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A Brief History of VIS

VIS has a rich history in Laos dating back to 1991 when we opened as a virtual one-room schoolhouse.  Today VIS is an IB World School where teaching and learning takes place on a five hectare, purpose-built campus. 

We are proud to be recognized as a leading school in the region that values innovation and strong ties to the Lao community.

Through the Years


VIS begins as Vientiane Learning Center near Wat Simuang by volunteer group of expatriate families who want to form a school for their own children. Government of the Lao PDR grants Letter of Authority, establishing VIS as a school under the auspices of the United Nations


VIS finds additional classroom space at Swedish Guest House, home of the Swedish School.


VIS takes over facilities at the Swedish Guest House and operates two campuses.


VIS moves to Ban Saphanthong Tai


VIS adds Grade 9 to High School program as first step in establishing a complete High School.


VIS receives dual accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the European Council of International Schools (ECIS), now the Council of International Schools (CIS).


VIS offers distance learning for Grade 10.


VIS adds Grade 10 to the High School program.


VIS adds Grade 11 and 12 to complete High School program.


VIS presents diplomas to first two High School graduates.


VIS breaks ground at new campus on Phonesavanh Road.


VIS receives accreditation from the International Baccalaureate Organization to deliver Diploma Program. New purpose-built facilities completed.


VIS receives accreditation from the International Baccalaureate Organization to deliver Primary Years Program. VIS gains candidate status for the Middle Years Program.


VIS launches new mission statement - Challenge, Inspire and Prepare Learners for Life.


VIS receives full authorization from the International Baccalaureate Organization to deliver Middle Years Program. VIS offers the first Phu Bia Mining Scholarship to a Lao student. VIS reaccredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for ten years. VIS celebrates 20 Years 1991-2011.


VIS opens its new Secondary Wing, offering more office space and upgraded teaching areas for Performing Arts, Design and Visual Arts.


VIS opens its new 8 lane, 25 m pool and fitness center.


Vientiane International School celebrates 25 Years! VIS redefines mission and core values to challenge, inspire and empower.


Elsa Donohue becomes the new Head of School.  VIS holds community-inclusive Clarity Summit and redefines Mission, Vision, Values and Learning Principals.

New IT platforms begin to be implemented.

VIS Logo

A task force representing all aspects of the VIS community is set up in order to rebrand the school.  By the end of the school year new colors, logo and mascot is adopted and implementation begins.  

New signs are erected, the school begins to be repainted and VIS sports teams proudly wear the new mascot.  New manuals are written to guide our actions concerning finance, child protection, student information, VIS Learning Principles and the IB Program - all based on the VIS RoadMap.


New IT platforms are in place.  Admissions, finance and student management systems are integrated and fully functional. 

VIS transitions to 100% online learning in March due to the global pandemic.  

"Our COVID-19 Community Protection Plans" are developed and implemented.  The campus successfully reopens in August.  Most students return to school, but online learning remains an option.  

Renovation of student drop off and parking area.


We are pleased to announce the Campus Gateway Project.  This exciting project will modernize the entire campus with new centers for learning and renovations in both the primary and secondary schools.

The Journey - Campus Gateway Project

Timeline of the VIS Campus Gateway Project