Hanoi International School
New Staff Orientaiton Guide 2014
Welcome to Hanoi International School! The school is extremely pleased that you are coming and has put together this publication as a means of helping you with your transition and orientation to our school. We suggest that you read this document carefully and that if any unanswered questions emerge that you contact a member of the HIS Orientation and Induction Group, whose email addresses will be on this document.
ABOUT HANOI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HIS is an independent proprietary International School founded in 1996 as a Joint Venture Company between interests in USA and Vietnam. The school is licensed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam. It is also registered with the following Vietnamese Ministries: Finance, Trade, Foreign Affairs, Education & Training and Labour. It was accepted as a member of the IBO in 1996 and was the first school in Vietnam to offer the IB Diploma programme. We gained PYP authorization in 2012. In 1998 it was accepted as a member of ECIS/CIS. In 1998 it was a founding member of MRISA and continues to be an active member within this regional organisation. In 2003 the school became an examining centre for Cambridge University, IGCSE. During 2012-13 the school completed the process for joint CIS/NEASC accreditation which it gained in December 2013. Currently, (April 2014) the school roll stands at 275. While 39 nationalities are reflected in the student body, approximately 72% of our students are from Asian-ASEAN countries, 16% are Vietnamese, 17% from Europe-Americaâ€™s and 7.5% from Australasia. A significant number of our students are working in English as their second/ foreign language. Currently 24% are receiving EAL support. The majority of our families are working in the business-commercial sector and Embassies-Missions-Foreign Aid areas. Families and students tend to be quite mobile with up to an annual student turn-over of 30-35%. There is a steady turn-over of students throughout the year. Students on the whole are highly motivated, friendly and polite, happy at school and quickly get taken into the HIS community. Non-working foreign Asian parents tend to be shy approaching the school, often due to a real or perceived weakness in English. However HIS is active in encouraging wide participation from all parents.
Mission and School Philosophy â€œHanoi International School enables all students to realise their full potential in a caring and positive learning environment. Through our broad and balanced international curriculum we endeavour to develop responsible, globally conscious citizens. We strive to develop the whole child as a lifelong learner with a strong sense of self worth.â€?
School Aims Teachers, students and parents will form a partnership to ensure that all students fulfill the aims of Hanoi International School. The aims of the school are: - To develop students sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. - To help students view learning as a process, which continues throughout their lives. - To celebrate our religious, cultural and social diversity. - To develop a positive attitude, understanding and knowledge of Vietnam. - To promote concern for the quality and care of the local and global environment. - To provide equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum to all students regardless of race, gender and ability. - To offer education in a genuinely international context to ensure transferability and continuity with other educational institutions. - To provide students with opportunities to develop a strong sense of their own self worth and to strive for personal excellence. - To develop enquiring minds and an ability to question change and implement knowledge effectively. - To develop interpersonal skills which will serve them in a variety of social contexts. - To enable students to acquire communication, mathematical, technological, scientific, artistic and physical skills across the curriculum and in a variety of contexts.
International Day, November 2013
HIS Procedures Here are some basic points. We will go through all of these at the new staff orientation sessions. Academic staff A full list of staff for upcoming academic year can be found in the Staff Handbook which you will receive once you have arrived. Teaching Staff The Elementary School is directed by the Vice Principal for Elementary, Ms Lisa Hughes. She is assisted by the PYP Coordinator, Mr. Neil Johnstone. Currently we have eight elementary grades, ranging from Reception through to Grade 5. The Secondary School is directed by the Vice Principal for Secondary, Mr. David Miles. He will be assisted by Mr. Volker Schlieske, IB Diploma Coordinator and Mr. Daniel Suarez, Middle Years Coordinator. There are coordinators for each of the subject departments in the Secondary School. In addition, there is a Student Counselor who also coordinates university/ college applications, careers advice and student services programmes in the Secondary School. There is CCP coordinator who organises the activities for both school sections. Hours of Work School is in session Monday through Friday. Hours are 7:50 to 2:00 for Elementary and 7:50 to 3:00 for Secondary.
