Student life in Hanoi

Student life in Hanoi
Updated 2023-11-17 18:20

Enrolling at university is an exciting milestone in any young adult's life. For many prospective students, it combines the whirlwind of emotion from leaving home to managing finances and household chores independently. Student life in Hanoi, on average, is comfortable, social, and affordable. The city is easy to move around on public transportation or drive-sharing apps, plus there are a variety of student discounts to enjoy throughout Hanoi's many restaurants, bars, and entertainment complexes.

Tuition fees range from USD 2,500 to USD 7,500, and depending on your preference, you can live on campus or close by in shared or private accommodation. Keep reading to learn what else to expect while studying in Hanoi.


Following your university on social media is one of the easiest ways of staying up to date with any new discounts or local opportunities.

The international student identity card

One of the best things to do before studying in Hanoi is to apply for your ISIC or international student identity card. This is not a unique card to Vietnam, but many countries will honor the card as proof of studying and identity. A student discount can be obtained at Vincom Centre, one of Hanoi's hotspots for shopping and entertainment, or you can visit Aeon Mall, a stylish and modern complex with plenty for young people to enjoy.

Student accommodation in Hanoi

If you are looking to secure accommodation in your university halls of residence, waste no time in applying, as they tend to fill up quickly. Typical costs range from 7 million VND (USD 287.18) to 35 million VND (USD 1,435) per semester. This simply depends on what you are looking for, furnished or unfurnished, location, quality, campus or non-campus-based.

As an international student in Hanoi, you are probably looking for the cheapest way of commuting between your accommodation and classes. If you are living on the university campus, you will be within walking range anyway. If you need to travel to campus, the most inexpensive method of commuting is by bus, and tickets will likely never be above 10,000 VND. If you are living alone for the first time, a shared house will be a great way to connect with other students and provide a sense of community in a foreign country.

Food in Hanoi is also on the super cheap side, with a meal on the street costing as little as 20,000 VND or ordering through Grab or Shoppee food delivery apps. There is a variety of foods and cultures represented, and you can also sign up for a local cooking class to try making your favorites at home.

Volunteering as an international student in Hanoi

A great way to meet new friends and build a network in Hanoi or a strong community is by volunteering with one of the local NGOs. The most popular ones are Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, the British Council, Oxfam, and KOTO. Volunteering provides an opportunity to meet new people and learn more about local life in Vietnam. You will gain invaluable knowledge and boost your resume at the same time. Use Facebook to find out about nearby events and other initiatives, or discover local events your embassy is hosting to connect with other international students.

If you want more information about local charities, Vietnam Online will most likely have the answers.


Remember that your university will be able to give you even more information on the living costs in Hanoi.

Useful links:

Help Center - ISIC

Student Travelers


Top Nonprofit & NGO Companies in Hanoi, Vietnam - Glassdoor

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