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Sports for Social Change in Southeast Asia


Program Dates: 
June 15 - July 6, 2016 

Insta Sports

Sports for Social Change is a three-week summer exchange program that uses sports, specifically soccer, as a tool for youth empowerment, leadership development, and community building. American university students join a cohort of student coaches from Cambodia and Vietnam to lead a weeklong soccer camp in Vietnam and a two-week camp in Cambodia.

There is limited access to organized sports, especially for girls. These soccer camps enable local youth to develop an interest in sports and develop team-work, conflict resolution and other social skills. The program promotes cross-cultural friendships between students of two Southeast Asian nations with a long history of war and distrust.

Since many of the campers are girls at risk for human trafficking, coaches teach valuable life skills and encourage campers to excel in school. Student coaches act as role models for campers, while also experiencing their own group cultural exchange, community living and leadership development.

Hoa To Trieu

A Life-changing Experience

“By playing soccer and working together to teach little kids and learn about Vietnamese, Cambodian, and American cultures, we have developed our team spirit… Also, the program provided me the chance to learn more about two different cultures by interacting with people from these cultures.” - coach Hoa To Trieu from Vietnam

Program Model

Sarah Tran

The student coaches from Vietnam, Cambodia, and the U.S. will lead youth soccer camps and act as role models for campers, while also experiencing their own group cultural exchange, community living and leadership development. The U.S. students will join their Cambodian and Vietnamese counterparts in late June for a week of orientation and teambuilding in the Mekong Delta town of Tra Vinh, Vietnam.

The first soccer camp will take place at Tra Vinh University and include soccer skill development, life skills seminars, and activities designed for all participants to share their cultures. Weekend excursions will allow coaches to experience rural Vietnam incredible natural beauty and learn about the province's ethnic Khmer population.

After two weeks in Vietnam the cohort of coaches from all three countries will travel to Chrey Thum, a Cambodian town near the Vietnam border. Coaches will staff a soccer camp organized by the SALT Academy, an innovative NGO that organizes soccer and leadership training for girls at risk of human trafficking. SALT's "Mighty Girls" program fields the best girls soccer team in Cambodia. Excursions during the Cambodia portion of the program will include a visit to Angkor Wat and other historical sites.

Week 1: Arrival and In-country Orientation in Vietnam
Stanford coaches arrive, group travels together to Tra Vinh
In-country orientation and community building

Week 2: Soccer Camp in Vietnam
Local soccer camp in Tra Vinh

Week 3: Brief Orientation and Soccer Camp in Cambodia
Group travels to Cambodia
Soccer camp

VIA is the coordinating organization for Sports for Social Change program. Our project partners include:

300 SD

300 Haas

300 TVU

300 Sarus

Photos & Media



Program Cost

The program fee is $2100, which includes:

The fee does not include the following:

  • Lodging
  • Local transportation
  • Travel insurance
  • Most meals
  • Airfare
  • Visa application fees
  • Shopping
  • Some meals

How to Apply

Participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full.


There are three parts to the online application:

Part 1: Personal Information

In this section you will be asked to provide information about yourself, your contact information, and your education background.

Part 2: Short Answer Responses

In this section, you will be asked a series of questions about your interest in the program and personal experiences that support your application. We hope for thoughtful, candid responses to aid in selection and to help you prepare for your overseas experience. Responses may vary in length, but please do not write more than two paragraphs per question.


  • What interested you in this program and why did you decide to apply? How do you see this opportunity as unique among short term international exchange programs?
  • What do you believe are your strengths and weaknesses with regards to participating in this program? What will be your contribution and what challenges do you anticipate?
  • How will your participation in this program contribute to your personal and professional development?

Part 3: Resume

In this section, you will be asked to upload your resume as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file (must not exceed 50 MB). Please name your document in the following manner:

  • [Last Name-First Name] Resume - Sports for Change

After beginning your application, you will be able to save your progress and return to complete it later.


When you're ready, click the button below to get started:



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