1. BEFORE THE JOURNEY
Exchange rate: Denomination: Vietnam dong (VND)
– $1 ~ VND 24 000 | ₩1 ~ VND 18 | ¥1 ~ VND 212 | €1 ~ VND 26 000
– Bring ~ 15 million VND (in CASH) at first to pay for renting room, meals, transportation…
– Open bank account to transfer money from home country => Don’t need to bring much money
– Exchange money in big banks: Vietcombank, Vietinbank, Agribank, etc. or withdraw at ATMs
Paying method: Payment with credit/debit cards in Vietnam is not very common. CASH is preferred.
1.2 Time Zone and Climate:
– Vietnam’s time zone: GMT+7
– HCMC has tropical climate, with two seasons: the wet (May – November) and the dry (December to April)
– Average temperature is about 280C with the highest reaching 400C in April.
Vietnamese often use suncream, wear hats or caps and jackets to avoid getting tanned in hot summer; while on rainy days, they wear raincoats rather than using umbrellas.
1.3 What should you bring?
– Photocopy of all your important documents like your passport and acceptance letter to HUFLIT
– Some passport-size photos
– Laptop, dictionary (if necessary), notebooks, pens, ruler, eraser, backpack,…
– Running shoes or sneakers as there will be a lot of walking
– Personal toiletries or you can buy at convenient stores and supermarkets
– Basic medicine for your personal use such as Panadol, Aspirin, etc.
– Sunscreen and insect/mosquito spray
– Electricity 220V, two-pin plug
– Home country snacks in case you have difficulty in eating Vietnamese food
2. ON ARRIVAL
HUFLIT buddy program
For international students who are not familiar with the lifestyle and culture of Vietnam, studying at HUFLIT can be daunting experience; that’s why HUFLIT offers the Buddy Program, in which new international students will be paired up with current HUFLIT students (Buddies) who will provide a helping hand to the newcomers at HUFLIT by providing linguistics support, cultural guidance and information about life at HUFLIT.
Airport pick-up service:
– HUFLIT provides free pick-up service for new incoming international students.
– Please consider to purchase tickets during the office hours on weekdays.
– Send flight information (flight number, arrival time) to HUFLIT coordinator to keep track.
– Buddies will pick you up at the airport thanks to their volunteerism.
Otherwise, you could also get to your place easily on your own by taking a taxi at the airport.
Please kindly note that you should use two highly creditable taxi brand names in Ho Chi Minh City to avoid unfortunate incidents.
Mai Linh Taxi: (+84) 28 38383838 | VinaSun Taxi: (+84) 28 38272727
3. BEGIN NEW JOURNEY
– Regular ticket: VND6,000/pax
– Student ticket: VND2,000/pax (Student ID Card is required).
– Further information on buses and their itineraries can be found via App BUSMAP.
– Reliable taxi companies in Ho Chi Minh City:
Mai Linh Taxi: (+84) 28 38383838 | VinaSun Taxi: (+84) 28 38272727
c. Technology Transportation App:
– You can get a taxi or mortorbike service by use:
Grab | Be | Gojek
Be careful: Violent attacks against foreigners have been reported in urban areas, some reports involve tourists being attacked while on a Xe-Om (Motorbike Service) or disputes about being overcharged. Use relaible taxi branches and metered taxis to minimize the risk of robbery or overcharging.
Do not try to ride motorbike or scooter in Vietnam’s traffic conditions
3.2. Working hours
– Banks: Mon to Fri: 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
– Schools/ Universities: Mon to Fri: 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
– Convinience stores: Open 24/24
3.3 Public holidays
– New Year’s Day : January 1st
– Vietnamese New Year : First 3 days of Lunar Year
– Hung Kings Commemorations : 10th day of the 3rd Lunar month
– Liberation Day/ Reunification Day : April 30th
– International Workers’ Day : May 1st
– Vietnam National Day : September 2nd
3.4 Famous Sightseeing
|Name of place
|War Remnants Museum
||28 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3
|Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
||1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Saigon Central Post Office
||2 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1,
next to Notre-Dame Cathedral
||135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
|Ben Thanh Market
||Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
|Bitexco Financial Tower
||2 Hai Trieu Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Nguyen Hue Square
||Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Bach Dang Wharf Park
||1 Ton Duc Thang Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Saigon Opera House
||7 Cong Truong Lam Sơn Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Saigon Zoo and Botanic Garden
||2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
||720A Dien Bien Phu Street, Binh Thanh District
|Cu Chi Tunnels
||TL15, Phu Hiep, Cu Chi
|Takashimaya – Saigon Centre
||65 Le Loi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Parkson Saigontourist Plaza
||35-45 Le Thanh Ton Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
||34 Le Duan Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Vincom Center Dong Khoi
||72 Le Thanh Ton Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
|Van Hanh Mall
||11 Su Van Hanh Street, Ward 12, District 10
3.5 Food & Drink
||Rice noodle soup with beef
||Vietnamese Broken Rice
|Ca Phe Sua Da
||Coffee with condensed milk
You can order food all via food delivery apps:
Grab Food | Shopee Food | Baemin| Go Food | Be Food
For your good state of health:
– Do not try sample street food
– Do not drink tap water or suspicious water source
– Only use bottled drinks in bars/clubs/supermarkets
3.6 Take Notes
– Beware of scooters and motorbikes: you will see hundreds of scooters and motorbikes on the streets, so be careful when crossing roads.
– Smoking indoors is mostly prohibited, especially around universities: if you want to know whether you can smoke, please ask.
– The most popular instant messaging app in Vietnam is Zalo, Facebook Messenger , rather than Line, Viber, or Kakao Talk.
– Be careful with pickpockets: keep your belongings carefully while on the road.
– Flip-flops and shorts are inappropriate when visiting universities, temples, pagodas, administrative agencies.
– Wearing hats/caps in meetings or in the classroom is also considered inappropriate.
– Tips can be accepted in Vietnam, but they are not necessary.
– Nodding your head with a friendly smile is another way of saying hello, and shaking hands is a normal form of greeting.
– Think carefully about what you pack: packing light and save your time. You can buy anything here at a reasonable price.
– Be sure you know how to bargain: the vendors will try to mark up their prices 25 – 50% on average, so you can definitely get a better deal if you stand firm on your price. Or if you don’t know the price, it’s better to buy things in the supermarket.
3.7 Basic Vietnamese
||How to say!
|Excuse Me/ Sorry
|What is this/ that?
||Day La Kai Yee
||Đây là cái gì?
|I don’t understand
||Toy kohnf hugh
||Tôi không hiểu
|I can’t speak Vietnamese
||Toy kohng byet noy tyeng vyet
||Tôi không biết nói tiếng Việt
4. FINISH THE JOURNEY
02 copies of the official transcript will be sent directly (by e-mail and post mail) to the International Office of your home institution withing 02 months after the end of the semester.
– Students can directly contact International Office of your home universities for information in terms of transcript or credits transfer.
5. FOR EMERGENCY
|Consulate General of South Korea in HCM City: +84 28 3521 8100
(Address: 107 Nguyen Du Street, District 1)
|Consulate General of Japan in HCM City: + 84 28 3933 3510
(Address: 261 Dien Bien Phu Street, District 3)
| International Relations Coordinator: Tran Thuy Tuyet Nhung (Ms.)
Mobile: +84 815 916 135
Tel: (+84 28) 28 632 052