Educational Trends in Vietnam

Written By Trent Lorcher

According to the ICEF, students from Vietnam spend around $3 Billion annually to study abroad. International schools in the United States and Canada have much to offer.

Where do Vietnamese Students Study Abroad?

Vietnamese students want to stay close to home. 39% of Vietnamese study abroad students prefer to study in Japan, by far the most popular destination. Australia and Korea make up an additional 22% of study abroad preferences. Where does that leave the US and Canada?

Nearly 1/4 of Vietnamese study abroad students prefer the US or Canada as their top destination. We'll leave the calculations up to your school's board of directors, but that's a lot of money that Vietnamese study abroad students are willing to spend to study in North America. And if nearly 1/4 of the approximately 80,000 international students from Vietnam prefer the United States or Canada, it makes sense for your international school to showcase your programs to potential students from Vietnam.

Vietnamese Students in the US and Canada

The United States and Canada are popular study abroad destinations for students from around the world. Vietnamese students are no exception. Take these numbers into account when planning your programs and marketing.

  • The percentage of Vietnamese students studying in Canada increased by 89% through 2018.
  • Vietnamese students studying in the United States has increased 17 consecutive years.
  • Over 13% of the more than 30,000 Vietnamese students studying in the United States are in secondary schools.
  • The second most common language spoken in Vietnam is English.

Vietnamese Demographics

Vietnamese demographics make it likely that more secondary and college students will pursue an international education in the United States or Canada.

  • The population of Vietnam is over 95-million, with 1/3 of the population under the age of 15.
  • There are approximately 6-million Vietnamese between the ages of 13-16.
  • Vietnamese are experiencing improved economics with more wealthy and middle-class citizens than ever.

Culture and Education in Vietnam

Vietnamese culture highly values education. Parents freely invest in their children's education and often start investing when their children are young. Parents prefer a well-rounded global education that gives their children advantages.

With such a cultural emphasis on education, one might expect it difficult to compete with the Vietnamese educational system. Public education in Vietnam, however, does not reflect these high standards and is not funded as well as top schools in North America.

  • Large classes, lack of funding, poor facilities, and out-of-date teaching approaches are some of the major complaints against the current Vietnamese public school system.
  • Private school facilities are much improved, yet even these schools have trouble finding qualified teachers and innovative curriculum.
  • Vietnam is home to international schools, yet the cost is high and the quality, although improved, is not level with the expense.
  • Vietnamese students prepare for global education by studying English at an early age and experiencing short-term trips to foster independent living skills.

Things to Consider

The market is there. Vietnamese students want to study in the United States and Canada. Positioning yourself as the right school or program is critical when marketing to Vietnam. Keep in mind the following:

  • Most study abroad students from Vietnam come from middle class families. For some, this is their first time away from home or out of the country. Helping them adjust to a host family is critical.
  • Many students choose US or Canadian schools to prepare themselves for higher education abroad.
  • Visa requirements are basic and visa approval times are quick. Experienced agents help students avoid Visa denials.

The Final Word

Factors that make Vietnam a great market for attracting international students include the country's large youth population, an improved Vietnamese economy, the country's educational values, and the opportunities studying in the US and Canada present.



Share this story

About the author

Trent Lorcher has taught high school English for 19 years. In addition to hosting a foreign exchange student from China, he's traveled extensively, including 18 months in Central America, 2 years in Italy, and additional time in Mexico, France, Morocco, and Spain. He dreams of one day retiring to Spain with his beautiful bride in a place big enough for their 5 kids to visit.

Subscribe to our Blog!

You May Also Like


Although Korean students studying abroad in the United States have decreased in recent years, Koreans still make up the third-highest population of international students in the United States with


It’s the first day of classes at your school.


Start Your American School Year Off By Making A New Native English Speaking Friend!

HTTP_X_GT_LANG: Undefined