Meet Our Scholars

We are extremely proud of our Scholars who each have very different and individual stories, but they all have one thing in common, an overpowering desire to succeed and to give back to their country.

Enjoy Reading Their Stories...

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Meet Nam

  • Class of 2015
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2012-2013

In the five years that UNIS Hanoi has known Nam Nguyen he’s clocked up a lot of major achievements. The 21 year-old son of a motorbike taxi rider, Nam is the school’s first scholar, the third UNIS Hanoi student to ever achieve a perfect score in the IB Diploma and now he’s become the very first scholar to study at the prestigious Oxford University in the United Kingdom!

A modestly ambitious young man, his continued success, he says is as a result of the education he received at UNIS Hanoi. He adds, “I remain very grateful to UNIS Hanoi for the incredible opportunity they gave to me. I couldn’t have wished for a better High School environment and now looking back, it was a remarkable journey I was on that has helped me to go further than I could have ever imagined.”

Nam joined the Scholarship Programme back in 2012 and after graduating from UNIS Hanoi, he successfully won a full scholarship to study Computer Science and Economics at William’s College in the United States of America. As part of the course, he has been given the exclusive opportunity to study abroad this year, his third year at college, resulting in his current experience at Oxford University. In June 2017, Nam will return to the United States of America to complete his final year at William’s College. Slated to graduate from university in 2019, Nam hopes to become a financial analyst in the future.

Support students like Nam and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Phuong Ly

  • Class of 2016
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2013-2014

“The first year of college was kind of easy for me; it felt like the IB all over again” remarked a cheery and chatty Phuong Ly, UNIS Hanoi’s second scholar and a current college student. 

More fuller in the face and at ease, the young woman displays a new-found confidence that marks the transformation in her since she joined UNIS Hanoi as a shy Grade 10 student back in 2014.  Now a second year pre-med and international relations student at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, USA, Phuong Ly is blossoming in her foreign environment. Her optimistic disposition she says, is the result of her three years at UNIS Hanoi.

She continues, “As part of my course in international relations, I study a lot about society and I’ve learned that there are a lot of factors that can count towards a person’s success. When I think of my success I know that much of it is down to UNIS Hanoi.”

Phuong Ly explains, “Because of my parents’ condition, I could not have received much help from them, and because I was an entire newbie who didn’t know how to apply to college, I had to gain all of my knowledge from UNIS Hanoi. The School helped me get into college and I can’t think of anything more important than that. Because of UNIS Hanoi, I’m on track to becoming the doctor I always dreamed of being.”

In addition to equipping Phuong Ly with the skills to continue being academically successful, Phuong Ly says UNIS Hanoi has given her lifelong friends, people she’s still in touch with to this day.

She says, “UNIS Hanoi is so inclusive. It was a place where I never felt isolated, not once. The School is an awesome place because of its values and even though there are other international schools opening up, they are not UNIS Hanoi and that’s because they can never be as inclusive or as diverse as we know UNIS Hanoi to be. I wish to see UNIS Hanoi grow because I think as many students as possible should have access to the education and curriculum available at the School.”

Support students like Phuong Ly and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Linh

  • Class of 2017
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2014-2015

The very first time Linh Vu ever heard of Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates was less than a year ago. Before then, she did not know of its existence at all. But as a result of a full scholarship to NYU Abu Dhabi, she now finds herself living and studying there.

It’s a striking example of the world of opportunities the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship Programme offers outstanding, yet disadvantaged Vietnamese students.

And Linh Vu, a graduate of the Class of 2016 continues to make the most of her new found options. Never one to take risks before, Linh has recently determined to immerse herself in the Arabic culture, signing up for a college course in the language as part of her new resolve too. Her tenacity and willingness to live in an environment so stark from her own is the result of four transformative years at UNIS Hanoi - a fact she acknowledges. She says, “Being a part of UNIS Hanoi made me more confident and helped me find my value as a person. I learned that even during a time of struggle, I know that eventually everything will be okay and that comes from the confidence I’ve found within myself.”

For Linh Vu, her learning journey is far from over. “I’m still not sure what I’m going to do in the future, but I’m getting closer.” What she is certain of though, is that UNIS Hanoi has helped her bridge the gap between her previously narrow perspective as a Vietnamese student to a more international, open minded one. “I find I’m more open to accepting the differences in others than if I had remained in a local Vietnamese school.”

