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A lady who is moving here from Denmark asked me about the International School sccene- specifically Singapore International School where her child has beend accepted and since I don't have kids and don't know of anyone who goes there, was sondering what kind of reviews it has received.
Any comment on the school to share with this mother?
My kids started to go to Singapore International School (SIS) in Ciputra this year. They all love it and do not want to change school. They have not attended other schools in Hanoi so they cannot compare. SIS is very advanced in Maths. Most students at SIS, on the international side, are Koreans, so if you want international diversity, SIS might not provide as much diversity as UNIS for example. The teachers are from Australia, America, and other English speaking countries. They are all dedicated and very good and friendly. Now on the downside, I think most parents at SIS would like to send their kids to UNIS. UNIS is perceived, maybe rightly so I do not know, as the best school in Hanoi (best reputation). So SIS has this "temporary" feel to it, since we all want to send our kids to the top school. Also, some parents do not like so much the fact that there is one-hour per day of Chinese language lessons. I personnally don't mind it, but SIS could cut back on Chinese a bit. So, SIS is a good school and as for any school, appreciation really depends on the dedication of each teacher in each class.
You can read reviews of Uniworld School (there was a name change to Singapore International School) here:
or you can visit their website at
which grade the kids are going to? SIS has no set standard as a school. Your child is getting what education depends completely on the teacher there. Teachers keep on coming and leaving the school. My daughter was there for 2 years and in total she had 10 foreigner teachers. SIS , Kinderworld if you see from outside looks very fancy with some modern facilities. but time has come when they need to change their attitude and think that good education is what for people send their kids to school after paying so much money. Recently they changed to singapore curriculum which is good. Problem there is that good and qualified teachers leave the school as soon as they get a better choice. They do not have a fix pay policy & and do not keep their promise after they start working there. I think teacher turnover is highest there compared to any other school. This is the situation, rest you can decide and take opinion of some people who taught there.
I hope I can help you. I taught at the Ciputra school, and am happy to say that the teachers at Ciputra are great, and really love their work and their teaching. The students are also really great, and though there is a large Korean element at the school, there are also many other nationalities, and all seem to coexist pretty well. The main problems with SIS are found in management, and in their attitude that money is more important than education. SIS is a for-profit school, and it's always about looking good and screwing people for as much money as possible to keep up appearances, so tell your friend to be aware that there will be many additional costs at the end of the day. But, if that's not a problem, parents and students don't see much of the mismanagement behind the scenes, so it won't be too much of an issue for them, except through it's effect on the teacher and their stress levels.
Regarding teachers leaving, yes there is a huge turnover at SIS, and at the Ciputra campus I know of only one expat teacher who has been with the company longer than two years - all the rest have moved on, or will this coming school year (including the Principal). I would suggest to your friend to ask about their child's new teacher: Who are they? How long have they been teaching? How long have they been with SIS? What qualifications do they have? Where were they teaching before?
Let's face it, there ain't a lot to choose from in Hanoi, and to people who are looking for a good, cheaper alternative to HIS or UNIS, then SIS international stream at Ciputra is the way to go, not because it's fantastic, just cause there is nothing better for the price.