Haruka’s Teaspoon of Change

Haruka, a 7th grader, took the initiative on her own to knit and sell items at the Winter Fair. She raised over 2 million VND for Blue Dragon.

Haruka approached Ms Kimberly Yash and Mr Colin Campbell to get things in motion, but it was 100% her idea, planning, time, and empathy that led to this great result. Her products were so popular that she had to take orders, and now has some loyal customers!

Leading by example and proving that you can make a difference on your own, Haruka has truly showed the learner profile of caring and is being the change we want to see in the world.

Our Alumni

Hauke Schmidt (Class of 2014) will be heading to Northern Ireland in June 2020 to complete the BT (British Telecom) Graduate Scheme’s Gradventure 2020 challenge, which includes a 40ft climbing wall, a 30ft unharnessed ‘ultimate leap of faith’ and a 5km mud run, in support for UNICEF.

Hauke recently joined BT’s Digital Engineering Graduate programme which offers four rotations in different digital teams over the course of 2 years. Hauke’s first rotation is in front-end development for the EE website.

Gradventure is an annual programme created and completed by graduates in the BT Graduate Scheme to fundraise for charitable causes. This year Hauke and other Gradventure 2020 Challengers set the ambitious goal of raising £60,000 to support UNICEF. Click here to follow and support Hauke.

Every week we feature a short profile or an activity from our global alumni community in Tin Tuc. UNIS Hanoi is connected to over 50% of all alumni students, families and faculty with our very own world wide web connecting UNIS Hanoi in the four corners of the globe!

Upcoming Events December 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020

December 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Winter Break

Saturday, December 28, 2019
Alumni Reunion in Hanoi
18:00 – 20:00
Hanoi Garden Restaurant – 36 Hang Manh, Hoan Kiem Dis., Hanoi

Monday, January 6, 2020
Back to school

Thursday, January 9, 2020
MS Girls and Boys Soccer vs ISV @ UNIS

Friday, January 10, 2020
JV Girls and Boys Basketball vs BVIS @ UNIS
Varsity Girls and Boys Basketball vs WIS @ UNIS

Saturday, January 11, 2020
HAC Varsity Basketball Tournament @ UNIS
Science Debate Competition

Happy Holidays!

From the Board of Directors

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I write to update you on some of the work the Board has been engaged in during the first half of this year.


One of the main duties and responsibilities of the Board is the fiscal stability of the School. We are committed to maintaining a secure financial foundation and transparency for our community. We are pleased to note the following; 

  1. Audit 2018-19: Ernst and Young have carried out last year’s audit and have declared the school’s financial reports to be in good order.  A copy of the summary report can be found here. UNIS’s Annual Report 2018-2019 will provide the summary financial overview. The Annual Report will be shared in the TinTuc throughout Semester Two.
  2. Budget planning 2019 -20: Our projected budget for this year was based on an enrollment figure of 1135 students. Current admissions data shows enrollment figures tracking higher than that figure with no budget adjustment required.
  3. Budget 2020-21: The Board has approved the budget for next year’s annual action plan based on a steady enrollment of 1145. This is a cautious figure as we  budget conservatively to ensure long term stability for the school. UNIS Hanoi remains the number 1 choice of new families relocating to Hanoi.

Tuition Fees Increase of 4.5%, Capital Fees remain at $3,000 (K2-G12)

The Board bases its budget decision on the School’s Values, Mission and Vision to ensure that the School honours its commitment to you and your children. Key to that commitment is recruiting and retaining highly qualified and experienced teachers and further developing our facilities in support of teaching and learning. Thorough benchmarking analysis of local and regional international schools as well as wider economic scans are used to determine the budget figures each year. Following review, a draft budget with a proposed 4.5% tuition increase for 2020-2021 was presented at our community meeting in November with capital fees to remain at $3,000 for grades K 2 – 12. These budget figures were subsequently approved at the 12th November Board meeting.

During the first half of this year the Board has concentrated its work on the following goals:

  1. Development of next Strategic Plan by May 2020
  2. Financial Oversight
  3. Governance Training and Leadership
  4. Fundraising Leadership 

None of this work would be possible without the dedication of Board, Committee and Task Force volunteers. I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and support. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season, and a healthy and happy New Year!

Amie Pollack, PhD.
Board Chair, 2019-2020

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of our leadership team I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone a wonderful Winter Break filled with health, peace and happiness.

I hope that you will all enjoy time with your family and friends, celebrating the end of a successful year and resting and rejuvenating for the start of a new one.

