Vietnam’s International Schools as a Premium Education Choice

There is no need to prove the numbers of expatriates in Vietnam. Year by year,we can see many foreign investments injected into Vietnam which is creating more job opportunities in tourism, construction, manufacturing and other services. There are also more expatriates families coming to Vietnam and one of their concerns is their children’s education.

International schools such as United Nation International School (UNIS) and Hanoi International School (HIS) are always a good choice in the North of Vietnam. Meanwhile, British International School (BIS), ABC International School (ABCIS), ACG International School (ACGIS) and International School of Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) are among the premium choices for professional Vietnamese parents and expatriates.
UNIS was established in 1988 with 1000 students from more than 60 countries. The school provides premium facilities such as modern classrooms, sports centers and recreation facilities. With a total campus area of 10 hectares, students will be able to do their desired sports activities in just one place.
Eight years after the opening of UNIS, Hanoi International School (HIS) officially opened at Lieu Giai street with enrollment from more than 30 nations in Hanoi. The school started with 54 students on the first year of operation and this school became another option besides enrollment to UNIS.
The existing of international schools in Ho Chi Minh City started in the year 1996 with the opening of ABC International School (ABCIS), British International School (BIS), British Vietnam International School (BVIS) and Saigon South International School(SSIS). Compared to Hanoi, there are more international schools available in Ho Chi Minh City such as American International School (AIS), Canadian International School (CIS)and Rainbow Pre School.

Number is a Matter

Parents need to think about and consider which school is suitable for their kids. For a younger student, a smaller size is more suitable for them as the kids will have more attention from the teacher, easier in terms of adaptability and cost less.
As for older students, International School is a good place for them to gain a good quality of study, to develop self skills and interests besides making their adaptability skills better. The cross culture environment in the international schools will make them more open minded in terms of other races, religions and orientations.

Vietnamese Parents & International School

Vietnamese parents are complaining about student’s burden when studying in State educational institutions. Normally their kids will come home from school around 7.00pm to 8.00pm daily after school activities of extra classes; next, they will have tonnes of homework which make the student stress and feel under pressure with their hectic schedules.
According to a research by a local agency in Hanoi, 70 percent of Vietnamese parents choose to send their kids to study in international schools if they can afford and the same percentage also represents that the parents prefer to send their children to study abroad for higher education needs.

Vietnamese parents responded that by sending their kids to international school will make them become an open-minded person and will train them to have a good confidence level when in public. The parents also will feel proud when their kids are a part of international citizen compare to other kids.
Some parents complained their kid’s Vietnamese speaking or writing abilities became run down after sending their kids to international schools. Some schools did not have Vietnamese Language in their education syllabus which makes the student unaware about their mother tongue. Some parents responded that their kids need to use Google Translate from English to Vietnamese whenever they need to deliver a message or converse in Vietnamese awkwardly.
Other parents also may face a culture shock for the first few months after sending their kids to study in international schools. Resulting from a cross culture environment, Vietnamese students became open-minded and straight-to-the-point-speakers. To face this challenge, parents need to get ready with a global mindset and to set a self unconventional Vietnamese mode of behaviors.

Burden for Expatriate Parents

The only burden for expatriate’s will happen when they have 3 or 4 kids which all need to go to school at the same time. Many of them prefer to come back to their home country where the cost for children’s education is cheaper. The total fee for a high school child will cost you around USD17,000 a year and USD7000 for a pre- school education.
It is all matter of choice. If parents can afford to invest a big chunk of money for their kids’ education, then international school will be a great option. Otherwise, expatriates need to leave their kids to study in their home country and Vietnamese students still can study in State schools.

Photos by: Charlie Nguyen (brandchildvn) on Flickr CC BY2.0

This article was published in The Vietnam Guide on September 15, 2012

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