Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City

About the Sinclair Travel Fellowship: Vietnam Program

An outstanding cultural initiative and oral health service-learning opportunity for 2 DHDP and 2 DMD students from the graduating classes, as well as 1 graduate student, is being offered. UBC Dentistry is presenting an opportunity for global community service and continuance in the sustainability of the work of the UBC faculty, alumni, and students since 2003. This opportunity serves as an inspirational cultural, social, and academic learning experience in which we aim to increase awareness of health disparities, learn from other expert health professionals, and foster global citizenship.

The students’ involvement will strengthen relationships and collaborations between UBC and the National Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the local universities, and the Oncology Hospitals. The team will partake in oral cancer screenings, provide instruction and preventative and therapeutic care for oral cancer patients, present seminars or demonstrations to university students and hospital staff, provide oral hygiene care to orphaned children, visit a suburb betel nut farming area, visit the famous Benh Than Market, and debrief for several days at a local beach. Students will be expected to disseminate their experiences to the Faculty of Dentistry upon return.

Your faculty leaders will be Ms. Sherry Priebe and Dr. Andrew Tsang. Sherry graduated with her Dip.DH (U. of Alberta), BDSc(DH), and MSc (UBC). She has published in the Vietnam J of Med and Pharm, the Can J of Dent Hyg, the Int’l J of Dent Hyg and the Dent Health J (UK). Sherry was awarded the ‘World Dental Hygienists Award in Research’ by SUNSTAR for oral cancer and cultural risk factors in Vietnam in 2010. Andrew graduated with his DMD degree from UBC and is the owner of the Westcoast Healthcare Company in Vietnam. His practice is closely affiliated with local orphanages in Ho Chi Minh City.

Student participants are asked to contribute $250 as a ‘pay-forward’ to help ensure project sustainability for future students. The contribution can be made to UBC Dentistry’s Development Office and is tax-deductible. Donations must be received by October 1st with a cheque payable to ‘UBC Dentistry’. A charitable receipt will be issued to cheque signatory.

For the participating dental hygiene students, your experiences will be incorporated in your DHYG 410 E-Portfolio assessment and will form part of your course requirements.


Please submit your application by Thursday, April 30, 2020.
Shortlisted applicants may be contacted for an interview.


2019 Report:

Each year, through the generosity of the Sinclair Dental Travel Fellowship, UBC Dentistry and Dental Hygiene students are supported to take part in a unique and transformative experience. This past December 2019, dental hygiene students Bianka Bernath (BDSc 2020), Ashley Chicote (BDSc 2020), Kristie Nguyen (BDSc 2020), and dental students Alia Mclure (DMD 2020) and Ralph Samaniego (DMD 2020) participated in the volunteer student rotation along with faculty leaders and UBC Dentistry alumna, Sherry Priebe (MSc 2009, BDSc (DH) 2003) and Vietnam-based alumnus Dr. Andrew Tsang (DMD 1997).

Here are what our students shared about their trip:


“The Sinclair Dental Travel Fellowship was a challenging, rewarding trip. It is always fascinating to explore a new country, but even more so to have our eyes opened to a place that still feels the aftershock of war to this day. Learning about oral cancer, treating underserved populations, and interacting with many locals made this a unique experience that I would recommend to other students!” said Raphael Samaniego, DMD 2020.


“I grew up listening and learning about how the Vietnam War affected my family and the Vietnamese people. To be able to see first hand the lasting impacts of war, and to be exposed to amazing learning opportunities and people… has left an indelible impression on me. It has brought me closer to my culture, and opened my eyes to global health disparities,” shared Kristie Nguyen, BDSc 2020.


We are thankful that our students are able to participate in these eye-opening international learning opportunities. Congratulations to our students and to the faculty on our commitment to global outreach and community oral health education!