The first step in choosing a school in Saigon is to be clear about your requirements, especially if you’re an expat who wants to raise your children in an expat environment. Visit each school to learn more about their educational philosophy and values, and how they compare to your own. It is important to ask about the school’s accreditation, as well as the experience and credentials of the individual teachers. It is also important to ask about the school’s curriculum; is it student-centred? Does the school provide special learning support? Are there extension programmes or other value-added opportunities?

A great way to review a school is to take a tour during school hours. Ask to visit classrooms, break times and sports lessons, and pay attention to how engaged and happy the children seem. Are the classrooms bright and welcoming? Are they well equipped? What are the class sizes? What kind of co-curricular activities are students involved in during the school day? How diverse is the student population? Are there sports programmes or clubs where students can participate after school?

Research shows that children whose parents are involved in their education do better than those whose parents aren’t. Therefore, it is important to find a school that encourages parental involvement and welcomes parents on campus. What channels and methods do teachers use to communicate with parents? Are there regular parent meetings with administrators? Is there a parent association? If possible, try to communicate with someone from your home country with children attending these schools. Take time to look at the school’s website and read some of the school newsletters, parent letters or other publications. Talk to members of the community and see what they think of the school their children are attending.

It is also important to be dedicated to finding the best school for your child! Always consider your child’s unique interests, personality and abilities, and place these as a top priority when choosing where they should learn.

For information on schools go to Vietnamese Children Study too Much Yet Learn Little