APU American International High School: The Training Grounds for Future Global Citizens
APU American International High School

A school where the leaders are prompt in delivering, where the minds of students are challenged, and where students feel safe – produce citizens of a global community. Vietnam has come a long way in education and houses some of the excellent schools that practice these very principles.

APU American International School is one such independent, co-educational university preparatory day school with two campuses and boarding facilities located in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Since its inception in 2004, APU has continuously participated in the economic development of Vietnam by offering high-quality education to K-12 learners.

Following the success of Ho Chi Minh City’s campus, the institute is pleased to have opened the APU American International School in Da Nang City in 2015, which continues to provide the APU quality, exuberance, and brand in the Central region of Vietnam, opening its doors to more than 280 students, from ten different nationalities Also, for the 2020-2021 school year, APU American International School has launched the Bilingual Program.

APU American International School offers a boarding program for students who either do not live in Vietnam or students who want to participate in the boarding school experience. Its dormitory facilities are in a safe, secure, and captivating campus. 

Mission Statement:

APU is committed to providing a quality American education/experience in Vietnam. Its focus is on nurturing skills in communication, critical thinking, and creativity. APU empowers auto-didacts in athletics, 21 century skills, the arts, and of course, academic excellence. By making use of various academic pathways, APU creates international minded global citizens.


APU strives to develop positive, contributing members of the local and global community. As community members, students demonstrate concern, not only for their personal well-being but also for the well-being of others. Through problem-solving, empathy, altruism, and community service, APU inspires students to become global leaders.

APU Belief Statement – We believe:

Each student is unique, has distinctive learning styles and individual rates of development and requires a variety of teaching strategies.

Students learn best in an environment where leaders are prompt and prepared and that promotes care for others, acceptance of responsibility, where children are encouraged to work together and showing respect to others.

The minds of students are challenged by employing a curriculum that is dynamic and is responsive to the varying needs of the society.

Teachers and administrators are professionals who work continuously to upgrade their knowledge and engage in activities that enhance their effectiveness as educators.

Teachers and administrators are professionals who continually seek to develop innovative strategies that enrich the educational climate, whilst simultaneously upgrading their knowledge and engagement in activities that enhance their effectiveness as educators.

School personnel, students, parents, the entire community are in a harmonious partnership dedicated to demonstrating an active commitment to education.

Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs)

These are the expected skills and characteristics that students should have when they graduate:

Academic Excellence – Learning should promote personal academic growth and achievement with a focus on:

  • Creativity and critical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Self-motivated learning
  • Reflective Learning

Purpose – Student learning will focus on the purpose of emphasizing leadership, empathy, and responsibility.

Therefore, students will:

  • Exhibit personal responsibility, respectful conduct, and good citizenship
  • Will act in a safe manner and look out for the safety of others
  • Focus on collaboration, team building and sportsmanship
  • Develop skills of Global Leaders
  • Actively engage and contribute to the community

Understanding – Students should have an understanding of themselves, their role and responsibility in the world and therefore:

  • Exhibit a healthy lifestyle
  • Demonstrate resiliency
  • Maintain positive social, emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Develop a variety of interests and pursuits to live a balanced life

The Engaging yet Safe Accommodations

APU American International School offers a good boarding facility available for students who either do not live in Viet Nam or students who want to participate in the boarding school experience. Its dormitory facilities are located within five minutes walking distance from the school campus. Many senior staff members are appointed as dorm parents, and dormitory students also have a big brother or big sister that is appointed by the school. The dorm parents take quasi-parental responsibility for students in the house at all times, particularly outside school hours. All dorms have a lounge and kitchen area for students to socialize, do homework or make snacks. Each dorm bedroom houses either one or two borders. Each bedroom is furnished with twins or queen-sized beds, dressers, wardrobes, end tables and desks. The APU Student Life team works hard to make each dorm feel homey, secure and comfortable for our students.

