Welcome to ISHCMC - American Academy

A Welcome from Head of School, Nathan Swenson

I always welcome the opportunity to showcase our wonderful school to prospective students and their families, and to the fellow education professionals who frequently visit to find out the secret of our success.

We are a leading American curriculum secondary school in Ho Chi Minh City, inspiring and challenging students aged 11 to 18 years old to achieve personal excellence.

Our highly qualified and dedicated teachers are student-focused, committed to developing each child’s unique interests, abilities, and ambitions. This approach creates a culture of achievement in our close-knit community of over 300 students, demonstrated in our graduates’ U.S. $1m scholarship fund to overseas universities.

We lay the foundations for success with 100% English language immersion and a rigorous American accredited curriculum from age 11. At the same time, we offer an extensive Vietnamese Studies Program to ensure our students maintain their Mother Tongue and cultural roots. ISHCMC – American Academy is proud to be the only school in Vietnam to offer university-level courses through both Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) and Advanced Placement (AP), giving your child unparalleled competitive advantage.

Above excellence in academics, our vision commits us to empowering our students to reach their potential across all endeavors – in the arts, sports, technology, and elsewhere. I welcome you to visit us to experience first-hand what sets ISHCMC – American Academy apart in the world of education.

Mr. Nathan Swenson

Head of School, ISHCMC – American Academy

Vision & Guiding Statements

PURPOSE (Shared with Cognita)

An inspiring world of education. Building self-belief and empowering individuals to succeed.

OBJECTIVE (Strategic Plan)

To be the most trusted American school community, preparing students for success for life.


Welcome to the International School Ho Chi Minh City American Academy (ISHCMC – American Academy).  In everything we do at ISHCMC-AA we aim to be POSITIVE, CARING and ENGAGED.  

We are POSITIVE: We take a positive approach to life using a growth mindset.

We are CARING: We care for ourselves and others.

We can ENGAGED: We engage in the world around us


At ISHCMC-AA, we strive to build the skills and mindsets that will allow our students to be successful in the international community. There are three pillars of Global Citizenship at ISHCMC-American Academy

  • Diversity: We promote diversity in ideas and experience and we value different points of view because we know that examining problems from different perspectives leads to better solutions and a stronger community.
  • Culture: We celebrate and learn about cultures because we appreciate the importance of art and tradition to our well being and our relationships with others.
  • Knowledge and Skills: We develop our knowledge of global issues as well as our skills with language, collaboration, technology and critical thinking because they will allow us to transcend cultural differences and act as global citizens. 

Accreditations & Affiliations

An internationally recognized center for excellence, ISHCMC – American Academy is renowned throughout South East Asia for the high quality of its programs and teaching and for our exceptional student body. Our results speak for themselves, but membership of key regional and international educational bodies provides a further stamp of this quality.

We are fully accredited by both the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).


New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC)

Accreditation by NEASC indicates that a school meets or exceeds established criteria for the assessment of institutional quality through periodic process of self-study and peer review. An accredited school has the resources to achieve its stated purposes and provides evidence that its students are benefiting from its curricular and co-curricular programs. More than 165 American and international schools in 65 nations outside the United States are involved in some aspect of the NEASC accreditation process. NEASC is recognized by the US Department of Education. Find our NEASC accreditation membership here.

Council of International Schools (CIS)

The Council of International Schools is the premier organization in international education for the accreditation of schools and best practice development. CIS is a not-for-profit organization of a truly worldwide international educational community comprising over 500 member schools and 400 colleges/universities. It has experience of K–12 education in over 100 countries, and many of the Council’s officers and consultants are former heads of international schools. The central purpose of CIS is to enable member organizations to achieve and deliver the highest standards in international education and continually improve the outcome of student learning. Find our CIS accreditation membership here.

Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA)

Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) is a cooperative program between Syracuse University (SU) and your high school that allows high school students to enroll in SU courses. Teachers who are also adjunct SU instructors teach these classes in the high school, following the curriculum and guidelines established by SU. SUPA enables high school students to gauge their ability to do college work prior to full-time college study. Upon successful completion of an SU course, students are awarded SU transcripts that record credits earned. These credits are transferable to hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide.

CollegeBoard Advance Placement Program (AP)

Advance Placement (AP) is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. The AP curriculum for each of the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in that field of study. ISHCMC – American Academy has b    een authorized to offer AP courses by the College Board since the 2012-2013 academic year.