Vietnam International School Fees - A Guide

What will it cost you for a private education at one of Vietnam’s international primary and secondary schools? What are the cheapest international schools in the country? Here we look at the sliding scale of tuition fees, as well as additional costs including application fees, enrolment fees, development fees, uniform, extra-curricular activities, exams and school lunches.
Vietnam International School Fees - A Guide
By Carli Allan
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The range in price between international schools in Vietnam is vast with the cheapest school being VND 400,000,000 (USD 17,000) less than the country’s most expensive school. The average cost of tuition fees is around VND 370,000,000, and schools run by the country’s largest education provider, KinderWorld, are among the cheapest.

The cost of an international education is expensive for many Vietnamese nationals, but it’s considerably cheaper than schooling in Europe and other parts of Asia.

In a 2017 study by ExpatFinder of international school fees across 98 countries, Vietnam was ranked in the top five for international school fees in Asia-Pacific; average fees were VND 405,559,000 which is cheaper than Hong Kong and Singapore - but more expensive than Thailand.

While it’s encouraging to see how Vietnam compares to other countries, there is more value in knowing exactly what you’re going to pay for – and why. Here we look at which international schools in Vietnam charge the highest (and lowest) tuition fees, and break down the overall cost of an education at primary and secondary levels.

Tuition fees: international

Vietnam’s growing portfolio of international schools includes a mixture of non-profits and profit-making schools run by independents and global education groups. Tuition fees at International Baccalaureate (IB) schools tend to be considerably higher, which makes sense. The IB demands more teachers per pupil. It is more resource intensive in general than any other curricula, particularly compared to A Level against the IB Diploma with more subjects taught.

There is a huge difference in fees, depending on the type of school. There is a growing number of new state-of-the art schools with Olympic-sized swimming pools, ultra-modern arts centres modern technology – but this all comes at a price. There are no ‘affordable’ international schools as such in Vietnam, but you will find that schools with older, smaller campuses and basic facilities will be cheaper. Fees are much lower for schools offering the local MOET curriculum, which have a largely Thai student population and teaching staff. Tuition fees at Korean and Japanese schools are also low.

Check what is included in the tuition fees as this can include local excursions, an annual school uniform set, stationery package, snacks, selected after-school activities, student support services, and even 1:1 tablet or laptop provision.

Most schools offer a discount of around 15% if tuition fees are paid in full at the start of the academic year; alternatively, there is an option to pay in termly instalments or select another payment plan, but you will pay more for this.

Primary tuition fees

Primary tuition fees for Year 1 range from VND 94,000,000 (US $4,100) to 505,000,000 (US $22,000). The average cost is VND 345,000,000.

Primary schools with fees of less than VND 300,000,000 for Year 1 include:
• APU International School
• Fosco International School
• Green Shoots International School Vietnam
• Hanoi Academy
• Horizon International School, Hanoi
• International German School, Ho Chi Minh City 


Primary schools with fees of more than VND 400,000,000 for Year 1 include:
• American International School
• British International School, Hanoi
British International School, Ho Chi Minh City (An Phu Primary)
British International School, Ho Chi Minh City (Tu Xuong)
British International School, Ho Chi Minh City (Early Years)
• Hanoi International School
International School Ho Chi Minh City (Primary)
• Renaissance International School Saigon
• South Saigon International School
United Nations International School of Hanoi

Secondary tuition fees

Secondary tuition fees for Year 7 range from around VND 76,000,000 (US $3,350) at the Asian International School to at Adventist International Mission School to VND 584,000,000  (US $25,100) at International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) (Secondary). The average cost is VND 390,000,000 (US $17,170). This rises to an average of VND 654,000,000 (US $28,400) for college, Years 12 and 13.

