The Best International Primary Schools in Ho Chi Minh City
Find the perfect primary / elementary school for your child in Ho Chi Minh City with our overview of the city's premier international primary schools and bilingual primary schools. Scroll down to find details about admission fees, curricula, notable features and other useful details to make the process of choosing a school easier.
When it comes to choosing a primary /elementary school for your child, the number of options Ho Chi Minh City can seem a little overwhelming. But luckily for you, the team at CityPassGuide: Education are not only experienced expats who know the city very well but many of us also have families here, so we’ve been through this whole process of researching, visiting and choosing a school for our kids.
To help you in your own task of finding the best primary /elementary school for your child we’ve created a useful list of top early years education providers, with all the must know details for each one. However here is a very quick overview of what you can expect when you begin your search for the best primary school for your child
Firstly, be aware of the linguistics! Primary / Elementary education are both terms used to talk about schooling for children between the ages of 5 and 11. However, in a multinational, multilingual city like Ho Chi Minh City you will undoubtedly hear parents, teachers and students using these terms interchangeably depending on whether a school has a stronger alignment with a US curriculum or British Curriculum. You may also hear some schools use the word ‘kindergarten’ to refer to the school year for children with five to six years of age, where others will use this term to refer to an early years education provider for students aged 3 to 5!
It can be a little confusing at times so to make things a little clearer, this guide will use the term ‘primary’ to refer to education providers for students aged 5 years old and above.
A child’s primary education lays a strong foundation for their future academic endeavours. It is in primary school where many students experience their first taste of a formal education as nurseries, preschools and kindergartens tend to be less formal in their approach.
Primary school curriculums will introduce core subjects such as mathematics, languages, physical education and social studies with a lot of emphasis being placed on developing reading and writing also.
As you start to investigate the options available, you will see that international primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City also place a great deal of importance on developing ‘soft skills’ and good studying habits that will prepare their students for the more significant challenges in years to come.
Many schools offer a wide and varied programme of ‘enrichment classes’ and extra-curricular activities that make use of the schools’ excellent facilities. Enrichment classes are particularly focussed on allowing students opportunity to apply what they have learned in class to a less academic situation. Extra curricular activities, such as dance and swimming lessons, provide primary students with opportunities to develop their first social networks and gain essential non-academic experience.
For a summary of the top international primary schools in Ho Ci Minh City, please keep scrolling.
Montessori International School of Vietnam
Location: District 2, Thao Dien and An Phu
Budget: Fees for primary students at Montessori International School of Vietnam start at VND 335,000,000 for a year. School meals are also optional extras, as is transport to and from school. For full details click here.
Languages: English instruction. Some classes in Vietnamese
Curriculum: MIS follows the Montessori philosophy and is accredited by the American Montessori Society. Students are encouraged to become independent learners via free exploration.
Unique feature:In addition to following the Montessori philosophy, MIS is an advocate of ‘Resources for Infant Educarers’ or RIE® . As a result the school is very well placed to provide parental support for parents who wish to adopt the Educaring™ approach. MIS is also able to offer a variety of learning environments at each of their 3 HCMC based campuses.
International School Saigon Pearl: Elementary & Early Years School (ISSP)
Location: Binh Thanh District
Budget: An application fee of VND 25,000,000 VND is applicable to each student and annual fees starting at VND 349,700,000 in kindergarten, rising up to around VND 458,000,000 for elementary. For more information please see this fee sheet.
Languages: English instruction.
Curriculum: This school is a part of Cognita Schools Group, which follows the American Core Curriculum which focuses on teaching core values such as honesty, caring, respect, responsibility and wisdom.
Uniform: The school’s uniform is a red short-sleeved polo emblazoned with the school’s logo at the front. Depending on the student, the shirt is complemented with either blue shorts or a blue skirt.
Unique feature: ISSP is now the only international elementary and early years school (18 months – 10 years of age) in HCMC to have the prestigious accreditation from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Australian International School Vietnam (AIS)
Budget: A non refundable application fee of VND 3,180,000 is payable at the time of application. Annual fees for primary students start at vnd 432,000,000 and rise to VND 501,000,000 Click here for full details
Languages: English instruction. Vietnamese instruction for all students up to Year 6
Curriculum: IB, IGCSE and IB Diploma Program. Co-education.
Uniform: The school has a variety of uniform options all based around the school colours of blue and white.
Unique feature: AIS offers an extensive range of facilities over the school’s three world-class campuses, with each of its classrooms and learning environments being spacious, well-resourced, and technologically rich. The primary years curriculum follows the IB Primary Years Programme, supplemented by Cambridge International Primary Programme to ensure students develop an inquiry based approach to learning.
Anne Hill International School
Location: District 2, An Phu
Budget: Primary school tuition fees at Anne Hill International School start at VND 213,000,000 for year 1 (5 years old). Tuition fees at Anne Hill International School cover the costs of core subjects, meals, uniforms and transportation. However, a VND12,000,000 registration fee still applies to each student. See this sheet for more information.
Languages: English instruction with options for Vietnamese and Chinese Mandarin as a second language.
Curriculum: International Primary Curriculum member, pursuing Cambridge accreditation. Cambridge International Primary Programme is followed for key subjects such as English, Maths and Science
Uniform: The school uniform combines a light green t-shirt or polo shirt with neutral coloured shorts or culottes.
Unique feature: Anne Hill International School is an independent school offering brand new facilities for their students. For those looking for a truly international school experience, the school currently has students from more than 40 different nationalities enrolled, making it one of the most varied student bodies that we have come across.
