International School Ho Chi Minh City: Energized, engaged and empowered
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International School Ho Chi Minh City: Energized, engaged and empowered

International School Ho Chi Minh City: Energized, engaged and empowered

“As well as being accredited as an IB World School, ISHCMC is also accredited by the Council of International Schools allowing ISHCMC students a safe and healthy environment to learn and a smooth transition to universities and colleges around the world.” – Adrian Watts, Head of School at ISHCMC

The International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) has sought to provide a world-leading education since 1993. As the city’s first IB-accredited world school to offer all three levels of the program, ISHCMC is a known trailblazer of the academic world, harnessing the power of creativity and imagination to make students feel inspired.

This premier K12 education provider has refined every level of the IB curriculum, instilling students with the curiosity and dedication needed to make sense of a complex world. By integrating technology into every facet of daily life, ISHCMC consistently produces tech-savvy graduates with the potential to innovate any modern workplace.

ISHCMC’s campus is the heart and soul of this urban, global location, giving students the chance to discover one of Southeast Asia’s most-loved travel destinations.

“It’s been the perfect five years for me at the school,” Head of School, Adrian Watts, told Study International. “We don’t look backwards; we are able to be forward-thinking and as a result our students are very happy here,” he adds.

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“We have very passionate teachers who believe in our mission and vision – and this is very important for us. It’s a special place, because we have invested a lot of money to make this place as fantastic as possible. We have state-of-the-art makerspaces, design rooms, green screen rooms, a gym, a theatre, drama and art classrooms and the new campus. Students can discover and then follow their passions, which is part of our overall mission and vision.”

The school renovated its campus in the summer of 2017, implementing a custom-built Information and Media Center, plus new Grade Two and Three classrooms following the success of the new Grade Four and Five Classrooms refurbished in 2016. Learning spaces at ISHCMC are designed to encourage the school’s ethos of inquiry-based learning, where students research topics of passion and interest that stretch far beyond the traditional curriculum.

“The happiness of our students and parents has greatly contributed to the school’s reputation,” Watts explains. “If a child is coming into a school that really cares then they go home smiling, and that’s something that makes their parents happy as well. Happiness is definitely something we do very well in. Our learning environments, reputation, sporting, extracurricular and academic results all support a happy environment – and that’s something that’s reflected in every aspect of the school.”

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With a perfect higher education acceptance rate of no less than 100 percent, the quality of the ISHCMC learning experience cannot be overlooked. Driven by contemporary teaching strategies and real-world application, students leave wholeheartedly prepared to conquer university and adult life beyond.

As a global study hub in Ho Chi Minh City, the school acknowledges the relevance of a 360-degree education that flexes to the needs of a constantly-moving world. As such, teaching practice seeks to break through traditional conventions, pushing through the classroom walls and into every avenue of physical, social and intellectual development. But let’s not forget that ISHCMC champions student wellbeing and diversity – and, with more than 50 nationalities represented throughout campus, students are enlivened and enriched by cultural nuances that give them a graduate edge.

“Among the positive changes we see taking shape in the next few years will be the completion of our primary school,” says Watts. “We will be turning it into a very unique learning environment,” he adds. “We are also moving more and more towards a student agency. It’s about empowering students so that they can be more in control of their own learning.”

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This focus on supporting independent, ambitious and responsible global citizens is what sets ISHCMC apart from the crowd. Unlike many other international schools, this institution allows both its vision and research-based mission to take centre stage, identifying and articulating the most effective means to achieve these goals. “Our job is to constantly reflect on whether we are achieving this mission and how we can constantly improve,” the Head explains. “That’s very unique and sets us aside.

“I would describe it as an energized, engaged and empowered place to be. The school is almost unrecognisable from what it once was – not just physically but on paper, too. Students leave today feeling like they’ve been pushed harder; they’ve had a great time at the school but they also feel challenged and more prepared for university, and that’s just what we like to hear.

“The policies and procedures, as well as the new campus, help prepare students for the 21st century world.”

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