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Educational System in Vietnam

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|-Educational System in Vietnam

Understanding the educational system in a new country can be a daunting task for expats. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the educational system in Vietnam, including the main stages of education, the process of enrolling children in school, language requirements, and the availability of public bilingual and private schools. It also covers the options for homeschooling and online schooling, as well as the typical choices made by expats regarding their children’s education. This guide will help expats make informed decisions about their children’s education in Vietnam.

What are the main stages of education in Vietnam?

The Vietnamese educational system is divided into five main stages: pre-primary, primary, lower secondary, upper secondary, and higher education. Pre-primary education is for children aged 3 to 5, primary education is for ages 6 to 11, lower secondary education is for ages 12 to 14, upper secondary education is for ages 15 to 17, and higher education is for ages 18 and above.

Pre-primary Education

Pre-primary education in Vietnam, also known as kindergarten, is for children aged 3 to 5. This stage focuses on the physical and mental development of children, preparing them for primary education. It is not compulsory, but it is highly encouraged.

Primary Education

Primary education in Vietnam is compulsory and lasts for five years, from ages 6 to 11. The curriculum focuses on basic skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as subjects like Vietnamese, mathematics, moral education, natural and social sciences, arts, and physical education.

Lower Secondary Education

Lower secondary education, also known as junior high school, is for students aged 12 to 14. This stage continues to build on the foundational knowledge and skills acquired in primary school, with a greater emphasis on subjects like literature, mathematics, and foreign languages.

Upper Secondary Education

Upper secondary education, or high school, is for students aged 15 to 17. This stage prepares students for higher education or vocational training. Students can choose between general education or vocational tracks, depending on their future plans.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

To enroll a child in a Vietnamese school, parents or guardians must provide the child’s birth certificate, passport, and visa. They must also provide proof of residence in Vietnam. The enrollment process may vary slightly depending on the school, so it is advisable to contact the school directly for specific information.

Can children still learning Vietnamese enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Vietnamese can enroll in public schools. However, they may face challenges as the medium of instruction in public schools is Vietnamese. Some schools offer Vietnamese language support for non-native speakers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

Yes, there are public bilingual schools in Vietnam, particularly in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. These schools offer instruction in both Vietnamese and a foreign language, usually English. Admission requirements vary, so it is best to contact the school directly for information.

What types of private schools are common in Vietnam?

Private schools in Vietnam include international schools, bilingual schools, and religious schools. International schools follow an international curriculum and use English as the medium of instruction. Bilingual schools offer instruction in both Vietnamese and a foreign language, while religious schools incorporate religious education into their curriculum.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in Vietnam typically send their children to private schools, particularly international schools. These schools offer a familiar curriculum and language of instruction, making the transition easier for expat children.

How expensive are Private schools in Vietnam?

Private school fees in Vietnam can vary widely, depending on the school and the level of education. On average, annual tuition fees can range from $17,000 to $35,000. Additional costs may include application fees, enrollment fees, and costs for uniforms, textbooks, and extracurricular activities.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Vietnam?

Yes, homeschooling is allowed in Vietnam. However, it is not common and there are no specific regulations or guidelines for homeschooling. Parents who choose to homeschool their children are responsible for their children’s education and ensuring they meet educational standards.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Vietnam?

Yes, children can attend online school while living in Vietnam. This can be a good option for expat children who are not yet proficient in Vietnamese or who prefer a curriculum from their home country. However, parents should ensure that the online school is accredited and meets educational standards.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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