Essay Example on Education in Vietnam and the United States

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1583 Words
Date:  2022-12-26

Education plays a vital role in every country, especially in regards to economic development. The education system is also a mirror which reflects the culture of the country itself. Western and Oriental culture has many different ways of teaching and developing a person. Vietnam is a country that represents the Oriental culture. For instance, the teachers are strict with their students. The United States, in contrast, represents the Western culture that is more lenient. Although Vietnam and the United States have different ways of teaching, they both guide their students from little children to young adolescents to become excellent and talented persons in the society.

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One of the most apparent differences between the education system of Vietnam and the United States is the structure. In Vietnam, the structure is 5-4-3. That means students must spend five years from 1st to 5th grade in elementary school, four years from 6th to 9th grade in middle school, and three years from 10th to 12th grade in high school. Besides, other education programs such as college and university last from two to six years. In the United States, however, the structure is 5-3-4 (Sowell 36). Point grading systems are also different in the education's structure system between Vietnam and the U.S. For instance, in Vietnam, a 9 to 10 score is excellent, 7 to 8 is good, 5 to 6 is average, and less than 5 is a failure. In the U.S., points are graded by A, B, C, D, and F.

Another difference between the education system of Vietnam and the U.S. is the rules and policies at schools. In Vietnam, students must follow some strict school rule. If students do not execute these rules correctly, the school often disciplines them. For example, students have to wear uniforms. Often, boys wear black pants and white shirts, and they must tuck their shirt into their pants before going to school. Girls wear long dresses which are called Ao Dai when they are in high school. In some provinces in the south of Vietnam, girls wear Ao Dai at the beginning of the 6th grade (London 51). Also, girl student are not allowed to make or paint their nails. Students in U.S. schools are entirely different for they can choose any fashion and any color they like. They can ear make up and paint their nails unlike in Vietnam where school regulations are stringent. For example, in Vietnam, if a student arrives at school late, they can be punished by staying outside the school gate until forty- five minutes after the bell rings for the first period. Food and drink are not allowed in any classroom.

On the contrary, schools in the U.S. are fairly friendly to the students. For instance, there is no harsh punishment for students who arrive late to class. Students can bring food and drinks with them during the lecture. Moreover, while American students can decide which subject to study, Vietnamese students cannot. Vietnamese students must follow the subjects which are given for each grade by the system. Hence, they do not have the right to choose the subject they want to study.

One of the most significant differences between Vietnamese and American education is the interaction between teachers and students. Vietnam is a country rich with culture and tradition, so teachers are essential. Students are always taught that they must respect their teachers as if they are their parents. It is always believed that teachers are more knowledgeable than students. Therefore, students are supposed to respect and obey their teachers. Students, always keep a certain distance from their teachers. For example, when the teachers comes in and goes out of the classes, students must stand up to greet them. During the class hour, if the teacher conveys the wrong information, the students would rather keep silent than raise any question. Besides, eye-to-eye contact is not often used because students can be considered rude when looking directly at the teachers. Vietnamese students are always respectful of teachers and are encouraged not to question their knowledge.

America, on the other hand, does not require such a strict way in response to the teachers. Teachers and students are friendly. Students may say what they think in their minds and provide contrasting opinions. They express their thoughts or discuss equally in the class. Moreover, teachers always listen to their students and answer all questions in order to help the students understand better. So, the relationship between teachers and students in the U.S. is tighter. This kind of relationship breaks the barrier between teachers and students and allows each to speak more freely (Jeynes 28).

One more difference between the education of Vietnam and the U.S. is the teaching style. Although both countries have similar subjects, such as Math, Literature, History, Chemistry, Biology, and so on, Vietnam applies a modeled teaching style to the young generation. For example, during the lecture, teachers write on the board or read the sentence slowly by the sentence so that students can copy it on their notes. After that, students learn by heart and bring what they learn into the test. Most students get a high score. This learning method makes the students passive and they may lack critical thinking and innovation. Contrastingly, American education system tries to make each student unique. Teachers promote self-learning and creativity of students. They encourage students to create their ideas and know how to use them rather than using something that does not belong to them. The study method in Vietnam can help students remember the equations in Math, laws in Physics, and the formulas in Chemistry. However, it is hard for them to make a speech in public because they may lack confidence and critical thinking.

Lastly, the chances of getting into colleges and universities for students differ in Vietnam and America. Even though both Vietnamese and American students must complete the last examination from high school, the path to colleges and universities is different. In Vietnam, after students pass the exam from high school, they need to try their best to take a test into college and university. It depends on the ability of students. For example, if someone is good at Math, Literature, Biology, or Foreign Language, they choose the university which is strong in their subjects to take a test. However, the number of new enrollments is limited. Hence, only the very best students are chosen. Therefore, during the exam for college or university, Vietnamese students always seems to struggle because if a student fails the exam, he or she will needs to wait until the next year to take another one. It is especially difficult for someone over the age of 20. It is challenging for them to study at college and university. It is commonly believed that colleges and universities are just for young people. So, very few older people attend college and universities. Unlike Vietnamese students, American students have more chances of going to colleges and universities. While some students can go straight to the university, others can first go to college and then graduate as they see fit.

With American students, age does not matter. Everybody, no matter how old, can go to school in America. Also, the government creates the right conditions for people who want to go to school by paying all tuition for low-income students. This system is entirely different from Vietnam. Parents and guardians in Vietnam have to pay for their children and the government does not help poor people (Harman, Hayden and Thanh 56). Unlike the U.S where everyone has an equal right to education, in Vietnam, only people with money can get a good education.

Although there are many different ways in the education system between Vietnam and America, they have one thing in common-They both divide subjects into fields to instruct students. Vietnam considers Math as the main subject while America favors Math and English. Besides the main subjects for both countries, the other ones are divided into three primary fields, Science, Social Studies, and Foreign Language. The target is to help students to build up their knowledge about the world, the history of humans, the skills of solving problems and so on. Moreover, both Vietnamese students and American students must pass twelve primary school years from 1 to 12 before entering university or college, and both education systems strive to help students to build on good characteristics to become talented and useful persons for the country.


In conclusion, education is one of the main concerns of a nation. The educational system between Vietnam and America differs in many aspects. Each style has advantages and disadvantages. However, most people agree that America has the best education system in the world that is flexible for all students and makes them interested in their studies. Adapting teaching styles from America to evoke students' creativity to go to college and university are some suggestions for other countries. It would be better if all schools in Vietnam changed the education system to be like the United States because, with education, the young generation would help maintain and develop the economy of the country itself.

Works Cited

Jeynes, William. American Educational History: School, Society, and the Common Good. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 2007. Print.

Harman, Grant S, Martin Hayden, and Thanh N. Pham. Reforming Higher Education in Vietnam: Challenges and Priorities. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. Print.

London, Jonathan D. Education in Vietnam. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2011. Print.

Sowell, Thomas. Inside American Education. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2010. Print.

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Essay Example on Education in Vietnam and the United States. (2022, Dec 26). Retrieved from

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