A Teaching Opportunity Provided by Swim For Life

“More young people die in Vietnam every year due to drowning than road traffic accidents and it is the biggest killer of children in Vietnam.”

Swim for Life is a Service Learning Program at UNIS Hanoi that supports KOTO and Blue Dragon by providing swimming lessons every Wednesday. Starting this year, the Aquatics department began offering  the American Red Cross’ Water Safety Instructor Course (WSI) in conjunction with Swim for Life to allow the volunteers to develop the necessary skills for planning and instructing swimming courses. After attending all sessions, completing assignments, and conducting practice lessons, students receive a Red Cross WSI certificate, recognized internationally. The flagship team of trainees already underwent the initial training in the early months September, and those who are following through to receive their degree will complete the final exams in early June.


The premiere group of student instructor during their first practical lesson, courtesy of the Swim for Life group

With the immense success of the program this year, Mrs. Ella and the rest of the Aquatics department will begin offering the course to other students aged 16 and older to take part in the court and receive the WSI certificate. The best part – any student can attend the course! It is absolutely FREE (yes, as in no cost!) for UNIS students, and  all that is required are the basic prerequisites that follow:


  1.             Front crawl – 25 meters
  2.             Back crawl – 25 meters
  3.             Sidestroke – 25  meters
  4.             Breaststroke – 25 meters
  5.             Elementary Backstroke – 25 meters
  6.             Butterfly – 15 meters
  7.             Tread water 1 minute
  8.             Back float 1 minute

The pre-course skills evaluation is done during XBLOCK, and afterwards the students are officially part of the WSI course. Students go through 7 hours of online independent work and 23 hours of classroom and pool practice. After attending all sessions for the WSI course, students can then apply what they learned during Service learning on Wednesdays.

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A male volunteer working with a handicapped member of Blue Dragon, courtesy of the Swim for Life group

Why would you join this course?

The benefit of doing this course is that students abilities then become internationally recognized, giving you an option for summer jobs, private lessons, and even co-teaching at the UNIS Aquatics Academy. Also, by becoming a certified swimming teacher and offering lessons in the Vietnamese community, YOU can make a change in this area.

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A female volunteer helping KOTO teens get accustomed to the pool, courtesy of the Swim for Life group

Contact Mrs. Ella ehealy@unishanoi.org  – UNIS Aquatics Coordinator for more