Although far away from home, Linh reports that her parents are very proud and grateful to UNIS Hanoi for the opportunities the School has given their middle child. “They are glad to see that I’m changing for the better” she confides.

Support students like Linh and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Lam

  • Class of 2017
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2014-2015

It would take four years of studying at an international school for Lam Luu to appreciate his Vietnamese heritage. Although born and bred in Vietnam, 18 year-old Lam confesses he didn’t hold his own country and people in high esteem, and desperately sought to escape Vietnam and shed his Southeast Asian identity. But after studying the IB Diploma Vietnamese course and immersing himself in UNIS Hanoi’s Vietnamese community, he slowly began to take pride in Vietnam’s history and culture, learning how the ‘old people’ fought for the freedoms he now enjoys.

Lam, a Class of 2017 graduate who has been awarded a full scholarship to study Art at the Yamanashi Gakuin University in Japan, is currently taking full advantage of his gap year, getting involved in an array of creative projects that include directing a musical, assisting in the organisation of Hanoi Pride and coordinating the logistics for designers for this year’s Vietnam International Fashion Week.

Looking back at his time at UNIS Hanoi, Lam says, “It’s been just a few months into my gap year and I have changed quite a lot already. I always knew UNIS Hanoi was a great place to study, especially Art, but I don’t think I appreciated how much the School transformed me until after graduation. I realize now that I can think critically, can reflect on things and I know how to connect with people and work with others to achieve better outcomes. UNIS Hanoi has turned me into the person I am today, and I’m grateful for that.”

Support students like Lam and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Linh

  • Grade 12
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2014-2015

If it were not for the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship Programme, Grade 12 student Linh Nguyen believes that by now she would have been forced to give up her education and get married.

She explains, “Last summer, during a charity expedition I went on, I met a young girl who was in the same situation I was, desperate to stay on in school but without the means to do so. I realized the girl, Mo, was just like me, but unlike me she has not managed to find the money, and I recently heard that she got married instead. It scares me that that could have been me.”

She continues, “The only difference between myself and Mo is that she gave up on her education dream while I decided to apply to UNIS Hanoi and I’m so glad I did. UNIS Hanoi was my only option. My family could not have even paid for a public High School for me and so I probably would have given up too. Now, three years on, I’ve grown from being a shy girl who could barely understand her teachers or barely talk to other students to becoming a girl who has the power to help others.”


A bright and enthusiastic student, Linh has contributed significantly to the UNIS Hanoi community, establishing the well known Pet Rescue Service Learning programme at the School. Borne from her love of animals, Linh persuaded the School Administration to adopt her initiative two years ago in a bid to put an end to the dog and cat meat trade as well as to offer shelter and medical care to abandoned pets. Under her leadership, as many as 14 UNIS Hanoi students club together every year to work alongside the Hanoi Pet Rescue Shelter to save a multitude of stray dogs and cats. In addition, Linh has made a name for herself in Hanoi as a key organiser and chairperson for Vietnam’s Model United Nations programme. Participating in as many as 17 MUN events, Linh has received accolades such as ‘Best Delegate’, a nod to the passion for debate she displays.

And now with college in her reach, Linh continues to make strides towards her ultimate dream - studying communications and human development in the United States of America, after which she hopes to return to her home country to dedicate her life to making the wishes of underprivileged children come true.

Linh is the first recipient of the Bitexco Founders Scholarship, created by the generosity of a UNIS Hanoi family.

Support students like Linh and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.


Meet Anh

  • Grade 11
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2014-2015

After four years of learning at UNIS Hanoi, Grade 11 student, Anh marvels at the way in which education can transform lives.

She said, “From a beggar to someone with a stable role in society, from a social outcast to someone whose own skills and values are respected by the community, from someone damaged and hopeless to someone who shows people how to avoid the same destiny, from someone imprisoned and enslaved to someone who is free. I have found it is all possible with the correct and suitable education.”

The talented writer and longstanding member of the School’s Model United Nations team, Anh reveals that simply being a student at UNIS Hanoi has made her a ‘different person’.

She continued, “It is through UNIS Hanoi that I have come to know some of the most important people in my life, that I get to study subjects that I truly am passionate about and that I get to freely be who I am. I have encountered life lessons that will influence me much later on. And for that, I am grateful. I am grateful for the opportunities, for being accepted, for just existing, for everything.”