Afternoon school activities add one hour to each of the above sessions. Students can take as many of these as they can manage and where there are places. All staff members are expected to be at school by 7:30 and not leave until 3:30 so as to be available after school for meetings and planning activities. All staff are expected to offer an Co Curricular Programme once a week. Monday is reserved as a staff meeting day. There are 182 instructional days per year. In Vietnam most offices observe the five day work week. The ANZ bank closes at 4:30 but is open on Saturday. Shops are usually open 7 days a week till 8:00 or 9:00 at night. The School Campus The school is located on a very small piece of land in Ba Dinh district. It is six floors in height. The ground floor has a playground and houses the cafeteria, the nurseâ€™s office, stationery shop, the Vietnamese class, PE Office and the music room. The second floor is where the Main office, Principalâ€™s Office and Auditorium can be found. The third floor is given over entirely to the elementary school and the rest of the building to secondary. Space is at a premium - we rent outdoor facilities from the Vietnamese school next door. For some of our PE, swimming and other sports, the students are taken to nearby facilities by school buses. Dress Code During the school day, dress can be casual and comfortable but must present a professional appearance. This includes footwear. When field trips or sporting activities take place, teachers may dress in clothes appropriate to the activity; however clothing must be in good condition. Internal Communications Email All staff are allocated an email address which can be accessed via the web. HIS uses g-mail as its email system. Group listings are contained in the address book for all staff, Vietnamese and teaching staff, homeroom teachers, elementary and secondary teachers. Students also have addresses and can be contacted either individually or as grade groups through the system. Website The website is updated on a regular basis and the calendar in particular is very useful for notices of upcoming events and activities. Please let Mia Cailao Rees know if you wish for something to be added to this calendar for the whole school community.
Mail Mail that arrives through the postal service is put directly into teachersâ€™ pigeon holes which are located in the staffroom on the 4th floor. Newsletters These are produced approximately 3 times per year and serve as a record for the school community of the major events in the months passed. They are sent home with all students as hard copies but can also be found on the website. Year Book The school produces an annual Year Book, a rather extravagant hard cover publication. All of the teachers and many of the students work hard to produce the pages for this keepsake.
Book Week Assembly 2013
Sports Day, April 2014
Sapa â€“ Camp Week, October 2013
First Considerations Contract You will be asked to email an acceptance of the position to the Principal. A full contract will be prepared after your arrival. You will be asked to look this over and sign it after your work permit is finalised. These formalities can take a quite a while. If, for any reason, you need a formal Letter of Appointment, please email Terry Hamilton (email@example.com) and he will prepare one for you. Air Transportation for Foreign Hire Teachers The school will pay, on a refund basis, a single journey (one-way) ticket, traveling in the most direct route between your home of record (stipulated in your contract) and Ha Noi. The orientation for new faculty commences in early August, and for this reason it is recommended that you arrive on or before July 31st. Once your flight details are known you should inform the Business Office and Ms. Dung (HR Department) immediately in order that
transportation from the airport and hotel accommodation for your first week can be arranged. The hotel will be in the centre of Hanoi and will be paid on departure by you. This can be offset with your HIS Settling-In Allowance, which will be given to you upon arrival. You are obviously free to check-out as soon as you have found a place to live. The school will refund you the cost of the ticket upon production of a quotation from your travel agent and an invoice, a receipt, the original used ticket and original boarding passes. This is very important as without boarding passes and original tickets, repayment will be significantly delayed.
Official Paperwork Visa- Work Permit Ms. Dung and the HR Department arrange all official paperwork. As the rules and regulations referring to visaâ€™s and work permitâ€™s can change, it is best to communicate directly with Ms. Dung to get the latest requirements.
General Information about Vietnam The Country Vietnam is a long narrow country, over 1600 km in length. It borders China to the north, Laos to the north-west, and Cambodia to the West. Three quarters of the country is mountainous. The main cultivated areas are in the north around the Red River Delta, and in the south around the Mekong Delta. It is a highly rural country. Population and People Currently the population is around 100 million. The population is 84% ethnic Vietnamese and 2% ethnic Chinese; the rest is made up of Khmers, Chams (a remnant of the once great Champa kingdom) and members of some 60 ethno-linguistic groups. Vietnam has a population density of 254 people per square kilometre but rises to 3490 per square kilometre in Ha Noi, where the population is approx 3.5 million.
