The Power of Music

With no exaggeration, I would be willing to say that this was the best APAC experience I’ve ever had. Referring to the fact that it was the first time we had such a large travelling group, the APAC festival was beyond what anyone could’ve expected.

Being surrounded by high school students who had the same interests and was serious when approaching music, being taught by school teachers who have expertise for specific instruments, and being conducted by an amazing conductor, it provided everyone an unforgettable experience.

Playing songs from either a Japanese composer or from a Japanese theme allowed me to sink into the Japanese culture. However, also, playing a variation of a Korean folk song was very meaningful as it was a variation from my own nation.

On the first day, everyone started introducing themselves to their stand peers by what their names were and how many years they have played their instrument for. The special thing about this APAC event was that everyone was friendly and talented. By lunch, everyone had become friends and knew what they were doing. It felt amazing to be around high school musicians, who came from different parts of the world, who would come together and play the same song we all had practiced in our individual schools. At the end of the day, everyone was exhausted from all the playing, that once we got to our homestays, we directly fell asleep.

On the second day, everyone started to have sore and fatigued lips and was physically tired. To this, the conductor was very considerate and allowed us to take longer and more frequent breaks. Those breaks were meaningfully spent with some people having the chance to rest their mouths from all the playing, whilst some people used the time to either practice challenging parts in their music or match up their duet. After the practice, we had a group trip to Dotonbori. Through a 1 hour bus trip, all the APAC students were given the opportunity to walk around and enjoy themselves for 2 hours. During this time, everyone took numerous photos with the “Running man”, ate a lot of Japanese street food, and had a chance to shop. Everyone were carrying large bags filled with presents for their friends and family along with foods to enjoy once they went back to their home countries.

No one couldn’t believe that it was already the third day and our very final day of APAC Band. Our day was filled with practices making last minute changes to our playing till perfection.

Then, finally, the time for our final performance came.

The lights went on, there was a large audience, and everyone was sitting in their seats with their instruments wearing each of their unique school concert dresses. All the hard work paid off during our last performance. Challenging parts of the piece were played with perfection, and everyone was able to just enjoy the time playing together as one.

Once the concert was over, no one wanted to leave the auditorium. It was filled with hugs, people taking pictures, and especially students exchanging social media accounts! Everyone was talking about how they wanted the APAC Band event to be extended just a few more weeks and expressed how they wanted to stay longer. It was fascinating on how a single event could make strong bonds between people. It was amazing how music allowed me to become friends with people I’ve never met, or become closer friends with people I’ve met in past APAC Band experiences or other events.

Through this experience, I was able to realize how meaningful these experiences can be. Individually, I feel like this opportunity was more special as I was given the opportunity to play the solo for “Loch Lomond”. Playing as a solo within a large group was frightening but the sense of achievement that came afterwards was immense. The APAC event not only taught me how to play music with numerous people as one whole large group, but more importantly, it allowed me to realize how music could act as a bridge in creating strong bonds with people you have never met before.

“APAC band this year was a fantastic experience. We all had so much fun meeting new people and learning valuable skills on our instruments. I feel that I have improved immensely!” Hana Fuji Bennet, Grade 12

I am really looking forward for APAC Band next year, as much as it will be a “Super APAC” where all 12 schools will be attending. I can’t imagine the sound that will be created with all those musicians around me playing one song together as one.

I want to give a special thank you to Mr. DallaGrana for giving his time and effort in guiding us towards the APAC event. I also congratulate my fellow peers, especially if this is your first APAC, but mostly to the seniors! I will miss you all very much and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to fill in your shoes.

Thank you all for making this such an unforgettable experience.

Jinny SHIN, Grade 11

Turn Up and Support UNIS Hanoi Phoenix Team

Do not miss the important sports event coming up! Please join our UNIS Hanoi team on the days at the following locations/events and show your Phoenix spirit:

UMA Concert @ UNIS Hanoi Centre for the Arts, 13.30-16.30, Saturday 2 March

Aquathlon (Sunday, 3 March, 13.00-15.30)

JV Boys Soccer vs BIS @ UNIS Ha Noi (Monday, 4 March, 16.00-17.30)

JV Girls Soccer vs BIS @ UNIS Ha Noi (Monday, 4 March, 16.00-17.30)

JV Girls Soccer vs ISV Varsity @ ISV (Wednesday, 6 March, 15.30-17.30)

Phoenix Cup – HS 11’s Soccer Tournament (Saturday-Sunday, 9-10 March)

UNIS Hanoi Badminton Invitational (Saturday, 9 March)


MS Production: Homework Eats Dogs And Other Woeful Tales

Are you ready for the super amazing MS production performance Homework Eats Dogs And Other Woeful Tales by Alan Haehnel on March 22 & 23?!

“For science teacher Douglas Kobekeaneski, there’s nothing greater than “The Hour of Desperation,” that magical hour before his immensely important, grade-devastating assignment is due. Each year, his students frantically scramble to come up with their method of escape — and this year is no exception, as they trot out a litany of outrageous excuses, including the greatest of them all: My homework ate my dog.” –

This year we are going digital and haven’t used a banner since this production is a low-waste production, following the SDGs. We have been recycling all the props and using recycled paper as posters, not creating new plastic banners, and we are using handstamps instead of paper tickets.