Support students like Anh and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.


Meet Giang

  • Grade 11
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2015-2016

Grade 11 student, Giang Nguyen describes her three year experience at UNIS Hanoi as learning to think ‘in a different box’. For Giang, there’s no other school that compares to UNIS Hanoi, a place where she’s changed from a ‘one dimensional person to an international student who knows how to empathize with people around the world.’

As a result of her broadened horizons, Giang now dreams of impacting the world around her by becoming a psychologist and addressing the severe lack of mental healthcare in Vietnam.

She says, “Being at UNIS Hanoi has changed my life completely. I’ve changed the way I think, which has affected the kind of future that I want to have. Back in the old days, I used to imagine myself as a literature teacher in a normal school, or maybe an author of a book or creator of a magazine for teenagers. However, UNIS Hanoi’s learning system has put me on a different path. So, I don’t want to be a local teacher anymore; I now want to do something that is bigger; something that isn’t just about myself only, but also about the community. I want to do something to help women and children’s mental health. This issue is an essential issue in Vietnam nowadays with real and serious effects on daily life. I want to be one of the first people to find solutions to improve the mental health of women and children and to also raise people’s awareness about this problem.”

With her passion for community service, underpinned by her academic abilities, Giang is on track to impact Vietnam in remarkable ways.

Support students like Giang and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.


Meet Ngan

  • Grade 11
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2014-2015

With the 2017-18 academic year in full swing, Grade 11 student, Ngan Phung describes her first year of the IB Diploma programme as “pretty tough”.

Studying Higher Level Economics, Vietnamese and Chemistry, and Standard Level English, Film and Mathematics, Ngan says she’s learning to organize herself and her studies.

“You have to be an independent learner to survive the IB Diploma” she says. The daughter of a labourer and tailor, Ngan recognises that the skills she has been taught as a student at UNIS Hanoi has built up her confidence and made her a responsible learner who is keen to complete her IB Diploma to the best of her abilities. With high hopes of studying in Canada or the UK straight after graduation, Ngan reveals her three years at UNIS Hanoi have been life-affirming.

She explains, “It has become clear to me that a successful education values diverse angles and that is the approach here at UNIS Hanoi. I remember that two years ago, achieving good grades just by memorizing information for tests was the only way I knew education to be. I didn’t know what critical thinking was and I didn’t know what Service Learning was or how to socialize with people around me.

“UNIS Hanoi has given me an opportunity to discover all of that and to be creative and open minded. I am proud that I will one day give my family a brighter future and it is such an honor for me to be in a position to be able to contribute to my society in a profound way.

Support students like Ngan and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Ha

  • Grade 10
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2015-2016

In just three years, Grade 10 student, Ha Nguyen has evolved from a timid child to an incredible young achiever. A consistent name on the School’s Principal’s List, Ha has gained stellar academic success, on a scale grander than she ever dared imagine. This year, her hard work continues to pay off, especially in English, a subject she’s taking as a first language course - a remarkable feat for a student whose second language is English. Alongside her academic successes, she’s excelling on the sporting field too, as captain of the School’s MRISA Volleyball team.

For Ha, her life at UNIS Hanoi has certainly opened doors, giving her opportunities and experiences she never knew existed until she arrived at the School. Hungry for more, Ha is determined to try her hand at everything. She comments, “When I first came to UNIS Hanoi, I loved math. Then I discovered volleyball and found that I was good at that too. This year, I’m taking choir and I’m planning to try out for APAC soccer in the Spring. Each year I am here, I have found I have talent in a lot of subjects that I didn’t know of before. I want to continue taking part in more activities and more Service Learning programmes. Right now, I’m part of the UNIS Hanoi Ambassadors team, helping organise the Winterfest, Spring Fair and meeting new students, which is something I enjoy doing because I understand the feeling of being a new student too.”

Looking back on her time at the School, Ha believes UNIS Hanoi has taught her to take risks. She explains, “Now when I attempt challenging things, I’m no longer scared to fail. I always try to do my best in assessments, but when I don’t get a good result, I use the experience as something I can learn from and reflect on.”

When asked what the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship Programme has given to her and her fellow scholars, Ha replies, “There’s an old proverb: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. Put simply, UNIS Hanoi has taught me to fish.”