Ha Noi Ha Noi is a city of 4+ million people, including a population of around 5,000 expatriates. Life is lived out on the streets. Bicycles and cyclos, buses and cars, along with the ubiquitous motorbike compete for space in the narrow streets. It is a city of sounds, street vendors plying their wares, the constant beeping of horns, the animated conversations of the locals, the Party voice through external speakers and the bird calls from the cages which hang outside shops and houses. It is a city of smells- the smells of street food being cooked along the sidewalks, the heavy odours of scented flowers from gardens and flower stalls, the fumes of the motor traffic, the odours from the rubbish trolleys that are constantly pushed along the streets by street cleaners as they sweep and maintain the city.
Climate Vietnam has a remarkably diverse climate because of its wide range of latitudes and altitudes. The country's weather is determined by two monsoons. The relatively dry winter monsoon, which affects mainly the part of Vietnam north of Danang, comes from the north-east between October or November and March. The Hanoi area, lying in a plain, belonging to the delta region of Red river, and far from the sea, features a hot climatic zone under the influence of South and Northeast monsoons. The winter is cold and dry and Northeast monsoons are frequent. It is hot from April to June, and from July to September, there are sometimes heavy rains and floods. The annual temperature variation is from 8 to 38 C degrees.
Accommodation For getting an idea of the types of housing available, the website: http://vietlonghousing.com is fairly accurate. There are lots of listings as well on http://newhanoian.com. The school allowance is enough for a nice house or apartment in Hanoi. All landlords require 3 monthsâ€™ rent up front as well as one month deposit. The school can help advance money for this if needed through Ms Dung.
The allowance for teachers varies depending on whether you come as single or as a teaching couple, with or without children. Some houses are partly furnished by the landlord and would usually contain some or all of the white goods you will need here. Standard equipment should be supplied and this includes a stove and cook-top, range hood and exhaust fan, refrigerator, washing machine, telephone and air conditioners. As a guide, a 2 bedroom serviced (cleaner, security, bills included) apartment near school or in Tay Ho (Westlake) will be around $900-1,000 a month. A 4 floor, 3 bedroom Vietnamese style house will be about the same. There is usually at least one house near school available from staff that is leaving. There are many estate agents in Hanoi so it is probably not worth contacting any until about a month before you arrive as places come and go very quickly here. You can email agents before you arrive with your specifications and they will arrange housing for you to view on arrival. Be very clear to the agent about your requirements otherwise you will see a lot of unsuitable housing. Tell the agent what type of housing you are looking for, the number of bedrooms, the approximate price you wish to pay and any options such as the need for a yard, desire for wooden floors, not too many levels, etc. The main areas to live in Hanoi are Ba Dinh (walking distance to school) and Tay Ho-Westlake (a 15 minute drive to work). Tay Ho is where the majority of Western style shops, restaurants and bars are mostly along a street called Xuan Dieu. The staff currently is split 50/50 between these two areas. There is also an 'international' gated community called Ciputra which is about 20 minutes from school but slightly detached from the action of Hanoi.
You should be aware of the following as you search: - Check that the water pressure is adequate. - Check that there are air conditioners in the living areas and bedrooms (sometimes these are “two-way” – heating and cooling). Ceiling fans are an added bonus. Sometimes it is necessary to pay to put extra A/C units in the houses. - Check that security on the house is adequate, that doors and windows lock. - It is almost impossible to move to a property in Ha Noi that will not have some nearby construction happening but if there is an obvious empty block next to or nearby a property in which you are interested, think twice! House staff Adjusting to life in Vietnam is much easier with the assistance of house staff. Most teachers employ someone to clean and do the laundry, help with the shopping and to cook if desired. It is really up to you and your budget. House staff are generally not difficult to find. Word of mouth is usually the best way of locating house staff – someone always knows or knows of someone who is available. Expect to pay between 200-300 USD per month (five days per week, excluding weekends) per staff member depending on the level of experience, whether or not you require cooking and the English competency of the employee. Wages are generally paid at the end of the month. Staff hours can be arranged to your requirements. By law, a bonus must be paid to employees once a year – generally at TET. Household goods Many items you will need are available here readily and cheaply. These include: • electrical appliances • basket ware • crockery and ceramics • glassware • computer hardware
Clothing Clothes are cheap to have copied and tailor made. Increasingly mainstream ready to wear brands have stores in and around the city, especially in the shopping malls. One of the HIS staff owns a shop called George’s (To Ngoc Van, Tay Ho) which can make clothes to order. Personal Goods Each year, there are more products available in the shops. It is still difficult, however, to find some items. Whilst the following items are available in Ha Noi, the quality is not always of a high standard. Obviously not all of the following suggestions will be relevant to you but these are a few ideas of things you may wish to bring: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
board games Women’s underwear (especially larger sized bras and panties) bathing suits j ackets and sweaters for the cold weather shoes, boots and good walking boots if you are planning on trekking shoe polish other than black or brown favourite toiletries/cosmetics contraception prescription medicines favourite cooking/kitchen wear items laptops tool kit national dress for our International Week assembly Men’s underwear (especially larger sized socks and briefs) All personal medication. Most medication is available cheaply here, however, we advise bringing a few months supply of anything you take regularly. Health items like vitamins, alternative medicines if you use them regularly.