The Veteran Chief

With the ambition of creating a learning environment in Vietnam that meets American standards, Dr. Binh Thy Binh Tran Nguyen (Dr. Binh Tran), the Superintendent of APU American International School, has spent more than 20 years at the forefront of the educational innovation sector in Vietnam. She continues to nurture generations of Vietnamese students who confidently prove themselves internationally. She likes to know each family and student personally, as she wants to see them succeed in their education goals.

Dr. Binh Tran has been able to secure millions of dollars in scholarships during the past several years to allow gifted scholars the chance to study at top rate institutions in the United States. Every year, she tries her utmost best to leverage APU’s relationships with her US partner universities to offer generous scholarships for the high performing graduates. So far, Dr. Binh Tran has guided and mentored more than 4,000 students on their career paths in the U.S. and many other countries around the world.

The Art of Engagement

Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and events include:

  • Extra-curricular club system, online sharing with other schools, holiday cultural celebrations, ‘School Spirit Week’, school community-based games involving teacher/student, advisory time, ‘out of school’ community volunteerism opportunities.
  • The elementary school has a traditional homeroom structure where the teacher is responsible for core content teaching and learning. Students stay together in all classes.
  • The secondary school has a “House System” that allows students to engage in extra-curricular activities with a school community group. There is a secondary school ‘student council’ to organize student activities and events.

Future Proofing

The Mission, Vision, and ESLR’s were developed to promote the school’s purpose, which was initially to provide a pathway to American education after high school, but now has developed into a grander ideal; to prepare students for continuing education in the United States, with the hope that many will return to Vietnam and take on leadership roles in the community for good.

  • Curriculum evaluation and implementation will focus on high expectations that will prepare students for future career and post-secondary learning.
  • Greater Pathways for individual learning were offered to the students.
  • SAT Math and English preparatory courses and TOEFL classes were offered to college bound students.
  • The foreign languages program was increased from Spanish and French, to include Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, German, and Vietnamese for foreign students.
  • The AP program was implemented with six courses: Calculus AB and BC, Computer Science Principles, Environmental Science, Human Geography, and World History.
  • The College Bridge Program was expanded to allow for a more diverse course catalogue, especially as more students began choosing this option in favor of moving to the USA due to Covid.

Aspiring to Make a Difference

As APU evolved, it became important to focus on the whole student, in academics, character development, and personalized learning. APU recreated its new vision; to create positive, contributing, community members, that will be future leaders both locally and globally, which the institute supports by providing community service and leadership opportunities within and outside of the school.

The school community will deepen its ability to articulate and foster growth toward the dreams of students and to provide equitable opportunities for everyone. It will seek to understand that one size does not fit all, and that individuality and an internal locus of control is a key component to connecting content and leaner goals.

Curriculum evaluation and implementation will focus on high expectations that will prepare students for future career and post-secondary learning, said APU’s administration.

“As a part of a targeted and continuous cycle of evaluation, we will be able to monitor teacher effectiveness leading to greater instructional engagement of learners. In addition, as part of our short-term goals we will develop individual learning plans for every student which will allow the school, students, and parents to plan a successful program of study from kindergarten to grade 12 and beyond,” concluded the astute leader of APU, Dr. Binh Tran.

Notable Achievements

  1. APU School has been accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED) for prekindergarten through twelfth grade.
  2. APU is a member of the College Board, and is authorized to offer the SAT, Advanced Placement (AP), PSAT and the ACT exams.
  3. The ELD Department became a member of the WIDA International School Consortium and has begun using the WIDA assessments to monitor progress and differentiate instruction for their ELL students. The ELD teachers also were trained on how to use the WIDA results to drive their instruction and give support for their ELLs.
  4. K-5 curriculum follows the CCSS and is taught in English. NGSS in science and AERO in SS, Grade 9 -12 course are college preparatory, including Advanced Placement.
  5. Every year, over 90% of APU Graduates receive scholarships from world’s well-established universities that include Canada, U.S, and Australian universities with a total value of more than five million US dollars. $20+ million in scholarships from top-ranked universities have been given to APU graduates this past year.

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