SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster alums now have a new way to experience the world through Westminster Alumni Travel, and Vietnam is their first destination. Organizers say alumni have until June 1 to register for a 10-day trip to explore the country’s history, food, and breathtaking natural beauty in mid-October 2024.

The Westminster Alumni Travel program aims to provide life-changing educational experiences for alumni to cultivate their connection with each other and their Westminster community, and to continue their development as life-long learners. Richard Badenhausen, dean of the Honors College, says he looks forward to joining alumni on this trip and adds they will get to travel like insiders rather than tourists.

“When people travel, they often hop quickly from place to place with the crowds. This program will allow alumni to deepen their understanding of the area we visit with the help of local experts and engage in meaningful discussions in a learning environment that broadens their perspective of the world around them,” said Badenhausen.

Program participants begin and end their journey in Vietnam’s capitol city of Hanoi, considered one of the main cultural centers in Vietnam. While there, alumni will explore the area’s natural beauty, rich traditions, and local cuisine.

Tour highlights include:

  • Walking tour of the historic Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Visit Vietnam Friendship Village NGO
  • An afternoon of volunteer service with the Friendship Village
  • 2 nights exploring Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Trekking in Cat Ba National Park (optional)
  • Excursions to neighboring rural villages
  • Welcome and farewell dinners

The program became possible in July of 2023 when Westminster University acquired IPSL, a Portland-based organization that specializes in service-learning education around the world. IPSL, The International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership, was founded in 1982. For 42 years, IPSL has offered fully accredited graduate, undergraduate, and non-degree service-learning programs in nations across the globe. Over 4,000 students from more than 400 universities or colleges have participated in IPSL programs.

“Becoming part of Westminster University allows us to bring decades of experience in global, experiential learning to both current students and alumni alike and allows us to explore not just Vietnam, but other countries like Peru, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, Greece, and more,” said Thomas Morgan, executive director of IPSL.

The Westminster Alumni Travel program is directed by Heather Stringfellow, director of alumni relations. Liaisons include Sara Demko, assistant provost for Global Learning and Thomas Morgan, executive director of IPSL. 

The trip to Vietnam is October 11 to October 20, 2024. Space is limited and alumni will need to enroll and make their deposit by June 1, 2024. Alumni are allowed to bring a guest with them.



2 boats with people floating on a river

a hat vendor on a street in Vietnam with a white male walking by