It has been a busy season of festivals and fun at School and I hope you enjoy some of these highlights from our Winter Service Festival with students from all Divisions working hard to help make a better world – the best gift anyone can give!

Warm regards
Jane McGee
Head of School

Air Quality Action Updates

As we head into our December Holiday, I would like to offer an update of various initiatives the School has started to address the elevated AQI levels we have been experiencing. 

  1. Tackling construction site burning: Members of our community have expressed concerns regarding the burning that is occurring on the construction site across the road from the school. UNIS is in close contact with Ciputra regarding the situation. The School has contacted the police and in some cases, this has resulted in a change in practice. As a further preventative measure, Ciputra has sent official letters to three different governmental agencies to seek assistance in stopping the burning with an emphasis on the impact on the health and wellbeing of those who reside, work and are educated in Ciputra..
  2. Planning for improvement: UNIS has contracted with a sustainable design expert. As a school, our goal is to ensure the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in all classrooms is under 50 throughout the day. In order to achieve this goal our buildings will require modifications. The contract is to analyze and test the impact of various classroom modifications on the level of IAQ. The testing is one more step in preparing a comprehensive plan that brings us closer to achieving our goal of maintaining healthy IAQ levels. 
  3. Daily classroom action: The School continues to actively monitor IAQ in the classrooms. This means the School has an employee assigned to watch the levels at all times during the school day. When the level in a classroom reaches 100 or the machine appears offline, an employee is dispatched to review the situation. If all doors and windows are closed and the students have not been outside recently, the employee takes a manual IAQ reading to ensure the microchip is working. If the readings match, further action is taken. The additional steps range from repositioning air purifiers to redirecting traffic flow through specific doors to adding additional air purifiers to the space.
  4. Improving data reliability: The UNIS reading has consistently been higher than the AQI reading throughout Hanoi and our immediate surrounding area. We have been reporting and using the ground reading while waiting for a new pump to be installed for our roof reader. 

We have put several other initiatives in place to support our work in developing a comprehensive response plan to the AQI. Our Health & Safety Committee is discussing the AQI action levels and various monitoring techniques (such as real time monitoring and ground vs roof levels), the divisional Principals have analysed the daily schedule to maximize the use of indoor space for recess, breaks, and lunches, our Activities Department is currently reviewing communication guidelines to support consistent implementation of practices across ASA’s and community programs, the sustainability committee is creating a dashboard to display indoor AQI readings and the School is conducting a facilities assessment that will help determine the feasibility of building modifications. 

And finally, a parent AQI Advisory Committee has been established. This committee has been created to lend a parent perspective to our plan, to learn from those who have been in locations with similar AQI issues and are aware of the response of comparable schools and to ensure ongoing communication and transparency.

We look forward to updating you further after the break.

Misty Shipley
Director of Finance and Operations

Dear Santa…

“I would like to make an Impact for a better world…”

As we head for the holidays, it would be wonderful to reward our amazing students and make their wishes for the world come true.

They have told us what they want – Solar Power and a Botanical Garden – Let’s make it happen together!

Please consider making your gift to the UNIS Impact Fund during Winter Break and we can announce to the students a significant show of solidarity and support for their ideas in the new year!
78% of the votes for the Impact Fund projects were from our students – Lets have at least that number of families supporting their projects!
We even have Diploma students engaging with project teams and ideas for Extended Essays with the projects! But we can only make an impact on learning with your help!
EVERY GIFT COUNTS and add up to create big funds! And we may be able to access external funding if we demonstrate significant solidarity as a community with high participation from our community.
If you would like to join one of the project task forces, email impact@unishanoi.org and we will welcome you as they develop in January with teams of students, faculty, staff and parents!
A big THANK YOU to our early givers who have already pledged their support in the first two weeks of our campaign!

A New Experience For The Huong La Children

Huong La Centre is an orphanage for physically disabled and developmentally delayed children which is an hour away from UNIS Hanoi. The Huong La Centre is one of UNIS Hanoi’s service learning partners. We have a high school service-learning group supporting Huong La, who meets on a weekly basis during the school day. 

Our Huong La service learning group visit the orphanage each year, and this year we wanted to provide an opportunity for the children at the Huong La Centre to experience a musical production at UNIS Hanoi. On December 7, 19 children from Huong La Centre came to UNIS Hanoi to watch the elementary school play Aristocats. This was an exciting experience for the children who really enjoyed the musical.

We would like to congratulate all of the elementary performers and crew for putting on a truly entertaining show and thank them for being so accommodating of our service learning group and the children of Huong La.

If you would like to support our service group, we will have a booth up at Spring Fair. 

