A Brief History

Australian International School (AIS) first opened its doors in August 2006 with a secondary campus in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. It was founded by Mr Nigel Russell and Mrs Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy in response to the increasing demand and lack of choice at that time for high quality international education in HCMC.

Thuy (centre front) and Nigel (right front) together with AIS’s first School Principal, Mr Chris Faisandier (left front), the Australian Consul General, Mr Mal Skelly (next to Nigel), and representatives of RMIT University and the business community in HCMC, at AIS’s Opening, August 2006.
Secondary students and staff of AIS, March 2007

The campus was based in a beautiful old French villa which had been renovated and expanded by RMIT (of Australia) and used as the first site of its university in HCMC. When RMIT moved out to its new campus in District 7, AIS moved then in.

While the Secondary campus grew quickly in its old French villa, Nigel and Thuy decided to open a Kindergarten & Primary campus in Thao Dien. AIS took over and renovated a Kindergarten called Dynotots, that had been operating for some years in the leafy, popular APSC residential compound in Thao Dien, and it also converted a nearby villa in the same compound to a Primary campus. The newly named Lotus and Cherry Blossom parts of AIS’s Thao Dien Campus, together with a brand-new adjacent Sports Centre, opened in August 2007. A new, stand-alone Kindergarten was built and opened in Xi Riverview, Thao Dien, in August 2009.

Construction of AIS's Cherry Blossom School, based in Thao Dien, which was opened in 2007
Thu Thiem Campus, under construction, July 2007

Meanwhile, ACG Australian International Education Services Company Limited, a privately-owned education company based in New Zealand, with a number of premium private schools in New Zealand and Indonesia, built an impressive new school campus in Thu Thiem Ward (ACG Vietnam), which also opened in 2007.

AIS’s Thu Thiem Campus

In 2019, AIS Vietnam and ACG Schools joined Inspired, one of the leading global groups of premium schools.

The following year, in 2020, AIS became the first premium international school in Vietnam to offer Boarding, with brand new facilities in its Thu Thiem Campus to house 50 students.

Now entering its 15th year, AIS is one of the top IB World Schools in Vietnam with over 1,300 students from 40 different nationalities at three campuses in District 2, and over this time, many of the School’s alumni have gone on to graduate from some of the best universities in the world.