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Fethke Family - British International School HCMC

The Fethke Family

In 2014 the Fethke Family relocated from the Czech Republic to Ho Chi Minh City with the German technology company Bosch. They have 4 daughters who at the time of the move were 3, 10, 12 and 13 years old. After 5 years in Vietnam, the family have recently returned to Germany. Here we speak to mum Gundi about her family’s experience of life in Vietnam.

How did you choose an international school in Ho Chi Minh City?

Upon our move to Ho Chi Minh City in 2014, we initially struggled with choosing the school that would best fit the needs and wants of our children. We ended up registering our daughters in different international schools around Ho Chi Minh City but after the first academic year (Summer 2015), our second born daughter Victoria switched to the British International School HCMC. Victoria had a highly positive experience at BIS leading us to move Letizia and Anna soon after. 

After five years in Ho Chi Minh City and experiencing more than one international school in the city, we can say with great confidence that BIS HCMC belongs to the top schools both locally and internationally and was the school that best fostered our children's abilities.

The Fethke Family - British International School Ho Chi Minh City

You say BIS belongs to the top schools in Ho Chi Minh City and beyond. Why is that?

The state-of-the-art facilities that BIS provides and the well-integrated use of technology in the classroom enrich students' learning and independent inquiry skills. These attributes have profoundly shaped our daughters' development. Not only did they enjoy learning and made great progress academically, but they also grew into the well-rounded, critically-thinking, open-minded individuals they are today.

An important part of this were the numerous extracurricular opportunities that they had access to; competing in international FOBISIA sports competitions, debating global issues in Model United Nation (MUN) conferences, engineering miniature F1 cars for the F1 in Schools World Finals, performing in school plays and the choir, founding a sustainability club, hosting a dark matter research workshop, involvement in community service activities such as visits to Go Vap Orphanage, Clean Up events and Tet shoebox collections to name just a few!

  • The Fethke Family - British International School Ho Chi Minh City
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  • The Fethke Family - British International School Ho Chi Minh City
  • The Fethke Family - British International School Ho Chi Minh City
  • The Fethke Family - British International School Ho Chi Minh City

Another unique aspect of the BIS curriculum are the school trips such as those to Con Dao, Da Lat, Thac Ba, Hong Kong and the Philippines, that truly show that learning at BIS goes beyond the classroom. These experiences have equipped our daughters with the confidence, passion and independence that will be crucial for their future studies and life.

The Fethke Family - British International School Ho Chi Minh City

After five years in Ho Chi Minh City and experiencing more than one international school in the city, we can say with great confidence that BIS HCMC belongs to the top schools both locally and internationally and was the school that best fostered our children's abilities.

Finally, the university preparation at BIS is fantastic; there are regular talks and fairs of university representatives from all over the world and the university guidance counsellors work closely with the students on their applications.

All of the above culminated in our daughter Victoria graduating from BIS with an outstanding IB Diploma result, which has led her to study Physics as a Vagelos and World Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university in the USA.

How would you describe the teachers at BIS?

The BIS teachers at both the Primary and Secondary Campus are both competent and committed, implementing the most up-to-date pedagogical approaches. Our children received frequent feedback and guidance from teachers enabling them to develop academically, socially and emotionally. In fact, all staff members at BIS are very friendly. The school management is very approachable and helpful with any concern and the teachers always have an open ear for the concerns of students and parents.

  • The Fethke Family - British International School HCMC
  • The Fethke Family - British International School HCMC
  • The Fethke Family - British International School HCMC

How would you describe the sense of community at BIS?

The sense of community at BIS is very strong and unique; you feel comfortable all-around at this school. The parent-teacher organisation enables parents to become involved in the community. The celebrations of the national Tet holiday, Family Day, International Day and the annual Christmas BISzaar are always a highlight.

  • The Fethke Family - British International School HCMC
  • The Fethke Family - British International School HCMC
  • The Fethke Family - British International School HCMC

Describe life in HCMC…

Life in Ho Chi Minh City is varied and exciting.

There are a diverse number of local and international restaurants that prepare excellent food at reasonable prices. The variety of leisure activities is unlimited: learning how to play instruments, theatre, singing, sports activities, etc. We also found the Vietnamese people to be very friendly and helpful; hospitality has a high value here. 

Transportation such as taxis or grabs are cheap and you can safely move from one place to another. Riding a scooter is also quite easy, especially if you stay in District 2.

Through joining Facebook groups, it is very easy to find connections with like-minded people and source information about upcoming events in the city, the opening of new locations and ongoing relevant news concerning the neighbourhood. 

One of the biggest advantages of living in HCMC is that travelling around South East Asia and the Southern Hemisphere is extremely easy. In just 5 years, we had the opportunity to see many of the beautiful places the world has to offer including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Australia and New Zealand. We are beyond grateful for these experiences.

How did you feel leaving Vietnam?

Packing our bags in Vietnam after having lived there for the past 5 years to move back to Germany was associated with a smiling and teary eye. We sadly had to say goodbye to many friends from all around the world, the delicious delicacies of the culinary variety and the tropical heat.

Being back in Germany, we've realised how much we've missed the lush green meadows and soothing forests in Europe, the numerous cycling and hiking trails as well as the spontaneous weekend trips to the restful and refreshing nature.

The Fethke Family - BIS HCMC

We will spend the next years in Ludwigsburg, in the South of Germany close to Stuttgart. Two of our daughters are already attending universities: one in Rotterdam and the other in Philadelphia. Our younger two daughters have integrated back into the German school system very well and easily found new friends.

We are very grateful for the uncountable lovely memories we've made with all the people we met at the British International School that helped form our beautiful and adventurous experience in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Fethke Family

Admissions Team - BIS HCMC

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