Tickets will go on sale on March 12 at the canteen during MS lunch for 80,000VND!

We hope to see you there!

Written by
Emily Pham (G7)
Ye In Oh (G7)

MRISA Girls Soccer: A Journey to Victory

From the first day of the season until the end, MRISA Girls soccer team has worked extremely hard as one unit out on the field. The long lasting journey to our victory in the MRISA tournament was not an easy one; it was filled with sweat and tears that all came together in the end, resulting in a great achievement. The team traveled to Vientiane International School in Laos from the 20th of February to the 24th, and came back home with a gold medal of pride and dedication around each of our necks.

The season started off with our strong leaders; Misaki and Sophia as captains, and our coach, Coach Coleman, having our backs throughout our journey no matter what. Our team had 4 returners; the captains, Ngoc, and Caitlin, and 8 players who were new to MRISA Soccer – Abi, Beeke, Elione, Jada, Kim, Lily, Michelle, Ngoc, and Saki.

The first few practices didn’t quite meet our expectations, as we were all still new to playing in this team. As time went by and we started to improve, we grew not only as individual players but also came together as one team. With multiple repetitions of the same drills; passing and moving to space, shooting off a pass, and ball controlling footwork, our dedication towards the sport never stopped.

All those practices continued with countless numbers of sprints, burpees, lunges, and strength-agility training. The circuit workout that we included in a couple of our practices helped us immensely during games by emphasizing on endurance, flexibility, and speed. Even during school holidays, our team would encourage each other to stay in shape and exercise regularly.

On January 19th, our team participated in the Hanoi Athletic Conference (HAC) Tournament. Returning with a first place trophy, for both the girls and the boys’ team, we knew that we were ready for the challenge we were about to face; MRISA Junior Soccer tournament in Vientiane International School. We were all nervous. We were all anxious. But none of those feelings stopped the fire of determination burning inside us; because most of all, we were ready to win.

Arriving in Laos, our whole team was exhausted from the delayed flight and lack of sleep. However, we knew nothing could stop us, even the stifling atmosphere since this was part of what we had to fight against; and part of what we’ve been working towards.

Our first game started at 8:30 am, playing against the Saigon South International School (SSIS). With a very close game winning 1-0 and beautiful passing by midfielders Misaki, Sophia, Caitlin and Ngoc, we were now facing one of our biggest competition; Vientiane International School, the host school of the tournament. Seeing the signs and hearing the chants of supporters all rooting for VIS, this game might’ve been one of our toughest challenges. With our careful passes and communication that we’ve been establishing throughout the season, after two long 20 minute halves, we were able to beat the team by 1-0 after a top left corner shot by Caitlin. With a mixed emotion of relief and excitement, we were now against the International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP), one of our strongest opponents. Thanks to our teamwork, Abi and Lily’s speed in the midfield to keep the ball away from our goal, and coach’s guidance, we beat them by 3-1. After a long day of playing 3 games, we were ready for whatever the second day had to bring.

We were off to a great start for day 2, winning our first game against Hanoi International School (HIS) by 2-0. This is the game when our strong defenders Michelle, Saki, Beeke, and Elione really started to blend with the offense to not only keep the ball out of our goal area, but also set up attacks on goal. After beating the ISPP-B team by 4-0 and Ngoc adding her first goal to the mix, we were now first seed after the round robin. We went into the third and final day of the tournament, undefeated.

Our opponent for the semifinals game was SSIS. We were all dripping in sweat already in the first 10 minutes, with blinding sunlight directly in our eyes. Even after the third quarter, the scoreboard showed the point of 0-0, haunting us with nervousness. Both teams were eager to advance into the finals. We had to show that UNIS Ha Noi girls wanted it more. With 2 seconds remaining in the game, our last, fading hope was now shining towards us when we got a free kick due to the handball of the other team. Each one of us praying and waiting for our hope to be turned into a reality, after the sound of the referee’s whistle, Sophia took the shot. The strong shot went right into the goal, and the buzzer telling us that the game ended was also a sign that we were now in the finals.

Right before our finals, our coach called us all for our last huddle. “I’ve never coached a team this supportive, committed, intelligent, and bring the best out of each other. I love being your coach.” With the emotional words from our coach, as we all held back our tears we screamed, “Phoenix on 3! 1, 2, 3, Phoenix!”

We were now off in the field, playing our last ever game of the season. Everything we’ve worked on throughout this season was for this moment. We were all sprinting, calling for passes, defending our goal, and just giving our best out there. With Sophia’s early shot and our great midfield plays, we were leading the game with 1-0. Thanks to our great defenders always stealing the ball and our amazing goalie, Jada, blocking every single shot in the game including a late penalty that could have sent us into golden goal overtime, being the MRISA champion was now an attainable dream. After the second half when the buzzer went on telling us the game ended, we all ran up to each other hugging and screaming, “We won! We did it! We’re the champions!”