Freight and Packing You should make an inventory of your personal effects, and please bear in mind that customs officials will inspect your shipment carefully. Any items not listed on the packing list may be confiscated, so please be careful when preparing your inventory. If you have unaccompanied luggage/packages you will need to get a form from the Customs desk (after the baggage Claim area) when you arrive at Hanoi airport. You will need this form inside your passport when you collect your packages. Whatever you bring into Vietnam you must, by law, take out with you when you leave. All itemised inventoried items must leave the country with you.
Money and Banking Currency and banking in Vietnam The local currency is dong and comes in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000 VND. The most commonly used notes are the 50,000 and 100,000 ones. Credit cards are also accepted in many restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and travel agencies. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely recognised cards in Hanoi. However, compared to more developed countries, Vietnam is still very much a cash society. You will need to pay cash for your utilities, transport, and most food. Hard currency can be exchanged at the bank or currency exchange booths (found in many shops - often jewellery stores, restaurant, hotels, etc). Your salary is paid in VND but can be easily transferred to your home country in whatever currency you choose through ANZ Bank (14 Le Thai To Lê Thái Tổ, Hoan Kiem). To open an account you will need a passport and a letter from the school which we will forward to you closer to the time. You need to open an account in VND not USD as salary paid is in the former currency. When you visit the bank, ask to speak specifically to the staff member named in the introduction letter.
Once registered all ANZ banking can be done online including international money transfers which incur a 2% charge. Pay day is the 25thof the month. You should notify the Accounting Department of your account details as soon as possible. Foreign hire teachers will be paid a monthly utilities allowance. This is paid in to your bank account, along with your housing allowance. The school can arrange for an advance to cover the initial housing deposit and 3 months’ rent if needed. This is arranged through Ms Dung using an Advance Request form obtained from the Main Office (1st floor). Once you are in Hanoi you will need to submit receipts for all of your moving and settling In costs as well as for your Flight allowance. To do this you will need to fill out a Reimbursement form in the Main Office (1st floor) together with original receipts and tickets/boarding passes for flights. For all claims made for money spent in Vietnam, you will also need a ‘pink VAT receipt’. These can be obtained at all shops and businesses but will incur a 10% charge for the privilege. Without this slip, you will not receive reimbursement from the Business office. Once the Reimbursement form is submitted and signed by Terry Hamilton and the Business office, payment will be made into your Vietnamese bank account within a week.
Health As your contract specifies, you will undergo a basic medical (to be performed in Ha Noi after arrival as part of the working permit process). The report to the school will be sent to the school and the cost of this ($50- August 2011) will be reimbursed by the school. You (and any accompanying family members) should consider immunization against typhoid, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pre-rabies (a series of 3 injections), hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. General health tips
The most common and the most serious medical problems faced by expatriates living in Asia are the same medical problems that are faced anywhere else in the world – including your home country. Some illnesses can be avoided however by following simple rules: • • • • • •
Keep a high standard of personal hygiene. Do not drink the tap water – drink bottled water. Avoid ice in your drinks outside of the home or major hotels and restaurants. Don’t eat unpeeled fruit and salads outside of your home or major hotels. Be careful with sun and heat – drink plenty of fluids (2-3 litres), wear loose comfortable clothes, wear a hat, use sunglasses and sunscreen and of course, don’t stay out in the sun too long. Cooked foods are safest to eat. Avoid undercooked meat and shellfish.
