International Field School Vietnam

2014-15 Vietnam Field School

Vietnam Field School 2014-15

Sustainable Heritage Development

International Field School

Vietnam, 29 Dec 2014 – 17 Jan 2015

The Field School addresses how World Heritage sites, museums, cultural agencies, art institutions and heritage tourism can play a role in the transformation of local culture and economy. It profiles as to how international legal conventions for heritage protection and safeguarding cultural diversity, governance structures, and local area planning intersect within integrated and interdisciplinary cultural management. It provides a critical introduction to cultural mapping, gender and youth issues in community engagement, poverty alleviation, Millennium Development Goals, South South Cooperation and the future Sustainable Development Goals in the UN post-2015 Development Agenda.

Download PDF Field School Brochure here

The Field School provides first-hand experience to graduate students, researchers and professionals, as capacity building for locating culture in sustainable development in a rapidly globalising world. Arts, culture and heritage places and environmental resources of all kinds are examined in the context of the four pillars of cultural, economic, environmental and social sustainability. The focus is on real-life examples and documented case studies in Vietnam. Partners in the development of the case studies include UNDP, UNESCO, ICOM, NORAD, SIDA, AUSAID, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. Sustainable Heritage Development programming is the main focus of the International Institute for the Inclusive Museum.

This Field School is offered as a professional development program to those involved in archaeology, anthropology, planning, postcolonial studies, sustainable development and cultural heritage law. The Field School is the only study/professional development program of its kind offered in Vietnam with the support of the local, provincial and national institutions and their respective authorities. It also addresses conflicts between conservation and development, negotiations with stakeholders and business models for sustainable development.

Past participant’s perspective:
Encounters through a Museum Field School (PDF)
Transnational Educational Experiences in Anthropology (PDF)

Curriculum focus

The Field School is grounded in what the Australian curriculum says about 21st Century learners: 1. Tackle real world problems; 2. Develop questioning and research skills; 3. Solve problems/Create solutions; 4. Use technology as a tool to help in learning; 5. Collaborate inside and outside the classroom; 6. Acquire a deep understanding; 7. Connect with community/community engagement;8.Empower oneself with the process of learning – collaborative – Take control of your own learning; 9. Challenge one’s own preconceptions; 10. Learn in a structured environment

Key action learning activities include:

  • Critical investigation into the impacts of tourism on the cultural values in Northern, Central and Southern Vietnam.
  • Sustainable community engagement: workshop at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology on the participation of indigenous and minority groups in the conservation and interpretation of tangible and intangible heritage and their representation in different contexts.
  • Women and youth issues in culture and development – round tables at the Vietnam Museum of Women in Hanoi and Women’s Museum of the South in Ho Chi Minh City – addressing issues of gender, representation and participation.
  • Workshops with management in Hue, Hoi An, My Son and Ha Long Bay World Heritage Areas.
  • Post-conflict heritage management, peace and reconciliation with case studies.
  • Sustainable development of Ba Dinh Archaeological Site, Thang Long Citadel and the Old Quarter in Hanoi and the layers of significance of urban heritage in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Roundtables on contemporary aesthetic discourse at the Museums of Fine Arts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  •  Study of the Vietnam Temple of Literature as Documentary Heritage
  • The significance of Object ID, Vietnam National Cultural Heritage Law and minimization of illicit traffic in cultural property and UNESCO & CITES Conventions with seminar at the Cham Museum in Danang.
  • Ecomuseums and holistic heritage management: workshop bringing together floating fishing villages and curators, site managers and conservators through the floating museum in Ha Long Bay World Heritage Area and the Hoi An Ecomuseum development bringing the Cua Lao Cham UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Area together through integrated local area planning.
  • UNESCO Conventions on Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage and the integration of intangible and tangible heritage in museums and World Heritage Areas.
  • Evaluating heritage and environmental policies, cultural mapping and integrated sustainable systems methodologies and intercultural dialogue in development and poverty alleviation.


To secure a Professional Development Certificate or a written report from the Director for credit back at their home institution, participants are required to write and submit a professional field journal (20%); submit a preparatory essay prior to the Field School to be shared by the cohort (20%); and complete at least 3 problem solving exercises in small teams during the three weeks in the field (3×20%).


The Field School is led by a faculty of researchers and culture and heritage professionals with a substantial track record of applied work in Vietnam. It is directed by Professor Dr. Amareswar Galla. The Vietnamese faculty includes Managers and Directors of various national and provincial museums and World Heritage Areas and the team of all the cultural agency Directors in Ho Chi Minh City. The program is applied with problem solving exercises and a final report as feedback with recommendations to the Vietnamese Government. The Field School is a deep transformative learning experience and not a study tour.


Professionals from the museum, heritage, environment and other relevant conservation sectors can take the course as a Professional Development Program subject to prior approval from the Course Director and meeting the entry requirements. The Field School is available to research students as an elective. The full program and travel itinerary will be sent to the participants on acceptance of enrolment. Participants pay for their own return airfares to Hanoi, travel insurance, plus a discounted package fee which includes tuition fees/professional development fees. Students register in their own university for a free elective, equivalent to 2 hours in the US system.


Annual cohorts are targeted to include participants from several countries to create an immersion learning environment as an international cross cultural exchange program. There are 18 places available to be filled with full registration by the 1st of October 2014. Initial expressions of interest were due by 15 August 2014. A total of 8 places have been allocated in the first round of offers to applicants from 5 different countries. The next due date for expressions of interest, taking into consideration applicants coming back from vacation in the Northern Hemisphere is Monday 22 September.

Preliminary applications should include:

  • A brief Expression of Interest (150 words) stating how you will benefit from the Field School.
  •  Current Curriculum Vitae. It should include details of qualifications.
  • Professional Development Participants need a supporting letter from a referee or employer.

Useful Documents

Encounters through a Museum Field School (PDF)
Transnational Educational Experiences in Anthropology (PDF)

Professor Amareswar Galla PhD
Executive Director
International Institute for the Inclusive Museum
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