Student life in Ho Chi Minh City
As Ho Chi Minh City continues to gain a reputation as a hub for engineering and telecommunications, more and more international students are looking at it as an attractive place to further their studies. While there are plenty of options for international students regarding accommodation, leisure and sports activities, it can be a bit daunting for young students to move to a new country without knowledge of the language. Here are a few tidbits for people coming to Ho Chi Minh City to study.
The cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City
One of the benefits of choosing Ho Chi Minh City as your university town is the fact that it is incredibly affordable for students. While there’s definitely the option to live the high life in Saigon given the array of high-end clothing shops and classy eateries, the city is dominated by affordable and delicious street food, too. Students will be pleased to discover a bowl of piping hot pho, the national noodle dish often consumed for breakfast, can be found at as low as 10,000 VND (USD 0.43). Banh mi isn’t much cheaper at around 15,000 VND, or USD 0.60.
While street food hawkers can be found on just about every corner, but even more interestingly, coffee shops can, too. Ho Chi Minh City is packed with Western-style coffee shops as well as open air seated spaces where students can sit with locals and watch fellow city dwellers go about their days. A quirky way to order a coffee is from a portable pop-up shop, which can often be found on the back of motorbikes. Depending on where you go, coffee can be anywhere from $1 to USD 5 per cup.
Student accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City
Students may be weary of apartment and housing options in the city, but fortunately, it’s not as hard as it may initially seem. Aside from Craigslist and Facebook groups, websites like Erasmusu, Student Accommodation One and Housing Anywhere are an international students’ dream. These websites offer affordable student housing for those on the apartment hunt. Each of them provides links to rooms in shared houses, homestays and private studios, so it’s all up to the students’ budget. Some of the larger universities such as RMIT offer on-campus student housing options in Ho Chi Minh City, but they are limited due to lack of space, so this is something that needs to be planned ahead of time.
Sports activities in Ho Chi Minh City
In more recent years, university students in Ho Chi Minh City have started to become interested in team sports. For the past five years, the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union and Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports have established themselves as the organisers of the Ho Chi Minh City University Sports Games, which facilitates a space for students to compete against one another each year. There are various types of clubs catering to a variety of sports, such as basketball and football within universities, but there are also organisations throughout the city that also encourage students to participate if their schedule allows.
Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City
Unlike many typical college towns that can be found throughout the USA and other parts of the West, Ho Chi Minh City is jam-packed with activities, day and night. There are plenty of events going on each night, and the amount of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City is quite astounding. Whether it’s reading a book or catching up with friends in Turtle Lake, enjoying a coffee within Saigon’s apartment complex cafe on Nguyen Hue Walking Street or clubbing it up on Bui Vien, this city never sleeps.
In terms of other support for visa approval letters and airport pickup, there will be more information listed on university’s websites once expats are accepted into their programs. Whichever your field, Ho Chi Minh City is a lovely place to further education and definitely offers plenty of space for creativity, fun and learning all in one chaotic and beautiful package!