Secondary schools with fees of less than VND 350,000,000 for Year 7 include:
• APU International School
• Asian International School
• Green Shoots International School Vietnam
• Hanoi Academy
• Horizon International School Hanoi
• Singapore International School (BDNC)
• Singapore International School (Vung Tau)
• Singapore International School (Da Nang)

Secondary schools with fees of more than VND 450,000,000 for Year 7 include:
• American International School
• Australian International School, (Thu Thiem)
• Australian International School (Thao Dien)
• British International School, Hanoi
• British International School, Ho Chi Minh City (An Phu Secondary)
• Hanoi International School
• International School Ho Chi Minh City (Secondary)
• Renaissance International School Saigon
• South Saigon International School
United Nations International School of Hanoi

Mandatory charges

There are many compulsory refundable and non-refundable charges that international schools often levy, which can make a significant increase to the overall cost of an education. The most expensive of these is a capital fee or development fee, which is typically an annual charge that contributes to the school’s ongoing building and maintenance costs. This can range from VND 8,000,000 (US $350) up to 67,500,000 (US $2,980). Due to the varying amount of the development fee, it’s definitely worth checking your school’s fee structure to avoid any last-minute surprises.

International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) offers parents an alternative to its annual development fee – a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) is a one-time payment of VND 337,500,000 (US $14,900) that gives parents priority for admission, which may be something to consider at a school with such a long waiting list.

While your employer may cover the cost of tuition fees, you may be left to foot the bill for costs such as lunch, books, uniform, technology, etc.

In addition to the tuition fees and campus development fee, be prepared to pay for the following throughout the school year:


Application fees – this is a non-refundable fee of approx. VND 3,000,000 (US $132) up to VND 25,000,000 (US $1,100)

Assessment fee – some selective schools will charge around VND 2,500,000 (US $110) for an assessment or placement test

Registration or admission fee – charged when you accept a school place, this one-off, non-refundable fee ranges from VND 21,500,000 (US $950) up to as much as VND 68,000,000 (US $3000) at some top-tier schools

Security deposit – a refundable amount of around VND 20-30,000,000 (US $1,321) may be charged upon acceptance of a school place


Meal fees – while this can be a compulsory fee at some schools, others will offer an optional meal plan. Charges range from VND 20,000,000 (US $880) to 30,000,000 (US $1321) per year

Uniform – while the basic school uniform may be quite inexpensive, when you add on the compulsory extras such as PE kits, house t-shirts, school swim kit and branded towels, school goggles, branded bags, approved shoes, trainers, football boots, lunchboxes, water bottles, hats, and winter/summer uniforms it all adds up. So, budget for around VND 700-800,000 (US $35) for a complete set

Technology - many secondary schools operate a 1:1 technology programme, so you’ll need to budget for the cost of an iPad or laptop 


School trips – field trips and overnight camps are the norm for many schools, while older children are given a taste of global travel with expeditions and charity fundraisers across South East Asia


Exam fees – for each set of IGCSE, A Level, AP and IB exams


Learning support fees – are roughly VND 14-18,000,000 (US $795) per year


Books

• Graduation fees 


• PTA – you may be asked to make a small contribution


Optional charges
While these charges are not compulsory, you may want to budget for extras such as school dinners and extra-curricular activities:


School transport – an essential service for many parents in Vietnam, a bus service will cost around VND 10-40,000,000 (US $1761) per term. Some schools, including Renaissance International School Saigon, offer a free bus service to families living in certain locations


Additional language lessons

Extra-curricular activities – although these are often provided free of charge by the school, some activities are ‘paid for’ services from outside agencies

Individual music lessons

• Boarding fees – parents have a choice of day, weekly and termly boarding options at a small handful of international schools in Vietnam

Sibling discounts
Many schools will offer discounts of 10-15% for siblings, occasionally for the second child but more commonly for the third child onwards.

Scholarships
A large number of international schools offer scholarships to students who show outstanding talent in various disciplines – academic, art, sport, music and drama. Students typically receive a monetary award, which can be as high as 100% payment of tuition and/or boarding fees.

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