroad you must adhere to the laws of your host country. Below is a general list of important laws and behavioral expectations of your host country and program leaders in Vietnam. Additional information will be covered during your on-site orientation.

General conduct

  • Taking photos of others without their consent is frowned upon
  • When visiting religious sites appropriate clothing should be worn: loose-fitting, non-revealing clothing is required. No transparent material, no shorts (for men nor women), no shirts without full sleeves (not long-sleeves but at sleeves at least elbow-length should be worn)

Drugs and alcohol:

  • Drinking, gambling, fighting, swearing, and similar behaviors are considered rude and unprofessional in Vietnamese culture.
  • With respect to alcohol, moderation is imperative
  • Illegal drugs and illicit use of legal drugs is not tolerated

Sexual misconduct:

  • Sexual misconduct including sexual harassment is a crime, specifically with relation to prostitution or under-age sexual encounters.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to refrain from any sort of sexual conduct with locals


  • Unregistered guests are not allowed in hotel rooms
  • “Partying” is strictly prohibited in hotel rooms, all guests should commence quiet hours beginning at 11pm so as not to disturb other guests
  • NEVER leave heating or air conditioning units while you are not in the room. If you must have them on when you are sleeping, keep them low
  • Always turn off the lights when you leave your room
  • Keep your door locked at all times.  Neither the your university/CISabroad nor the the hotel will not be responsible for any stolen items
  • It is strictly forbidden to throw any object or substance from windows, balconies, terraces or roofs. This includes keys, cigarette butts or anything else big or small
  • Disrespectful behavior related to alcohol consumption will end up in dismissal from the group accommodations and you will have to find your own housing at your own expense
  • The consumption of drugs, as well as keeping or dealing with them, is absolutely prohibited
  • Students will be responsible for any damage to the accommodations (doors, walls, floors, furniture, etc.)


In Vietnam, passengers of public transportation should be aware of the following behavior expectations:

  • Be respectful, polite and considerate to other passengers and the driver
  • Offer your seat to pregnant, disabled or elderly passengers
  • Be considerate of your noise level in the bus (i.e. keep cell phone conversations to a minimum, listen to music or media devices only with headphones)
  • Do not eat or drink unless required for medical reasons
  • No smoking
  • No littering
  • No pets
  • No body parts should hang out of windows or doors
  • Offensive language, fighting, spitting, placing feet on seats or throwing items from the bus is considered rude and will be met with unwanted scolding by locals, please refrain
  • Do not distract the driver unless there is an emergency


  • Students will be provided an SOS/Emergency card upon arrival with health and safety information translated into Vietnamese. Students are expected to carry this card with them at all times.