What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
United Nations International School Hanoi
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
International Baccalaureate; Primary Years Program
What grade levels are represented at this school?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
There is a good bus transport organized by the school. Some children are taken by personal car or could walk if live near the school (Ciputra community).
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities are very good. Each grade as 4 classrooms with 18-22 students per classroom. Beginning in 5th grade -12, each student is assigned their own tablet (laptop) and much of their daily work is done by computer. There are also well equipped computer labs, music & art rooms, p.e. equipment and a swimming pool (heated for winter season). They are in the process of building a state of the art gymnasium and art theater.
There is a full range of after school activities organized by the teachers that are very popular with the children. For the weekends, there are several sporting activities to chose from which is good because there is not much to do within Hanoi. The weekend sport activities do depend on parent volunteers to coach.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
UNIS is well aware of children transitioning into and out of Vietnam. It has a "buddy" system to help new students and they have farewell assemblies for departing students. It has a diverse international community and my children had an easy adjustment period. They have made wonderful friends in a short time and it will be hard to leave UNIS.
The PYP curriculum itself is different from what we were use to in the US. The children had no problems adjusting to it. They teach the child to be responsible for their education and there is a lot of focus on being thinkers, risk-takers, inquires and being open-minded.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
There are many social activities for parents and opportunities to volunteer in the school. UNIS is good communicating with parents and releases a weekly newsletter to keep you abreast of activities. The only complaint is many meetings are scheduled in the morning during the work week which does make it difficult to attend if both parents work.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
We have been very happy with the school and has been one of the highlights living in Hanoi. However, there is a waiting list and it can be difficult to be accepted. UNIS does give priority to diplomats and UN but if you are with an NGO or private business, apply early.
Expats living in Vietnam interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.
An Expat Talks about Moving to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
An Australian expat in Ho Chi Minh advises newcomers to bring plenty of clothes for very warm weather since clothing there runs very small. He also recommends looking at a lot of apartments before choosing and taking into consideration proximity to work, supermarkets, swimming pools, because traffic is a major issue.
Expat Vietnam: 10 Tips for Living in Vietnam
It's an exciting time to live in Vietnam - with more and more tall buildings crowding the city skylines and rural areas developing rapidly as well. Learning Vietnamese poses a major challenge for most expats, but Vietnam's warm, welcoming people make up for the challenge.