Minh van der Wielen G10 Huong La Service Learning Leader
Audrey Hanson G10 Hunog La Service Learning Leader 

Helping Hands Service Group Trip to Sapa

Last weekend, the Helping Hands Service Group travelled to Sapa to provide the students from local schools in Sa Pa with clothing and food that had been donated by the UNIS and Hanoi community. Our goal was to make sure that the students had warm clothes for the winter as well as food for lunch so that they could stay at school throughout the day.

We went to Sa Seng school to deliver the clothes and organise the jumble sale. We organised clothing in piles based on warmth as we are in the middle of winter and the mountainous region of northern Vietnam are known to be much colder during the winter. The jumble sale was a success as all the clothes were put to use. We also provided the
students with rice and cooking oil so they would be able to have lunch at school.

We also went to Sin Chai school and also brought them rice and we saw that the computers that we had previously donated had enabled them to create a room dedicated to learning about using technology for students in grades 1-5.

This trip has been beneficial in understanding that every bit of help counts as we have seen an enormous development in the facilities of the Sin Chai school over the past 5 years. A big THANK YOU to all of you who supported Helping Hands!

UNISMUN- Meet The Secretary General!

The United Nations describes the Secretary General, also known as the S.G, as the chief administrative officer. UN underlines that the Secretary General is a symbol of United Nations ideals and a representative voice for the interests of people around the world.

The same applies for the position of Secretary General in the UNISMUN Conference. The S.G is entrusted with the responsibility of public relations and administrative tasks. They monitor all operations and oversee all Student Officers prior to and during the Conference. Being a Secretary General requires a lot of hard work and skills.

With that said, we are delighted for you to meet our Secretary General: Harrison Wallace.

A short introduction from the Secretary General:

My name is Harrison Wallace and I’m currently in grade 11. I joined MUN in Grade 9 as a way to broaden my knowledge on international affairs and to practice public speaking. After the first mock October conference, I was selected to be the crisis director. My job was to run a crisis simulation council during the March Conference. I had this role for two years before joining the MUN Leadership Team and becoming SG.

What are you hoping to achieve as a S.G?

As this year’s Secretary General I’m hoping to improve the general process in which we run the conference so that it runs smoothly as possible. I also hope to provide the best avenue for students from all sorts of schools to express their views under the guise of their respective delegations by providing them the necessary resources.

As of so far, how do you feel about our progress towards the conference?

This year we are making good headway towards the conference and by the time we meet up again after the December Holiday, there will be little work left to do. The delegates are working really hard to finish their policy statements as well as starting on their resolutions. I am very proud of where we are right now as a UNISMUN team.

What is your biggest challenge right now as a SG? 

Being Secretary General means that I’m one of the major points of information for almost a hundred rising delegates—some of whom have never been in MUN before. This means that I have to be prepared and have the knowledge to answer a wide array of questions.

What are your thoughts on the UNISMUN XII Conference theme: Cultural and Heritage Protection? 

This year’s theme is on cultural heritage protection and it’s a theme that I myself find important. As global warming and industrialisation rise, multiple priceless cultural sites and artifacts are being destroyed. Being a multinational school, I find that it’s of utmost importance to learn to respect and value all symbols of another’s culture.

Stay tuned for further updates! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us through the UNIS MUN Facebook Page.

Happy Holiday from the School Health Centre

Do not be in a daze these holidays. Be aware and be fair to your body. Get to know yourself and find the right balance for you.


This is a good time to deepen and clarify your love and family connections. Be a supportive friend, and ask for support if you need it. Take care of one another. Give it a try and your spirit will be calmed and can also fly free of the burdens of time.

Stay open to your creativity. Do new things to improve your health, such as a treatment like massage or trying new, healthy foods or climb Mt Everest.


Maintain your cornerstones of health. These include a good diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and minimal stress, including being able to relate well to family, friends, and co-workers.


Exercise. Exercise activity is crucial now as in any season. As the weather cools, stretching is even more important, as is having indoor exercises you can do. Yoga and other flexibility-enhancing exercises are helpful at keeping us feeling youthful. “We are as young as our spine is flexible.” A vital body gets sick less often. Also, meditate and explore your inner world and dreams in your restful and recharging sleep.

Use nutritional supplements. They can be used to support your health as well. Immune supportive nutrients may help you prevent common illnesses. Taking some echinacea now can be helpful. Taking vitamins C and E along with selenium and zinc daily can also offer some immune support and help clear your body of certain toxins.

Enjoy safe travels. Avoid dehydration and eat well, which may involve bringing water and appropriate food/snacks with you on the plane or in your car.  Plan your trip, be prepared. Good sleep, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and feelings of love and appreciation can also help support your immune system.

