Spending the last two years of secondary school boarding at AIS was “an amazing experience” for Vinh Gia Khang Huynh (Tony). Not only did it provide the perfect support network for his International Baccalaureate studies, but it laid strong foundations for lifelong success.
An obvious choice
When Tony returned to Vietnam from Canada, the decision to join the AIS boarding school was an easy one. The high-quality international education AIS offered, supported by specialist teachers, exceptional facilities and outstanding opportunities, was a big drawcard. And the boarding option was ideal for a busy student who would otherwise have faced a long commute every day.
"AIS is a wonderful school that offers wonderful boarding," says Tony, who graduated from AIS last year and is now at university in Canada. "I initially chose to stay at AIS first for the facilities and second for the proximity to school. My family live far away from the campus, so boarding was incredibly convenient - I could walk to school in only three minutes!
"I also really liked the social side of boarding. I made so many new friends, and loved the way we lived together like one large extended family. There was a strong feeling of community, and we spent a lot of time talking, playing board games and socialising. My friends and I organised plenty of activities together, like monopoly, badminton and even ghost-hunting sometimes. And it was always enjoyable to talk to my best friends at boarding after a long day."
A typical day
With breakfast at 7am and classes from 8am until 2:40pm, there’s plenty of time after school for boarders to immerse themselves in both study and fun. For Tony, devoting the first couple of hours after school to homework, general study and additional assignments (such as the International Baccalaureate CAS project) provided a steady routine, before knocking off at 5pm to exercise or socialise with his fellow boarders.
“The opportunity to use the AIS on-campus facilities during after-school hours is a huge benefit, and my friends and I would frequently head to the swimming pool or badminton courts to relax and reset after our busy day.”
Dinner is served at 6pm, leaving the evenings free to “hang out with friends or do some revision”.
All in one place
The comfort and convenience of boarding at AIS makes life simple. For Tony – a self-confessed homebody – having everything he needed on his doorstep was invaluable.
"The school is fantastic. The teachers are amazing, and there are many after-school activities that you can participate in, like Model United Nations, swimming, basketball, athletics, and a range of other co-curricular clubs and events. The 'boarding parents', Mr and Mrs Bradfield, are really friendly, and take care of everything. They even supervise students during study periods, so essentially, you don't need to worry about anything.
"I'm very grateful to the Bradfields for making boarding such an amazing experience. They were always available to support me in every aspect, from academic to emotional, and they made my stay in boarding so much more enjoyable," adds Tony.
Thriving in this internationally diverse setting, Tony believes the constant exposure to the English language has significantly benefited his education.
"While AIS respects local and foreign students' native languages, all communication in the boarding house is in English. And because students are living in a multicultural environment, they also have the chance to learn both English and Vietnamese culture. When I first arrived at AIS boarding, I remember learning how to introduce myself in other languages, which was highly enjoyable. However, what I value the most is how I have come to learn various international dining etiquettes and better understand other cultures and customs."
Reflecting on his two years as an AIS boarder, Tony has nothing but positive things to say.
"I loved the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Although it was challenging, I have never regretted taking the IBDP, and I'm confident that it has fully prepared me for my tertiary studies in Canada.
“Plus, every single IBDP subject was among my favourites because I was able to choose subjects that I'm passionate about and that resonate with me. They include economics, physics, mathematics, English, French and geography. I especially loved the Theory of Knowledge course (ToK – which asks students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know). Thanks to ToK, I was able to prepare myself with the right mindset in a constantly changing world."