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


International School of Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC): Education for a Changing World

By: Keely Burkey

At the International School of Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC), the first international school in HCMC, Head of School Adrian Watts has a knack of looking into the future. School today, he says, “should be about preparation for the 21st century. It’s about preparing for life in a technologically changing world.” This is a tall order, but fortunately the minds at ISHCMC are up to the challenge.

Adrian Watts

An Energising Learning Environment

It all has to do, Watts explains, with developing the right kind of student. “Schools need to produce graduates who are aiming towards being entrepreneurs who employ themselves first, and then employ other people if they’re successful,” he says. This innovative way of thinking and educating is central to ISHCMC’s philosophy, and guides every part of the faculty’s decision-making.

First, there’s the welcoming community that ISHCMC has fostered between students, faculty and parents. It starts as soon as students arrive at school: parents are encouraged to have breakfast in the school cafeteria with students, teachers and administration. This family-like atmosphere makes the start of school a positive experience.

And then there’s the focus on mental health. Stress has been shown to impede a student’s ability to work and learn, so steps are taken at ISHCMC to ensure that every child is relaxed and comfortable. Students participate in 10 minutes of mindfulness training every morning, with breathing exercises. When classes start, students are receptive, positive and motivated to learn.

Student-Centric Learning

Classes are not the normal setup with children sitting in chairs and listening to the teacher. ISHCMC champions a progressive teaching style, in which the student’s learning preferences are acknowledged and catered to. “We’re trying to disrupt education, in a way,” Watts admits. “We’re trying to redefine what education should be, and what a school should be.” Rather than relying on the textbook as the source of all knowledge, students at ISHCMC are encouraged to think outside of the (text)box.

As part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, students will develop their own questions about a topic or issue and then go about answering these questions on their own. By leading the methods of inquiry, students become more invested in their own education, and curious to delve deeper into issues. Teachers act as guides in the learning process rather than pedagogues, and the results have clearly shown that this style is working.

Producing the Best

Watts points to the 2016 Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) results, which have been strong – the strongest ISHCMC has ever seen. With an average IB diploma score of 34, which is well above the median score of 30, graduating students have no trouble planning for their future.

With over 50 nationalities represented at ISHCMC, Adrian Watts is proud to say that students come from and head to countries all over the world. With students attending top universities in Korea, Australia, the UK and the US, the coveted IB diploma works well to ensure future success.

ISHCMC learning

Watts is careful to acknowledge, however, that simply pushing for the best university isn’t always the best policy. “It’s about putting children in the right fit, where they’re going to thrive,” he insists. To make sure that every student attends the right college for their personality and their goals, two college counsellors are on staff for one-on-one sessions for parents as well as students.

An Eye to the Future

Adrian Watts is most excited about carrying this plan even further. One major component is the opening of a second campus in the first semester of the 2017/18 school year. If ISHCMC disrupted the traditional education process in the first campus, at the new campus, Watts is looking forward to completely reinventing education.

ISHCMC second campus

Wider corridors will allow for positive student interaction; an innovation centre will encourage crowdsourcing ideas to be written and developed on glass walls; facilities will include a variety of furniture to allow students to choose where they feel most comfortable to learn. This interactive learning environment, modelled on the Google offices in Silicon Valley, is ideally set up to produce tomorrow’s industry leaders. The future is looking bright.

Contact information:
Current Campus: 28 Vo Truong Toan, D2 | New Campus: 1 Xuan Thuy, D2 | +84 28 3 898 9100 |