The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is one of the most sought-after education systems in the world. It provides a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for higher education and beyond. The IB diploma is highly valued by universities across the globe, making it an attractive option for families looking to give their children a quality education abroad.
The best IB schools in Vietnam offer an excellent learning environment and experienced teachers who are specially trained to teach the IB program. For those looking to enrol their children in an IB school, Vietnam offers some of the best options in Asia with several quality institutions offering a range of programs for all ages. In this article, we will look at some of the best IB schools in Vietnam and what makes them stand out among other schools in the country.
What is an IB school?
An International Baccalaureate (IB) school is an educational institution that offers all three of the IB programmes: Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP). This type of school has a special focus on internationalism, motivated by the desire to promote peace and harmony among different cultures and nations. IB schools offer a rigorous academic curriculum which develops students’ knowledge in all core subject areas, while also providing them with cultural, social and emotional skills.
Furthermore, these schools provide an environment where students can develop their critical thinking skills through open-ended inquiry-based learning. In summary, the IB curriculum provides an excellent global education for those looking to expand their horizons and is ideally suited to an international school setting.
What makes an IB school unique?
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a highly regarded and reputable academic curriculum for students who seek a broad and challenging education. It was initially used by international schools as it provided a breadth of learning skills unparalleled by any other curriculum around the world. However, this has now changed over time and many state-run and independent schools now offer the IB due to its outstanding reputation.
The IB is well-known as a strong college preparatory program however it is also prepares students for the rest of their lives. They learn to be critical thinkers, always questioning, improving and developing their surroundings with a strong foundation of ‘international mindedness’ and being aware of other people’s cultures and backgrounds. What makes the IB program unique?
Rigorous Approval Process for Schools
To provide an IB programme, which consists of four age-level programmes : PYP, MYP, Diploma and Career-related Programme tailored to students between preschool-grade 12, schools must go through a multi-year authorisation process led by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). Once approved, a school is able to call itself an ‘IB World School’. Each IB World School makes a commitment to constantly grow, reflect, learn, and develop. IB World Schools are held to an international standard by the IBO and submit to regular reviews and evaluations.
Interconnected, Global Studies
In a traditional school setting, subjects like science, geography, and English are often taught in isolation. However, in an IB programme, students are taught to recognise links between these core disciplines. Moreover, the IB asks students to make links between everything they learn, and to follow their own instincts. Personal, community, and global connections are made in the classroom; for example, between a science lesson and something that happens out on the football pitch. Students look for and make such connections outside of the classroom as well, and then develop and incorporate these connections into personal projects of study at school.
IB Diploma Program
The IB uniquely offers the IB Diploma Program (IB DP), which is a two-year program for Grade 11 & 12 students that provides a strong academic framework for educating internationally-minded problem-solvers. At the conclusion of the program, students have the opportunity to earn the prestigious IB Diploma.
The DP requires students to take six classes concurrently with the Core Curriculum. The Core comprises the Theory of Knowledge course, which explores the nature and dimension of knowledge, and the Extended Essay, where students write an academic research essay based on a research project on a topic of their own choosing. The Core also includes the CAS projects, which seek to develop the student through projects promoting creativity, activity, and service.
To obtain the IB Diploma, students must take at least three higher level classes. Each of the six classes is a two-year class taken during junior and senior years. This is different from the Advanced Placement program, which offers one-year classes in each subject.
Students in the IB DP program are held to international standards. IB DP students take IB exams at the end of their studies, thereby having the opportunity to earn the IB Diploma and demonstrate their knowledge compared with other IB students all over the world. Additionally, students who earn certain scores on their IB exams are eligible to receive credit at many colleges and universities.
Learning to Learn
IB students learn content and skills, and they also focus on the process of learning itself. This deliberate focus gives students the tools they need to become lifelong learners and develop new skills and find creative solutions beyond school as they move on to adult life and start their careers.
The IB Learner Profile, always forefront of an IB student’s mind, is a compilation of ten essential characteristics that inspire students in their development. These characteristics include Inquiry, Knowledgeable, Principled, Open-minded, Balanced, Reflective, Caring, Communicator, Thinkers, and Risk Takers. Students gain skills in asking questions, learning independently, thinking critically, and reflecting on strengths and weaknesses in order to support future learning.
Research and Writing skills
The Extended Essay (EE) is an independent research and writing project with the topic being chosen by the student, and is another crucial element of the IB Diploma and is unique to the IB programme. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students choose a topic and undertake advanced independent research, developing highly honed organisational skills in the process. After researching, they write a lengthy research paper, similar to a thesis at University.
The IB programme ensures that students put their learning into practice. Another mandatory and crucial element of the IB is student participation in CAS – Creativity, Activity, Service projects, where students learn through experience and take action in the service of others. Students pursue their own interests and skills through projects, clubs, community service, sports, and other co-curricular activities. CAS helps to shape students into well-rounded, motivated, engaged people.
Effective time management
The key to good independent study is time management, a skill picked up instinctively by IB students. Establishing good study habits, setting aside time for assignments, developing individual revision techniques, and resisting distractions are all byproducts of an IB education.
University preparation and admissions acceptance
IB students are given the tools and support they need to become the multi-talented, versatile students universities look for. Because the IB is offered globally and recognised by prestigious colleges and universities all over the world, the IB has become a standardised and respected benchmark for excellence.
Why should you enrol in an IB school in Vietnam?
Vietnam is a land of possibilities. The World Bank has predicted Vietnam’s GDP growth from 2022 to 2023 to be 7.2% in one year alone. According to a VN Express article on 5 January 2023, the Vietnamese government expects to nearly double the country’s GDP per capita by 2030 and increase it eightfold to $32,000, making Vietnam a top 20 global economy by 2050.
With the number of ex-pats predicted to rise steadily over the next decade, the international IB schools market in Vietnam is becoming increasingly competitive. This, in turn attracts outstanding quality of teaching, world-class facilities, a rigorous and varied IB programme and students with a thirst of knowledge to learn more about new cultures and the country they are in.
UNIS Hanoi – the pioneer of IB programmes
UNIS Hanoi was the first international school in Vietnam and, in 1997, became the first school in Asia to become an IB World School and offer all three IB programmes: the PYP, MYP and Diploma. The school has an established reputation for being one of the best IB schools in Vietnam and has the experience and knowledge to run the IB programme to the highest standard possible.
UNIS Hanoi is one of only two United Nations schools in the world with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN deeply embedded within the IB programme throughout the school, from Early Years 3 to Grade 12. This is what makes UNIS Hanoi so unique and special. Students are truly global citizens of the world with a strong desire to change the world.
Want to know more about UNIS Hanoi? Visit our website now.