Any salad vegetables which are eaten raw, or fruit which you don’t intend to peel, should be soaked for 20 minutes in Veggie Wash. In addition to the above precautions it is advisable to take a prophylactic worming medication every 3-6 months. Speak to your doctor about taking any drugs to ensure you are informed about any interactions with other medications you may be taking, or other adverse side effects. Medical insurance You will be insured with the school International Medical Insurance Scheme. You should fill out the application form as early as possible and return it to the school to ensure that you are covered as quickly as possible. Except for Family Medical Clinic which has a convenient cashless system with our medical insurance for all members of the scheme, when you visit a doctor, you will be required to pay in cash or by credit card. You must take a claim form and ask the doctor to fill it out. You should then post the claim form and doctor’s original receipt to scheme’s office for reimbursement. You can expect a turnaround time of between 6 weeks and 3 months. Five minutes from the school there are excellent international doctors at the Family Medical Practice. Once you have arrived and have an insurance number, you can visit them anytime without charge. All bills are dealt with between them and the company without you having to pay once you have registered with them on your first visit. Hospitals and clinics Medical facilities in Ha Noi are not the same as those encountered in the developed world, but facilities with provision for foreigners do exist and there are practicing foreign doctors resident here. The following are the two most used by our staff. For any major treatment many expats travel to Bangkok.
Medical Clinics International SOS (24 hour Medical Service) Address: Syrena Towers, Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho Phone: 3934 0666 Family Medical Practice(Cashless system) (24 hour Medical Service) Address: A1 Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound Phone: 3843 0748 Pharmacies Look for Nha Thuoc (pharmacy). Many drugs are available over the counter. Check the condition of the packaging, use by dates and the storage conditions of all medicines before purchasing, as effectiveness may be reduced from poor storage conditions or expired dates. International SOS and the Family Medical Practice also have dispensing pharmacies but these tend to be more expensive.
Transport around Ha Noi The bus system here in Ha Noi is very efficient, though at peak times can be crowded. Bus maps are available. Taxis are relatively cheap compared to first world countries and readily available both on the street and by telephone. (Reliable taxis include 3853 5353, 3826 2626 – but there are many good ones). Many people use “Xe Oms” which are motor cycle taxis. These are situated at most busy corners around Hanoi. Wearing a helmet is now law when using this form of transport. Cars are on the increase amongst the expatriate community but unless you can afford a driver as well, they are more trouble than they are worth in terms of parking. Riding a push bike is another option – you might like to bring yours from home if you have one already, but they are readily and cheaply available here.
Motor bikes Most staff to rent a motorbike for the duration of their stay in Ha Noi. Monthly rental is about US$50 â€“ 80, depending on the type of bike. A good place to rent motorbikes that our staff have used is: Quanâ€™s Motorbike Rental (70 Hang Bac, Hoan Kiem). Many staff purchase their own motor bikes or scooters. There are sales outlets for new motorbikes all over the city. Many expatriates buy bikes from people who are leaving as it is sometimes difficult to organise the registration papers for new bikes. Helmets can be purchased here but if you want a really good one, then bring one with you.
Shopping Vegetables Vegetables & eggs can be purchased in the Western style groceries listed below but also be delivered weekly to your home from the following online vendors. Some of them specialize in organic products: Organikvn.com Bloom food: a non-profit social business (registered UK charity) providing microcredit to entrepreneurs living below the poverty line in developing countries using a unique model that harnesses the power of responsible tourism and microfinance to alleviate poverty. Order their vegetables using this form: http://bit.ly/VdXZhq
Thanh Xuan Organic vegetables: http://rauthanhxuan.com/
Western style groceries Listed below are the addresses of shops where you will find a large variety of grocery items. It is important to check the use-by dates on products before you buy. Some of the stores will take orders over the phone and deliver to your home free of charge. It is important to note that new mini-markets are opening up regularly and this is merely a guide to help you when you are settling in. Some of the grocery items purchased at these types of shops are more expensive than shopping at the markets for similar products eg, coffee, flour, dried fruit, UHT milk. Most are open six days a week and some are open seven days. Supermarkets Citimart Hanoi Towers 3934 2999 Daily produce (imported cheese, butter, UHT milk & cream), a limited selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, breakfast cereals, tinned foods, cleaning products, limited selection of frozen
meat and fish products, toiletries, food wraps, plastic and glass ware, cooking utensils, pots & pans, imported wine, beer, soft drinks, mineral water, baby formulas & products, children’s clothing, toys.
