The Fun Way to Learn English in Saigon: AIS Summer School


For the last nine years, the Australian International School (AIS), one of Saigon’s premier international schools, has been answering the cry of parents with its English language-based Summer School Programme. Now in its 10th year, the AIS Summer School has helped literally thousands of children improve their English language skills whilst also meeting new friends from around the world and learning other soft skills.


The Australian International School is spread over three campuses in Thao Dien and Thu Thiem in District 2. This year its Summer School Programme will be held on all three campuses from Tuesday 20 June until Friday 21 July. The classes start at 8 a.m. and finish at 2.45 p.m.

Days Filled with Fun

The educational programme at the Thu Thiem campus will cater to children who are not native English speakers and want to improve their English. With its wonderful state-of-the-art facilities and highly qualified staff, the programme will focus on the development of children’s English skills through weekly themes.

History shows that those children who complete the programme become more confident with speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, no matter at what level they start. The classes start at kindergarten through to Year 11.

The Thao Dien campus will have classes for kindergarten to Year 6 students. These classes will not only be challenging but great fun as well, with weekly excursions supplementing the classroom activities. The students will also have lessons focusing on Technology, Art/Craft/Cooking and Drama/Music so they learn to apply their English in different situations.


Kindergarten children are not forgotten, for AIS will offer a play-based, engaging programme at its outstandingly resourced Xi campus.

Such is the popularity of the AIS Summer School that many of the teaching staff return year after year to support the children in their learning. All the teachers have university degrees from Western institutions and extensive ESL (English as a Second Language) training as well.


They are a great bunch who know how to challenge and engage children so learning becomes fun. Every class will also have one or two experienced and very capable Vietnamese Support Teachers who help the teaching staff provide a caring and stimulating environment.

Multicultural Learning by Experienced Educators

One of the great advantages of the AIS Summer School is that children come from many nationalities. This reflects AIS itself where over 40 nationalities attend the school. It always brings joy to the staff to see the way children from different countries build friendships with each other.

Many children love the AIS Summer School so much that they enrol in the school. If your child is joining AIS, this programme is a great way to get to know this high quality, fully accredited international school.


This year Christina Zinetti, one of the AIS staff, will be the overall coordinator. Christina is a very experienced teacher and has coordinated other Summer Programmes in Europe. Ian Osberg will again be overseeing the Thao Dien campus and will ensure that the campus is well organised.

The programme is great value for families because it offers several types of discounts for students, as well as free buses in some areas.

AIS has always had a reputation, not just for being an outstanding school, but also for holding excellent summer schools. It looks like this year will be no exception, so it’s time to enrol the kids. Visit for further details.

Contact: |

Thu Thiem Campus: 264 Mai Chi Tho, D2 | +84 28 3742 4040

Thao Dien Campus: 36 Thao Dien Road, D2 | +84 28 3744 6961

Xi Campus: 190 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 | +84 28 3519 2727


Australian International School: A Clear Vision for Student Success

By: Keely Burkey

Dr. Roderick Crouch, Executive Principal of the Australian International School (AIS) in Ho Chi Minh City, isn’t afraid to take on the big questions. The biggest perhaps is: what’s a school’s job?

AIS thu thiem

Traditionally, people might answer, “to teach students”, and while that isn’t incorrect, it’s not the whole story by a long shot. For Dr. Crouch, a school is responsible for so much more.

“We want to develop a well-rounded child,” he insists, “who has the ability to think critically, who has the ability to understand where to find knowledge when he or she needs it, and who has the capability to be a successful part of today’s world.”

Teaching with Excellence

At AIS, the well-rounded student begins and ends with the teachers. Studies have reported as much: famed educational researcher John Hattie, for example, has seen that beyond any other factor in school, teachers are most influential on a child’s experience.

It just makes sense: the student spends most of his or her time with teachers in school. And that’s why Dr. Crouch focuses much of his work on employing the best teachers from around the world. In addition to a bevvy of qualifications, when the he interviews new staff members, he looks for a few extra things. “It’s more important to me that they have an understanding of what’s called pedagogy. In other words, how a student learns – what’s the best way to help a student learn?”

Often the idea of pedagogy deals with the relationship between the teacher and student as much as what a teacher will teach. “The teachers here are quite approachable. Students don’t fear them; they feel like they can talk to them about whatever needs to be talked about.” During the most vulnerable developmental period of a person’s life, this is a crucial idea.

Kids at AIS

Critical Thinking

With the right teachers on board, the next step for any good school is setting up the right curriculum. And of course this isn’t just about learning facts – these can be looked up easily on the Internet – but rather about the way the student thinks.

It’s this nurturing of critical thinking skills that gets Dr. Roderick Crouch the most excited. In an age when many schools are adopting technological programs as the be-all and end-all of curriculum development, Dr. Crouch insists on critical thinking skills above all else.

Critical thinking is something that must be trained – it’s not innate. The best way is to start teaching it young. In the first grade, Dr. Crouch explains, students are first introduced to different ways of thinking. They then practise thinking about certain things in certain ways.

This way, when they reach secondary school and begin to write papers and take exams, critical thinking is a natural process. The idea of looking at the world and questioning the way things are done is the key, Dr. Crouch says, to producing contributing members of society.

AIS open day

A Mind Broadened with Empathy

The best way to instil empathy and understanding is to broaden a child’s understanding of people in different walks of life. How? Through charity work. Starting from grade one, all students at AIS are required to participate in charity work. Although the school is connected to several worthwhile organisations, much of the charitable help is centred around the Loreto Kids Charity and the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, two organisations that give support to children in need.

The kids and staff at AIS work throughout the year to raise money through bake sales, performing arts and other community charity events. These do more than just help a good cause: they show students that community outreach is valuable and necessary to be a committed member of a global society.

The ability to think outside of oneself is perhaps AIS’ crowning achievement.

No one thing makes a school unique or exceptional; rather, it is a combination of many traits that work in tandem to produce the most intellectually and emotionally intelligent kids possible. Dr. Crouch sums it up best: “Students go out of here well-prepared intellectually, and they go out of here well-prepared, equally, emotionally. I think we do that extremely well.”

Contact information: |

Thu Thiem Campus: 264 Mai Chi Tho, D2 |  +84 28 3742 4040
Thao Dien Campus:  36 Thao Dien Road, D2 | +84 28 3744 6961
Xi Campus: 190 Nguyen Van Huong, D2 | +84 28 3519 2727