unis hanoi 30 year anniversary

30 Years of Learning to Inspire

In 1988 UNIS Hanoi opened its doors for the first time, welcoming 13 students into the borrowed classrooms of a local high school.

Today UNIS Hanoi celebrates serving its community for 30 years and welcomes daily to our purpose built campus more than 1100 student from more than 70 nationalities.

Read more in Our Brief History.

2017-2018 was a year to remember with not only the School's 30th Birthday to celebrate, but also 40 years of Viet Nam in the United Nations, our 20th Graduating Class and the 10th and final year of the School's longest serving Head of School, Dr Chip Barder.

30th Birthday Blast!

This was the year that UNIS Hanoi celebrated 30 Years of Learning to Inspire, and what a year it was!

It all started on the ‘first day of school’ which in 1988 was on September 19, and so we took that day to kick off our year-long celebrations. Phelix, our phoenix mascot, got the party swinging, and the students who share the same birthday with UNIS Hanoi did the honours by blowing out the candles on our giant cupcake creation!

pep rally in hanoi

students blowing out candles in hanoi

No sooner were the candles blown out, then students, faculty and staff, all dressed in blue, were choreographed into position for the official birthday photo marking the start of a most memorable year! (See photo at the top.)

Throughout the year birthday reminders punctuated our activities, including the world premiere performance of a new School anthem, specially commissioned with the support of the School Community Organisation. Middle and High School students worked with composer Dr Corey Cunningham in a collaborative project which focused on unusual harmonies to celebrate the cultural diversity of our community. One hundred and fifty-six musicians and choristes performed “Gathered Here From Every Place” just before the Tet holiday.

And the next show-stopping community event was our Spring Fair Birthday Party!

Record breaking crowds of more than 4,000 people poured onto campus to enjoy games, activities and food from around the world, with 15 different cultural tables serving up national dishes from every corner of the globe. Our festival stage entertained all day with a fantastic programme, and the special day was coordinated for the community by more than 120 volunteers. All that community power raised more than $39,000 USD to support community events, project grants and charities.

unis hanoi 30 year anniversary event

The year’s birthday celebrations culminated in a special 30th Birthday Ball which saw the Sheraton Hotel ballroom transformed by a kaleidoscope of Hoi An lanterns, representing the United Nation’s multi-coloured Sustainable Development Goals! Our UNIS Hanoi dragon kicked off the evening, which featured Cabaret performances from our talented students, parents, faculty and Dr Barder himself!

students dragon play

cake cutting

Last but not least, in honour of both our 7th Head of School and the School's commitment to the future of Vietnam we set goal to raise $350,000 USD in 2017-2018 to create a 10 year Dr Charles Barder Scholarship Fund, investing in outstanding local students from disadvantaged backgrounds as future leaders in business, arts, politics and development.

With the generous support of our community we surpassed that goal with $356,143 USD from 245 gifts, from families, faculty, staff and alumni. More than 40% of our community took part in creating this success through direct giving or participating in our FUNd Run! 

A toast to 30 Years of Learning to Inspire and a toast to the next 30!



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