Top high-quality international secondary schools in Vietnam

Lê Kiên - 31/10/2022

Along with the economic and family financial capacity growth, many parents prefer to provide a global learning environment for their children from an early age. If you are looking for an international secondary school to enrol your children, let’s scroll down for more details!

Top 10 Best International Schools ranking in HCMC, Vietnam

1. International School Ho Chi Minh City – Secondary Campus (ISHCMC)

ISHCMC is an international school of the prestigious Cognita Group, providing a well-designed curriculum for children from 3–19 years old. ISHCMC is the first IB World School in Ho Chi Minh City to provide 3 IB programs (MYP, PYP and DP). This school is also officially accredited by two of the most prestigious international accreditation organizations, which are the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC). Until 2022, ISHCMC has two campuses located in District 2: the primary campus and the secondary campus.

Outdoor activities at International School Ho Chi Minh City - Secondary Campus

International School Ho Chi Minh City – Secondary Campus was built in 2018. This campus offers a well-designed curriculum for children from 6th to 12th grade. Understanding students’ demands at different ages, the secondary campus at International School Ho Chi Minh City provides two distinct programs for two groups of students: 6th–10th graders and 11th–12th graders.

6th to 10th students in ISHCMC experience a dynamic learning environment with a wide range of essential knowledge of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP). The IB MYP offers the inquiry-based learning strategy created in the Primary Years Programme. Besides, another aim is to prepare students for the academic demand of the next coming Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12.

With 11th and 12th graders, ISHCMC provides 3 different pathways to satisfy the diverse purposes of students. Before the curriculum selection, there is a meeting between the school, parents and students. In this meeting, the school will inform about each curriculum and its advantages. ISHCMC’s representative also gives some recommendations based on students’ interests and goals to assist parents and their children in finding the most appropriate program. 11th and 12th graders in ISHCMC have 3 pathways to choose from: 

  • ISHCMC High School Diploma: Every student is qualified to gain the ISHCMC High School Diploma. This qualification is comparable to the North American High School Diploma and is accredited by the Council of International Schools.
  • IB Courses (including IB Diploma Programme & ISHCMC High School Diploma): This pathway offers a part of the ISHCMC High School Diploma and the remainder is IB Diploma Programme. This is a flexible choice for students aiming for both the ISHCMC diploma and IB courses. After graduation, they will gain the ISHCMC High School Diploma as well as some individual IB courses for university admission. 
  • IB Diploma Programme: This pathway is chosen by almost all students in ISHCMC pursuing the full IB Diploma. This Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum contains 6 subject groups and the core courses, namely: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE). If students finish this 2-year-program and pass all the assessments, they will gain an IB Diploma by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). This is an advantage for students when applying to any university in the world, including the top ones. Especially, ISHCMC offers a variety of college and university counselling services to help students plan for the future.

Beyond the curriculum, at ISHCMC, children will have endless opportunities to participate in after school activities (ASAs), events, challenges, as well as local and global adventures.

Top International Middle School in Vietnam with high-quality education

Football activities at International School Ho Chi Minh City - Secondary Campus

2. International Secondary School In Hanoi Vietnam (UNIS)

UNIS Hanoi is a nonprofit education organisation aiming to promote comprehensive development for students from preschool to high school. Established in 1988 with funding from the UNDP, the school serves the children of UN employees as well as those from the local community.

Top International School in District 7 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

UNIS Hanoi operates on the principles of the United Nations

UNIS Hanoi offers classes for students in both elementary (3-11) and secondary (12-18). Similar to ISHCMC, UNIS is authorised by the IBO to provide three IB courses (PYP, MYP and DP). At UNIS Hanoi, all students have the opportunity to take part in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

UNIS Hanoi’s core curriculum is supplemented with lessons in foreign and native languages, the arts, physical education, and English as an Additional Language. At every grade level, UNIS Hanoi has a program to help students learn and give them advice. Especially, in keeping with UN ideals and principles, there is an extracurricular program of sports and activities, as well as a strong commitment to service-learning.

3. British International School Ho Chi Minh City (BIS HCMC)

Located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the British International School Ho Chi Minh City (BIS HCMC) provides an international education under the British system. Founded in 1997, the school was named Tiny Tots, a Kindergarten. Now, the school expanded three campuses located in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) including a Primary campus, a Secondary campus, and an Early Years & Infant Campus.

Each campus’s educational curriculum and campus facilities will be designed differently. At the secondary school of British International School Ho Chi Minh City, the curriculum is divided into three sections including Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) and Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11) following the English National Curriculum, International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) curriculum (Years 10-12). 

With the English National Curriculum, students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to take the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams at 16. Also, thanks to BIS’s exclusive collaborations with MIT and The Juilliard School, students will learn from the world’s premier STEAM and performing arts specialists. Furthermore, the curriculum provides a broad and balanced education that will help them succeed in the rigours of IBDP. About IB DP, IB subjects taught at BIS HCMC include Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and Creative Arts.

Self-study hours for secondary school students at British International School

4. Saigon South International School (SSIS)

SSIS is an international school in Ho Chi Minh City that caters to students in Early Childhood through High School and follows an American standards-based curriculum. It is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Additionally, the institution is affiliated with the East Asian Council of Overseas Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Southeast Asia Student Activities Conference (SEASAC), and the Mekong River International Schools Association (MRISA).

Saigon South International School has a large, 6-hectare campus with three main buildings: Elementary School (EC – Grade 5), Middle School (Grades 6 – 8) and High School (Grades 9 – 12). The high school building has general classrooms, science labs, a library, a gym, etc. In the other two buildings, there are two separate libraries for elementary and middle school students, as well as an auditorium, a double-sized gym, two basketball courts, etc.

Regarding the course of study, SSIS is the only school to design a special curriculum for students in grades 6 to 8. This curriculum focuses on boosting academic and personal growth. SSIS Middle School provides the appropriate resources to help students pursue high-level academics as well as develop their passions and improve their self-advocacy.

In terms of High School, SISS offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Thanks to offering these 2 curricula, students in this international school can choose their pathways more flexibly, depending on their targeted university entry. 

Extracurricular activities at Saigon South International School

5. International German School (IGS)

Founded in 2012, the International German School (IGS) was conceived by the Federal Foreign Office and implemented by the Stiftung Bildung und Handwerk (SBH). This school is an international school that offers a German-style education to students from Kindergarten to High School.

The International German School secondary education system has two levels: Middle School for students from grade 5 to grade 10, and High School for grades 11 and 12. After graduating from primary school, students start their middle school with two starting years (grades 5 and 6). This period of time is for orienting and understanding the requirements of two educational levels (Gymnasium and Realschule). During the orienting years, parents and students will be supported and counselled by a dedicated team of school staff. 

To prepare for the GIB – Mixed Language International Baccalaureate Diploma in High School, starting in grade 5, study time for science will be increased. For 9th and 10th graders, there are additional “Research hours” and “Debating extracurricular hours“ to improve presenting, explaining and debating skills.

In High school, students can take the Kurswahl courses and the GIB. After 12th grade, students can take the GIB Diploma. This diploma certifies students who are eligible for universities that provide bilingual education and have the majority of subjects taught in German. With a GIB Diploma, students can easily apply to universities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Extracurricular activities at International German School

The article above has shown you the top 5 secondary schools in Vietnam that provide global education with high quality. Each school offers different curriculums, assisting students to reach their intended university. Hopefully, the information in this article can help parents find an appropriate educational environment for children’s personal development as well as their academic pathway in the future.