What to ponder before putting trust in an international school?

July 17, 2020 | 08:00
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As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, thousands of Vietnamese students studying abroad hurriedly headed home before national borders were closed. Until now, it is still not known when the pandemic will really end and international flights resume, and many of the returning students have chosen to study at home.
what to ponder before putting trust in an international school

The epidemic outbreak has opened up more opportunities for high-quality educational institutions in Vietnam which gives a wide choice for parents wishing to pick a school in different segments offering quality comparable to overseas study. Ho Chi Minh City is home to more than 1,000 non-public schools, of which 22 international institutions are certified by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training.

In Vietnam, international curricula can be classified into two categories: the wholly international programmes and international bilingual programmes. Both centre on standards adopted by developed countries worldwide, such as Britain, the US, and Australia.

Post-COVID-19 economic problem

Currently, when the whole world is practicing thrift to hedge against adverse market swings, the wholly international programme or the international bilingual programme offers a choice the lasting effects of which are worth for parents to ponder over.

A family’s financial projection, expectations after graduation, and the agreement with the school’s educational goals are the three decisive factors. Of these, the first and foremost priority relates to tuition fees – and can be the watershed deciding between two institutions offering the two international programmes in line with Cambridge education standards.

One is a foreign-invested school in Ho Chi Minh City providing a wholly international programme and an English-only speaking environment. Of course, it charges the highest school fees. Pre-school-year tuition ranges between VND258 and 384 million ($11,220-16,700) per year, and primary and secondary schools between VND495 and 730 million ($21,520-31,740) per year. And yet, this tuition excludes other fees, such as registration fees, school bus, learning tools, textbooks, and school uniforms.

what to ponder before putting trust in an international school

Meanwhile, Vietnam Australia International School (VAS) is a leading international bilingual school which offers a wise choice to families mindful of their budget. VAS’ tuition fees range between VND209 and 285 million ($9,090-12,390) for lower secondary school, and VND287-477 million ($12,480-20,740) for upper secondary school. Meanwhile, the fees for kindergarten pupils are VND154-209 million ($6,700-9,090) per year.

Giving the intensive teaching format with a Cambridge programme among bilingual schools, VAS graduate students can match their peers at the best wholly international schools. The tuition fee for VAS’ Cambridge international programme (from Grade 10 to Grade 12) is only a half or two-thirds of those charged by other international schools. VAS graduates are awarded either the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or A-Level by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE).

what to ponder before putting trust in an international school
By choosing the international bilingual programme, families may make considerable savings on their investment in education while still giving their children the highest quality education

The significance of Vietnamese language and national culture

An overwhelming advantage of international bilingual schools parents should carefully consider when choosing a school for their children is the supplementation of Vietnamese language and knowledge of the nation’s history, culture, and national pride. When knowledge becomes universal, national identity contributes significantly to the development of personalities and the differences among individuals.

At VAS, the concerted combination of competent local teachers sharing the same culture with the students and mastery of the national curriculum, and leading foreign teachers fully capable of Cambridge international education will enable students to conjure multiple visions which are both replete with national identity and receptive to Western cultures. This is the precondition for students to accept cultural interchange and adapt themselves to a new lifestyle and learning methods when studying abroad.

VAS is a school system boasting a history of 16 years of teaching international bilingual programme in Vietnam. Currently, almost 9,500 students are studying at VAS’ seven campuses, attending classes from kindergarten to Grade 12. VAS is providing three Cambridge programmes which all meet individuals’ demand, capabilities, and their families’ orientation.

More information on the three diverse programmes and free placement tests is available at http://www.vas.edu.vn or hotline 0911267755.

By Ha Thuy

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