Fivimart/ Big C Various locations around town including- Xuan Dieu (Syrena Towers); Garden City Mall, Saveco Mall, Hoan Kiem Big Western style supermarkets that stock an extensive selection of Western and local goods, household items, toiletries, wine and spirits, and even motorbikes (at some Big C shops!). Metro My Dinh A huge cash and carry store which sells groceries and household items in bulk. Technically you need a membership card to enter but a passport is normally enough to shop here. Also sells Christmas trees and decorations, electronics and live sharks. L’s Place Ciputra, Thuy Khue and Xuan Dieu Dan’s Yen Phu (Tay Ho) and Hoa Binh Green (Ba Dinh) Western style mini-mart which stocks groceries, household goods, frozen foods and a good selection of wine. Meat and meat products, fish Once again you can purchase a considerable amount of frozen meat, salamis and fish from the shops already listed. Alternatively you can go direct to the supplier and they will deliver too. Fresh meat is available from the local markets. Chicken and pork are very good. The beef you buy at the market is actually ox or water buffalo and tends to be very tough – only good to mince! Fresh fish and a wide variety of other seafood are available at local markets also. It is important to remember that fresh seafood, meat and poultry are best bought very early in the morning. Many people tend to ask their house staff to do this purchasing for them.
La Cochon dâ€™Or- Excellent butchery Oasis Gourmet Butchery -Xuan Dieu Hanoi Small Goods- To Ngoc Van- delivery of frozen foods; order online: hanoismallgoods.com
Hairdressers Most salons offer the choice of an international or a local stylist. The prices vary considerably depending on your choice. Facials, manicures and pedicures are usually available, as is body waxing. Appointments are not essential but are recommended for the services of the international stylists. Dyes and perming solutions are usually imported products, but it is best to check before you have them applied. For a simple male haircut, expect to pay roughly $10 including head massage and hair wash. Restaurants You will find quite a range of food available both in types of cuisine and price range â€“ from street stalls offering various Vietnamese foods to five star international restaurants. The major hotels usually prepare buffet meals and also house their own restaurants listed below. Some will provide you with a home delivery service. Remember to check on the delivery charge. Wine is expensive at all restaurants and while most allow you to bring your own wine, quite a hefty corkage fee is charged. The New Hanoian website has an extensive restaurant listing with reviews updated almost daily. There are two websites (www.eat.vn and www.vietnammm.com) where you can order takeaway from a huge number of Hanoi restaurants which is then delivered within the hour.
Post/Communications Mobile phones The mobile phone network is generally very reliable and inexpensive compared to some
Western such as Australia and most local people use mobile use mobile phones for communication. You have three choices of networks: Mobiphone, Vinaophone or Viettel. There is a mobile phone shop across from St Josephs Cathedral (Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem) where you can buy a phone from as little as 300,000 VND ($15). If you already have a mobile phone from another country it will work in Vietnam if it is a Triband or Quad-band phone. You will need a new SIM card which can be purchased at any mobile phone shop for around 60,000 VND. Most expatriates use the pre-paid card system and these are available everywhere in Hanoi from supermarkets to specialty phone shops. They come in various denominations of 20,000 VND to 500,000 VND and it is simply a matter of keying in a number followed by the serial number you scratch from the card. Telecommunications Dial 116 for assistance with city telephone numbers. It is impossible to make collect calls from a private phone. You can go to a post office and a charge of about 11,000 dong will be levied. You can dial “171” or “178” before your international calls to attract a cheaper rate. Internet/ADSL Dial up internet and ADSL connections are relatively inexpensive and readily available. Most locals have an email address and you will be allocated a school email address on arrival. The School uses FPT as its internet provider. Several cafes around town have Wi-Fi as do most of the big hotels. Your landlord or housing agent will organise your internet service at your home. Many expatriates use Skype or other internet phone services to call internationally but it is wise to create a phone out account (e.g. Skype Out) which you top up in your home country before arrival. It is difficult to pay into your internet phone account from Vietnam. Postal Information General Post Office Dinh Tien Hoang, corner of Hoan Kiem Lake Mail coming in and going out of Vietnam is sometimes opened. Do not send money through the mail. It will generally take a week or two for your letter to reach its destination. To save going to the post office you can mail letters through school and school will also collect parcels for you. Receiving Parcels/Mail If someone sends you a package, you will receive a notification from the post office. Take your notification and your passport to the main post office.
