Written by Admin on July 26th, 2023 in

Vietnam IHP Student Support Partner

Vietnam IHP Student Support Partner


The International Honor Program (IHP) is an exchange program for international students from the United States to Vietnam, South Africa and Argentina. IHP is currentl being ran by the School of International Training (SIT), World Learning, USA. IHP participants are the 1st and 2nd year students from top universities in the United States. This is an international 1-semester (1 semester) study abroad program recognized by universities and recorded on official school transcripts for a semester in 4 academic years.

In Vietnam, the IHP Program has been implemented by the Institute for Population, Health and Development (PHAD) since 2007. Every year, there are 2-3 groups of students entering Vietnam. In Vietnam, in addition to going to the lecture hall to listen to lectures from international professors accompanying the delegation and professors from Vietnam, all students will be able to stay with Vietnamese families that are eligible to welcome international students. Total time in Vietnam is 30 days with many activities to learn, visit and cultural exchange with family and young people in the family.

The vast majority of students come to Vietnam for the first time. Like all Vietnamese students who come to the United States for the first time, many of youngsters will be surprised when they are exposed to a new environment that is much different from where they were born and raised. In the morning, what to eat, where to eat, what to eat safely, how much money I need to go out, where to buy essential items, how much it costs, what is expensive, what is cheap, where to buy essentials for personal use etc. These are all small questions, which are easy to handle with native youngsters, but when traveling to a new country, those small problems may not be so easy to deal with without a native speaker’s introduction, information sharing and location directions.

In order to be able to help young students from the United States have a good and rewarding time in Vietnam, IHP/SIT Vietnam would like to recruit “a Student Support Partner”. This position is a short-term full-time position within 1.5 months to support IHP American students during their time in Vietnam (0.5 months before the student enters Vietnam (planning and preration) and 1 month during the student’s stay in Vietnam).

Job description of the Student Support Partner (SSP)

Before student arrival (estimated time: 15 days)

The SPP will work closely with the Country Coordinator and local team to plan, coordinate activities and communicate with relevant organizations to support the smooth execution of one-month IHP program in Vietnam.

From the arrival to the time they depart Vietnam (1 month)

Daily presence: students have often been confused about who to turn to when the SSP has NOT been attending during normal program hours, and feel a lack of familiarity/trust with SSPs who only show up occasionally for Community Building. This has had negative emotions on BOTH students AND the Student Support Partner.

The expectation is: daily attendance with students (there are always special exceptions), and on-call for after-hours emergencies.

1. Singular role: following this, the SSP person should be dedicated only to being present as SSP. If asked to do other things (running errands, etc.) students have expressed confusion and distrust about program priorities.

The expectation is: identifying one person who only does this job. It should be communicated clearly to all students that this one person is their point-of-contact when they need support.

2. What SSP Does: Here is where things get complicated. Ultimately, because of local contexts and situations, I trust YOUR judgment as CC about how to do this, and no 2 countries will do the SSP role the same. However, the expectation is that each SSP:

1) organizes Community Building sessions depending on their assessment of what is needed to promote the collective wellbeing of the group (whether this is about discussing tensions, or about fun release);

2) connecting individual students with resources to satisfy their physical health and mental wellness; this usually means accompanying students to the doctor/hospital/pharmacy/etc. especially if language interpretation is needed.

3. What SSP Does NOT: both IHP staff AND students have had the misconception that the SSP can and should provide mental health support. This is NOT the case. At the same time, for example, what do we do if students experience something that triggers an upsetting emotional response?

The expectation is:
1) SSPs do NOT, NEVER provide individual mental health counseling;
2) instead, they can direct the student to professional mental health experts if it is urgent;
3) at the same time: if/when students would benefit from explanations about local context (individually or as a group), then that is something that the SSP can address if they are comfortable, experienced, and skilled in doing so. This is SUPER TRICKY and should be discussed with the CC and PD beforehand. Sometimes, only a conversation is enough to help the student feel supported and heard while on Program.

Requirement for the SSP
a. English-speaking
b. Some awareness/experience with US schools, culture, and/or US young-adults
c. Identifies with under-represented experiences (because of race, gender, class, sexuality, education, etc.) in their home culture. This gives many of our own students, especially students of color and LGBTQI+ students, someone they feel safe and comfortable speaking to for advice.
d. Someone likeable, available, and willing to have a one-on-one conversation: Sometimes, only a conversation is enough to help the student feel supported and heard while on Program. Youthful and fun attitudes (this is less about age and more about being engaged and outgoing with young US students who crave connections with people outside their regular group).

Salary and expections:
+ SSP will received appropriate trainings on how to support US students by experiences SIT/IHP staffs.
+ A monthly bonus of VND30,000,000/month and not more than 45,000,000 for 1,5 months of work.
+ Travel and perdiem when travelling outside Hanoi.
+ Travel Insurance plan

Please submit CV and Application Letter to thom@phad.org
Deadline: 5pm, 10 August 2023.