Support students like Ha and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Mo

  • Grade 9
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2016-2017

In her short time at UNIS Hanoi, Mo Nguyen has become so inspired by her teachers that she now aspires to emulate them by becoming an international teacher herself. The youngest child of a widow, Mo joined UNIS Hanoi only last year but she’s clearly thriving in her new environment.

“The education I receive at UNIS Hanoi has changed my life” proclaims Mo. She continues, “If you ask me why the world should value education then my answer is because it’s important for everything we do in life. A lot of Vietnamese students or even students in other countries think that education is only about memorizing a test instead of learning for fun. But I now know that education is so much more than that. Education is important because we all have something that piques our interest and sometimes we crave to learn more about a certain topic. It’s fun because it teaches us all about so many different topics we never thought we could ever learn about. Also, it takes us traveling because we learn about different places and cultures from around the world. What’s more, I know that I can achieve my dream if I’m passionate enough and I don’t give up. That’s the precious opportunity that education at UNIS Hanoi has given me.”

Support students like Mo and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Ly

  • Grade 9
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2017-2018

Ask fifteen year-old Ly what her future would be like if the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship Programme didn’t exist and she’ll bluntly tell you: “I know that my mother and stepfather would not be able to afford all the extra costs of a local high school education and by the time I reach university age my young half brother would be in school and to make sure he has an education, I would have had no choice but to drop out and get a job.”

But thankfully, because of the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship the decision between continuing her education or allowing her brother to get an education no longer needs to be made. Seeing the programme as a lifeline, Ly was inspired to apply after her former classmate, Mo successfully joined a year earlier.

“I was already receiving financial support through my previous school and my teachers knew that I would benefit from a scholarship programme at UNIS Hanoi just like Mo did.”

Twelve months later, Ly finds herself in the same Home Base as her former class monitor and friend, Mo, who has helped her learn the ropes. Ly said, “It has been really helpful to have Mo here. Because she’s been through what I’m going through, and so she’s been able to advise me and encourage me. But as my English improves, so does my confidence. I also know that there are many interesting things that I have not yet discovered, but I know I will and soon, because UNIS Hanoi education is absolutely what I have been waiting for for so long.”

Support students like Ly and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet My Linh

  • Grade 8
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2017-2018

New to the UNIS Hanoi community this year is 14 year-old My Linh Ngo. A native of Hanoi, My Linh has long dreamed of being a student of UNIS Hanoi - a school she grew up in the shadows of.

Sharp and brimming with enthusiasm, it’s clear that My Linh still cannot believe her good fortune. She shares, “I can’t express how it felt to receive this scholarship. This is the first time I have ever achieved something this big. Until this moment, I never believed I was good enough in anything, but being accepted onto this programme has made me feel that I am good enough. Now I feel more confident and I know that I can do everything!”

And ‘everything’ is exactly what My Linh has set out to do. Since coming to UNIS Hanoi, My Linh has experienced many firsts - her first time on a residential school trip, her first time swimming and her first time touching a volleyball. It is also the first time she’s been in a diverse environment, making friends with people from all over the world.

The aspiring psychologist says UNIS Hanoi has welcomed her with open arms. She adds, “I really like the teachers here who help me and support me. They spend time with me which makes me feel like I’m not alone."

Support students like My Linh and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

Meet Phuc

  • Grade 8
  • Joined UNIS Hanoi 2017-2018

Joining UNIS Hanoi was a calculated move for young mathematical whiz, Phuc Phung. Fully aware that his parents’ predicament hampered his chances of a secondary school education, Phuc took matters into his own hands, researched scholarship opportunities and discovered the UNIS Hanoi scholarship programme online.

As he researched the programme and discussed it with his mother and his teachers, Phuc discovered a peculiar connection - his math teacher once taught the boy who became UNIS Hanoi’s very first scholar, Nam Nguyen. Spurred on even more to succeed, Phuc reached out to Nam for advice.

He shares, “Nam was very encouraging and told me to go for it. I’m so pleased I did. I find the teachers here are nice and they guide me and encourage me. For the first time in my life, I also get to interact with a lot of foreigners which is great. The Scholarship programme is very important for children like me who may not have had any other chance to develop their skills.”

Support students like Phuc and Make a Gift Today for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship.

  • United Nations International School of Hanoi
  • G9 Ciputra
  • Tay Ho
  • Hanoi, Vietnam
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