You must buy a form (for approximately 300 dong) from the person at the desk, present your passport, the form and the notification to the customs officials. They will ask you to open the parcel, observe the contents and fill in a double form. The original of this form must be left with the post office. If the parcel contains videotapes, disks, CDs or CDROMs you will have to take the parcel to another desk where it will be taken for investigation. You will be given a receipt showing what you left, and will be allowed to pick the items up approximately 5 days later. There will be a small inspection fee payable at this time. If your parcel consists of goods that are taxable, such as new clothing, you will be levied the relevant taxes at the time of picking up the parcel. Allow yourself at least half an hour for this process. Regular letters usually take at least 3 weeks to arrive from Europe or Australia-New Zealand. Sending parcels If you wish to send a parcel, go to the main post office. You will be required to fill in several forms and present your passport. When you are packing up the parcel, do not wrap it, as the post office is required to inspect the contents. After the inspection is complete, you will be able to wrap the parcel more attractively and securely there. Again, this process can be lengthy, so allow yourself plenty of time and donâ€™t forget to take along a measure of patience.
Coming to Hanoi with children Children respond to Hanoi in different ways. Some welcome its onslaught of sensory experiences; for others, it can initially be quite overwhelming. The Vietnamese love children and will freely touch children and embrace them without invitation which can be quite disconcerting for some parents and the children themselves. On the other hand, it does mean that if you are out, there is always someone ready to whisk your child away and entertain them for a bit! Child care is readily available and easy to organise. Your household staff will usually be able to find someone for you, either on a full-time or casual basis. Pre-schools have sprung up all over Hanoi and take children at a very young age. Your home helper can usually take the children to these centres and pick them up. Good strollers are not easy to come by here so it is a good idea to bring a sturdy one with you. Playgrounds are a rarity in Hanoi. There are only a couple of public parks where children can be allowed to run free- The Botanical Gardens and Lenin Park being the most notable. For older children there are pools, fitness groups, dance groups and plenty of sporting activities available. The Community Education programme administered by UNIS is a good place to start. There is a Megastar cinema complex at Vincom Towers which shows the latest releases and which changes its programme frequently. At Royal City, a newly opened mega-mall, one can find a water park, bowling alley and an ice skating rink. There is also a laser tag and rock climbing centre in the city and in Tay Ho.
As everywhere, children spend time at each other’s houses; sleepovers and the like are common amongst expat children.
Once again welcome to Hanoi International School and Vietnam! WELCOME AND OREINTATION GROUP. Georgie Brice – Early Years Grade 1 Teacher Elementary school firstname.lastname@example.org Annie Fitzgerald – Early Years Grade 2 Teacher Elementary School. email@example.com Ali Waugh – University Guidance Counselor and Student Support Services/ TOK and English Teacher in Secondary School. firstname.lastname@example.org Chad Taylor – CAS Coordinator, Teacher of Global Perspectives, Geography and EAL in Secondary School. email@example.com Steve Stander – Coordinator for B Languages, Teacher of EAL and TOK in Secondary School. firstname.lastname@example.org Ceri Thorns – Teacher of Biology and Science in Secondary School. email@example.com Mia Cailao Rees –Marketing & Communications and P.A. to the Principal firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact: Terry Hamilton – School Principal and Teacher of History and TOK in Secondary School. email@example.com
David Miles – Principal of Secondary School and Teacher of Maths in Secondary School. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Hughes – Current PYP Coodinator and Teacher of Grade 5. Next year Principal of Elementary School. email@example.com Warren Bowers – Current Principal of Elementary School. firstname.lastname@example.org Ms. Dung – HR Department in the Business Office. email@example.com