Mai Chi and our family have long had a great relationship with the Australian International School (AIS) Community. After finishing grade two at a local school in Vietnam, following touring and receiving information from many other schools, I decided to enrol my daughter into AIS’s summer course programme. On the last day of that course, she cried a lot as she had to say goodbye to her teachers and all the friends she had made. Mai Chi shared that she loved AIS and would like to study at the school with her teachers and international friends. Due to our financial circumstances, however, while we would have loved for her to study at AIS, we instead at the time encouraged her to study at a newly established bilingual school. Mai Chi was quite happy with the new environment but she still dreamed about studying at a truly international school.
In the summer of Mai Chi’s fourth grade, I was informed that AIS provides academic scholarships for new secondary students by a friend whose child had just been offered one. After contacting AIS, I had a talk with Mai Chi to encourage her to apply for a scholarship, and I was surprised with how determined she was, making this her goal in her fifth grade.
Then in 2020, with Covid-19, everyone across the world was faced with difficulties, and for us, we thought our plan to transfer Mai Chi to an international school may have been lost. On 15th May 2020, however, Ms Thuy, a member of AIS’s enrolment staff contacted me, sharing that in fact there was no change, reminding me of the deadline for the academic scholarship application. On that day, I did not have enough time to prepare all the documentation as required so I just sent a thank you email to AIS. Ms Thuy, however, whom I love and respect for her enthusiasm and devotion, encouraged me to submit the application by midnight on 16th May 2020. Finally, I submitted all documentation as required in the evening of 15th May 2020 and we waited for the scholarship examination. After receiving good test results, an interview with AIS’s Executive Principal and after a few days of anxious waiting, we were thrilled to receive a quite high scholarship offer letter from AIS.
Mai Chi was so happy with the good news, but was still debating what to do as she did not achieve the highest scholarship offer and was concerned it may be a burden on us, her parents. So, she decided to study hard for an entrance exam to a famous high school for the gifted in Ho Chi Minh City as she wanted to try and provide another option if she was successful. Subsequently, she received an offer to the gifted school just a few days before the new academic year at AIS. We were in a bit of a dilemma in deciding which school to choose within just a two-week period. Now, it was no longer a financial issue anymore and most of our relatives and friends both in Vietnam and overseas voted for the gifted school, while a small minority, including us, loved the international school. After two weeks studying AIS, one Saturday, Mai Chi attended the gifted school’s new school year ceremony to get a feel for the school before making a final decision. In the end, she chose AIS. Thank you to Ms Thuy again for her information to help us analyse thoroughly and make the best decision.
After the first semester at AIS, Mai Chi has become accustomed to the school, her friends, and the high and fast intensity of learning and strict regulations. For the past four months, every school day has been a happy and exciting day for Mai Chi. She passionately shares about the school, her classes, her friends, the lessons, her after school activities, her basketball team’s efforts and victories, the exciting dance performance in the House Dance competition, Maths competition with other schools, older students’ support in the exam periods, among much more. She idolizes and loves all of AIS’s subject teachers, from music, drama, physical education to more academic subjects such as design technology, science, etc. I have since booked meetings with all the subject teachers at the teacher-parent conference after the first term to meet, greet and thank them. For my own curiosity, I also wanted to find out why my child loves them so much, and after meeting them all, I could see why, it was a great experience.
Right now, while typing this, I have received Mai Chi’s mid-term school report. Though there are few subjects that do not have a score yet, I am very happy with my daughter’s improvements and achievements. Mai Chi is also very happy with her results after all her hard work.
My family has been completely convinced by AIS. All doubts about “international schools being just for affluent, pampered children; or international school students study leisurely and will gradually become lazy, etc.” have all vanished.
Thank you AIS for giving my daughter a chance to study here. We do hope that she will always maintain a positive spirit and study attitude as well as her love for the school, teachers and friends.
We wish AIS staff and teachers all the best for the future and hope the school continues in its sustainable development and is always a reliable place for parents to send their children.
Ho Chi Minh City, 27th Nov 2020