Take a rest. It is important to rest when you can because the holiday season can be demanding. Do not run down your batteries before December 31. Kindle your inner flame and firepower, which is protective from the invasion of harsh climates and germs. The winter blues comes partly from a loss of this fire energy. Shifting and balancing with the Seasons is vital to Staying Healthy.


Jo, Tess, and Lan Anh

Center For Talented Youth Testing at UNIS Hanoi

About the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

Recently representatives from Johns Hopkins University presented to parents about their Center For Talented Youth (CTY) programme. As part of the Johns Hopkins University, CTY conducts the oldest and most extensive university-based Talent Search worldwide. For qualified academically advanced students, CTY offers challenging summer, online courses, and family academic programmes.

If you missed the presentation, you can access the presentation at these links:

Talent Search

To be able to participate in the CTY programme, students will register with the CTY Talent Search. Participating in CTY’s Talent Search is an achievement in itself. Receiving a qualifying score allows your child to participate in CTY’s engaging summer and online programmes. Test options vary by grade level. One test that is accepted is the School and College Ability Test.

CTY-Administered SCAT Testing at United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS)

To provide additional testing options for CTY Talent Search students from UNIS, CTY will offer the following paper-based School and College Ability Test (SCAT) testing session for students in grade 2 or above in the school. The schedule is as below:

Date Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Time 15:15 – 16:45 (approximately 90 minutes)
Fee USD 158
(include $58 for Talent Search application and $100 test fee)
Venue To be confirmed, UNIS Campus

You can learn more about the SCAT and find sample questions here.

Registration Instructions for CTY-Administered SCAT Testing

 To apply for this CTY-Administered SCAT testing, follow the instructions at the links below and submit the application before Friday, January 3, 2020. Please note that there are three possible ways to apply, depending on whether you have previously registered with CTY.

Category of Student Link to CTY Administered Testing
New to CTY http://cty.jhu.edu/mytalentsearchnew
CTY student who has not yet registered for the 2019-20 Talent Search


(Please login as a Parent)

CTY student who has already registered for the 2019-20 Talent Search


(Please login as a Parent)

Note: Please provide the appropriate Testing Code 38037 in Step 5 under “CTY-Administered Testing” to register for the test. It is important that you use the correct testing code for the location and time you are selecting, otherwise your registration will not be processed correctly. See the example below:

Contact Details

Questions about CTY or Talent Search? Please email CTY East Asia or call (852) 31043494.

Any UNIS related questions, please contact Kimberly Yash kyash@unishanoi.org

Upcoming Events – December 7-15

December 2-12
Amazing Arts Auction @B10 Arts Centre
View the Art pieces: Artist Statements for Art Auction
Bid online here

Saturday, December 7
American College Test (ACT) for High School

SAT I & II for High School
B6 classrooms

ES Grades 2-3 Musical Production
15:00 – 16:00
Theatre, Centre for the Arts

Monday, December 9
JV Boys and Girls Basketball vs SPAS @ UNIS
16:00 – 17:30

MS Winter Concert
18:00 – 19:00
UNIS Theatre

Tuesday, December 10
MS Boys Soccer @ HIS
15:35 – 17:35
Xuan La Pitch

HS Winter Concert
18:00 – 19:30
UNIS Theatre

Wednesday, December 11
SCO Movie Night – Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Britain, 1979)
19:30 – 21:30
B07-104 – Community Room

Thursday, December 12
Winter Service Fair
17:00 – 19:00

FINAL BIDS – Amazing Art Auction Closes

Friday, December 13
Amazing Art Pick Up Day

MS Charity Fun Run
13:00 – 15:30

Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball @ CISH
15:35 – 17:35

Saturday, December 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Winter Break

From the Board of Directors

Thank you for participating in our Focus Group Discussions 

The Board would like to thank all those who participated in our focus group discussions with Strategic Consultant Dr Stephen Holmes last Thursday and Friday 28 & 29 November. Each focus group discussion considered the elements of an excellent school, the strengths of UNIS Hanoi now and desired attributes for the future. Specific focus group discussions included the following groups: school leadership, students, faculty, staff, Korean Parents, Japanese Parents, Vietnamese parents, all other parents, UN representatives, legacy parents (10+ years at the school), major donors and Alumni. 

The Board hopes to review a draft of the new strategic plan in the New Year with possible community review sessions to be scheduled after Tet. Please keep an eye on the Tin Tuc for next steps in this school wide strategic planning process. 

Best regards,

Amie Pollack
UNIS Hanoi Board Chair