European International School Ho Chi Minh City (EIS)
Phone number: (+84 28) 7300 7257
Budget: Administration fee of VND 4,500,000 per student, registration fee of around VND 40,000,000 and tuition fees start at VND 462,000,000 for Grade 1 up to VND 503,000,000 in Grade 5. Tuition fees can be paid in up to 10 installments. The school has a partnership with a few banks which allow 0% interest rate by credit card payment. For more information please see this fee page.
Languages: English instruction. Additional languages: German, French, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese.
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum. Co-education.
Uniform: The school uniform is a white polo shirt with orange details and school logo.
Unique feature: EIS offers a truly diverse ‘melting pot’ of 40+ nationalities and global cultures, where students are encouraged to find their own voice, to pursue languages, and to contribute to all aspects of school life. European International School offers a rich variety of extracurricular activities that allows students to engage in athletic, cultural and artistic activities in a relaxed and fun atmosphere and the boutique style campus offers modern sports facilities and a swimming pool to allow students to partake in activities without having to travel elsewhere.
The International School of Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC)
Budget: An admission fee of VND 50,000,000 is required for all primary applications. Annual school fees start at VND 524,200,000 for Grade 1 (6 years old), rising to VND 608,800,000 in Grade 5 (10 years old). For full details of fees and repayment schedules click here.
Languages: English instruction
Curriculum: IB curriculum. Co-education.
Uniform: The school uniform is a blue sweater and whote polo shirt featuring the school logo.
Unique feature: ISHCMC’s primary curriculum offers a ‘transdisciplinary’ approach to learning. This means that students do not just take “math,” “reading,” or “art.” Rather, learning is meaningfully connected across disciplines as well as to the real world. Learning is focused on the needs and desires of the student versus a set curriculum. Units-of-inquiry are fluid and are purposefully crafted by skilled teachers with the interests and needs of our learners in mind.
Renaissance International School Saigon
Budget: A non refundable application fee of VND 4,000,000 applies to each student when an application is made. A further one time registration fee of VND 39,700,000 is payable when a place is the primary school is accepted. Annual tuition fees for primary students start at VND 466,550,000. Please click here for more information.
Languages: English Instruction. Mother tongue tuition in Vietnamese and Korean. French and Chinese as additional languages.
Curriculum: English National Curriculum (see website for specifics), IGCSE and IBDP. Co-education.
Uniform: School Uniform is required for all students but varies depending on age. For full details click here
Unique feature: Renaissance International School Saigon has an impressive range of accreditations including CIS, FOBISIA and Round Square. The Primary School covers Year 1 (5 years old) through to Year 6 (10 years old) and is based on the National Curriculum for England enhanced by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). As the only Round Square school in Vietnam, the Primary School actively embeds the associated IDEALS through the programme and this provides the students with an expansive educational experience.
Horizon International Bi-lingual School
Budget: An admission fee of VND 25,000,000 is required for all primary school applications. Annual school fees for the bilingual programme start at VND 180,590,000 for Grade 1 to 5. Visit the fees page for full details.
Languages: English and Vietnamese
Bilingual Program: Horizon International Bilingual School is the first school to introduce and apply the Bilingual Programme in Vietnam. The bilingual curriculum practices are carried out according to Vietnam’s Education law requirements. The aim of the Bilingual Programme is to nurture Vietnamese students according to the National Curriculum. The primary school lessons taught in Vietnamese and English synchronously by Vietnamese and foreign teachers.
Unique feature: HIBS has two rather unique features to consider. Firstly, it is recognised as being the oldest Bilingual school in Vietnam having opened in 2005. Second, it prioritises a modern approach to lesson delivery, utilising i-pads and a variety of apps to deliver lesson content. Maths and Science are areas of particular success to the school.
Saigon South International School (SSIS)
Budget: A non refundable application fee of VND 10,000,000 applies to each student, with a VND 45,000,000 Enrollment Fee required to guarantee a student’s place. Annual fees for primary students are VND 545,000,000. Note that this school is a non-profit international school and all fees are reinvested in the school. In spite of this, it is one of the best international schools in Saigon. Please click here for more information.
Curriculum: Advanced Placement (AP), American High School Diploma (College Preparatory), SSIS follows a tailored curriculum based on the North American education system. Students can also study the IB Diploma Program at this school.
Uniform: School Uniform is a blue polo shirt or t-shirt featuring the school logo
Unique feature: As mentioned above, this is the only non-profit international school in Vietnam and the school’s revenues are reinvested in the school. Over 850 students from over 30 different countries attend this school, and the student to teacher ratio is 10 to 1.
La Petit Ecole International School
Budget: Elementary students at La Petit Ecole can expect to pay around VND 245,000,000 for tuition each year. However, different ‘early bird’ reductions in fees are available depending on when payment is made. Full details are available here.
Languages: French and English.
Curriculum: La Petite Ecole follows a French National Education curriculum and has been accredited by the French Ministry of Education. The school is also a member of AEFE (Agency for French Education Abroad), ensuring a high quality of bilingual tuition.
Unique feature: La Petite Ecole focuses on providing an exceptional learning environment for its students. This means that the facilities are not only well maintained and modern but classrooms are fitted with air purifiers and outdoor play spaces are fitted with pollution control monitors to ensure students stay safe when playing outside.
So there you go, 10 of the best options for international primary students in the city. We hope this introduction has helped you to start filtering through what is undoubtedly a massive and varied selection of great schools. Keep checking back for our updates as we continue to research the top International Primary Schools in Saigon.