Study in the USA to Publish Vietnamese Language Magazine

Study in the USA logoStudy in the USA ® has announced that it will publish the first-ever Vietnamese language magazine for distribution in the coming year to students and parents in Vietnam. This special pocket-size edition will feature content especially appealing to Vietnamese students, including information and articles about four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, high school completion programs, the popular 2+2 option, visa issues, intensive English programs and the US education system. It will be distributed free of charge to attendees of IIE US Higher Education Fairs, StudyUSA Higher Education Fairs and Community College Fairs in Vietnam in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.

This will be the sixth foreign language magazine published by Study in the USA, after Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Arabic. Given that parents are the key decision-makers and that very few have a reading knowledge of English, it’s essential this information be made available in the local language.


Study in the USA was founded in 1978 by Peggy Printz as a response to Asian friends asking how their children should choose and apply to universities in North America. It was the first publication promoting U.S. programs to international students and continues to be the leader in its field. Today, Study in the USA operates with the mission of providing helpful information about U.S. higher education to international students and to connect them with reputable programs. Ten regional magazines, including a boarding schools & summer studies issue, are published by Study in the USA each year for students and their parents. More than 300,000 copies are distributed annually in 123 countries., which is an award-winning website, contains profiles of hundreds of quality American programs in fourteen languages. It features in-depth articles and current news stories about international students and the US educational system, including university admissions, scholarships and testing. It also provides online advisors who will answer admissions questions and offer personal assistance with unique situations. A company of principles, Study in the USA only accepts listings from schools, universities, institutions and programs that meet the highest standards of integrity and excellence in education and service to international students. With these practices, Study in the USA has helped millions of students find US programs.

A note to my US higher ed colleagues:  For information about advertising opportunities and a chance to contribute to this new magazine, contact Travis Drageset, Marketing & Social Media, Study in the USA at (206) 622-2075 or  StudyUSA is also looking for high-quality student testimonial videos for its website. 

Disclosure: Study in the USA is a client of Capstone Vietnam, of which I’m managing director.

4 Benefits for International Students at U.S. High Schools

It was interesting to see a recent US News & World Report article about the benefits for international students who study at US high schools, which are well-known to those of us who work in the field. 

1. English language training
2. Pre-college navigation
3. College readiness
4. Social acculturation

The chance to interact with American teens in high school can help international students before they enter college. (Courtesy of US News & World Report)

There has been a dramatic upswing in the number of Vietnamese high school students leaving, in some cases, some of the finest high schools in the country (e.g., talented and gifted schools) to complete their education at a US high school.  Many wealthy Vietnamese choose to send their sons and daughters to boarding schools that range from $40,000-50,000 a year. 

Other options include public high schools that accept international students and arrange homestays and high school completion programs, mainly in Washington (WA) state, that enable students to earn a WA high school diploma and an associate’s degree in two (2) years, assuming their English proficiency meets the admission requirement.   Most high school completion programs are around $20,000 per year, all-inclusive.  The cost of attending a public high school is considerably less than a private day school or boarding school. 

As a Study in the States summary of the article points out, an international student can apply for an F-1 visa to attend a public secondary school (grades 9 -12) that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified.  Regulations require that an F student may only attend public school for a maximum period of 12 months and that the student must reimburse the full, per-capita cost of attending.
An international student also has the option of attending an SEVP-certified private school as an F student. Unlike when attending a public school, an F student who attends a private school may attend for longer than 12 months.

The points described in the article, the general dissatisfaction with upper secondary education in Vietnam and the lack of international-standard high schools, combined with the growing ability to pay in recent years, are the driving forces behind this growth trend for Vietnamese students. 


High School Completion Programs in Washington State: Off to a “Running Start”

It is well-known that the majority of Vietnamese students begin their US higher education at a community college (two-year school) as a gateway to a four-year college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree. 

A community college program in Washington state that allows student to earn a Washington high school diploma and a university transfer associate degree in just two years, is all the rage among Vietnamese students and parents.  Green River Community College, for example, which calls this program High School Completion Plus, highlights the key advantages on its website:  Save Time and Money, Earn Dual Degrees and Fast Track

In addition to saving time and money, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, high school completion programs enable students to make a smooth linguistic and cultural adjustment and better prepare them for study at a four-year college or university.  For Vietnamese parents of means who cannot afford an overseas boarding school (40-50k per year) these programs are a cost-effective and attractive option for their children to obtain a quality education, something that is in short supply at home.  There are about 22 Washington community colleges that actively recruit international students.   

High School Completion Programs & Student Visas

Based on my experience, consular officers set the bar a bit higher for those who wish to participate in these programs.  The student must be able to explain why s/he is transferring from a Vietnamese high school (in some cases a talented and gifted school) to a high school completion program in the US and what her/his long-term plans are.  The legislation (PDF) on which the high school completion program is based was enacted by the Washington State Legislature in March 1990 and updated in September 2011. 

Vietnamese Students & Washington State

According to the Open Doors 2011 Fact Sheet for Washington (PDF), Vietnam ranks 3rd among all places of origin with 9.4% of total international student enrollment in that state of 17,811, which amounts to 1674 students.  This amounts to just over 11% of total Vietnamese enrollment at US colleges and universities in 2010/11.   

TV Show About US Community Colleges & High School Completion Programs

On 9 July Thalia Saplad, executive director of international programs at Shoreline Community College (SCC) in Washington (state) and Nguyen Minh Huy, who just graduated from Shoreline and is headed for Seattle University this fall, were interviewed by the host of HTV’s popular Study Abroad Window (Cửa Sổ Du Học), Ha Quyen, about US community colleges, high school completion programs offered by a select group of Washington (state) community colleges, including SCC, and Washington. 

Post-interview photo.

 The program will be broadcast nationally this September.  Stay tuned for dates and times.  

SCC Library