Thanks to each one of our hard work and commitment towards the team, and most importantly, our coach’s dedication to improving us as a team, we were able to get to where we are right now. Our victory was not only represented by the gold medal, but also as a sense of achievement and teamwork.

MRISA MS Boys Football Season Wrap-Up

With four returning players from last year’s team, and seven new players,  the team quickly got to know each other, on and off the field, and developed a strong and energetic team spirit.  This positive spirit was a real highlight of the season and the cornerstone of a fantastic season which saw us come first in the Hanoi Activities Conference (HAC) and second place at the MRISA tournament held in Vientiane Laos last weekend.

During the season, they qualified for the finals day of the HAC season, where they defeated BIS, BVIS and St Paul’s American School on the way to claiming the HAC title. Special mention for Segdae, Dafydd, Aoi and Nam for superb performances.

Our MIRSA tournament was very enjoyable, we were hosted by students at Vientiane International School and players were able to renew old friendships. The relationships and connections that are created between players of different schools is very special and a very valuable part of the experience for our students.

With temperatures between 35-38 degrees celcius in Vientiane, it was hot going and hydration and cooling down were crucial parts of our preparation.  We won all 5 of our round robin games with special mention to August, Harald and Tyson for outstanding performances that showed a lot of dedication and enormous improvement during the season. UNIS Ha Noi played quality passing football and scored 22 goals and conceded 0 leading into the finals day. Nico, Julius and Aoi contributed very well to the team and also had stand out performances.

After defeating ISPP in the semi final we prepared for the final against SSIS at 15.30 in the heat of the day. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and after a scoreless game we went into Golden goal extra time. SSIS played really well and score a long range goal which ended the final immediately and we had to settle for 2nd place.  We learnt a lot from the tournament and experiences throughout the season and built a terrific camaraderie which the players should be very proud of.

Rory and Ruben were named in the tournament All Star team which was well deserved after and outstanding tournament where they showed they have a very high level of football skill and awareness.

UNIS Hanoi Met St Paul for Junior Tennis Matches

Saturday February 23 saw the latest junior tennis matches played between St Paul’s school and UNIS Ha Noi.

We were just about beating the wet weather and thanks to our operations staff assistance the tennis courts were playable. In 2 hours of play over 30 matches were completed with UNIS Hanoi winning more than 80% of the matches. Well done to the Middle and High school students involved.

There will be another event similar to this one in March so we look forward to that.

Turn Up and Support UNIS Hanoi Phoenix Teams

Do not miss the important sports event coming up! Please join our UNIS Hanoi team on the days at the following locations/events and show your Phoenix spirit:

Varsity Boys Soccer vs Dream Club @ UNIS (Monday, 25 February, 16.00-17.30)

JV Boys Soccer vs OLY @ UNIS (Wednesday, 27 February)

Youth Sport Basketball Festival @ UNIS Hanoi (Thursday, 28 February, 14.00-17.30)

Varsity Girls Soccer vs SPAS @ UNIS (Friday 1 March)

UMA Concert @ UNIS Hanoi Centre for the Arts, 13.30-16.30, Saturday 2 March

Aquathlon (Sunday, 3 March, 13.00-15.30)

UNIS Hanoi Model United Nations Conference – Technology & Development @ UNIS Hanoi  (28 February – 2 March)



UNIS Model United Nations XI

Model United Nations is an opportunity for young people to practice the diplomatic and critical thinking skills of the United Nations. We will be hosting over 400 students and their MUN directors from 20 schools including UNIS for a three day conference starting on Thursday February 28.

The conference is student organised. The student leadership starts in April to prepare for the conference the following March. The first item on the agenda is choosing a theme that had depth and will be of interest to the delegates who attend. This year our theme is Development and Technology. The delegates will be looking at issues on automation, transnational crime, freedom of the press, responsible extraction of natural resources, international standards on eco labeling to name just a few. The full list of issues on the agenda is available here. Each committee room as well as the opening and closing ceremonies is entirely run by the student leadership team. They are supported by Ms. Giang Dang as the MUN Conference Coordinator who takes care of the logistics of the visiting schools.

The first day of the conference the students who represent the countries of the UN will work together to find common solutions which they will craft into resolutions. This involves collaboration, empathy, and a willingness to compromise to find solutions that will address some of the largest issues that the world faces. On day 2 and 3 the students will debate these issues  in committee and finish with a plenary session where the resolutions that have passed in committee are debated by the General Assembly. The delegates have been working preparing research on their country and policies for months.

We will also have the honor of having Mr.Kamal Malhotra, the UN Resident Coordinator and Mr. Kyle Kelhofer IVC Country Manager to provide some real world advice on some of the issues on the agenda.

Although we have limited space it is possible to come and sit in and listen to some of the debate. There will be signs posted around campus on the committee rooms. If you need directions please just look for the Admin Staff. They will be dressed with red ties and can answer any questions that you have about where to go to find committee rooms.

Posted in MUN