Vientiane International High School is a French school under contract with the AEFE. It opened its doors in September 1986. You will find below a presentation of the school, its staff and its history as well as a biography of Josué Hoffet, a geologist by training and a pioneer in Laos in ethnology and paleontology, written by a student. You will also find a list of services and contacts and a photo gallery of the school.
Who to contact?
All necessary information is available in the attached file :
Who to contact - 2020-2021
The history of the school
From the French Embassy to Hadxaykhao...
On September 1, 1986, the French high school opened its doors in Vientiane.
It was first located on the site of the French Embassy until 1993, when it moved to Thadeua on a 5805 m2 plot of land belonging to the French Embassy. In 2000, the annex building (currently occupied by a school) was rented to accommodate secondary school students.
In November 2003, due to the continuous increase in the number of students, an additional building was constructed at the back of the Thadeua site; this building was inaugurated at the beginning of the 2005 school year by the secondary school students. The sports and extracurricular activities were then partly carried out on the Simuang site, owned by the French Embassy.
In 2012, the Simuang site, with an area of 4800 m2, was rented to the French Embassy and 544 m2 of buildings were built to accommodate two kindergarten classes and a dormitory.
At the beginning of the school year in September 2007, the Josué-Hoffet French High School already had 384 students, whereas its capacity was 380. The management committee began looking for a new site to create an extension. Faced with the difficulties of finding a suitable site, an 800 m2 plot of land adjacent to the school was rented, which allowed the creation of 4 primary classes since June 1st 2008.
The search for new land continued... and it was only in 2015 that the land in Hatxaykhao could be acquired for the construction of the middle school. The land was purchased by the AEFE on March 18, 2015, under a 99-year concession granted by the Laotian state.
The DG architectural firm won the competition and work began in 2016. Certain elements of the program allowed for rationalized energy management, such as an efficient treatment of the facades and an orientation of the bay windows that favors natural lighting while avoiding direct sunlight, but also, a design and orientation of the buildings in relation to the prevailing winds that allows natural ventilation of the spaces. An access area for the disabled and an elevator provide access to all floors and facilities of the school.
It is thus a brand new educational complex that has seen the light of day with a 25m swimming pool, a sports arena, an air-conditioned dance hall, an amphitheater, a computer room, science rooms... making it possible to comfortably accommodate secondary school students in complementarity with the Thadeua site for primary school students.
The new French high school on the Hadxaykhao site was inaugurated on March 27, 2018 in the presence of Ms. Lao Minister of Education and Sports, Ms. Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, Ms. Ambassador of France to the Lao People's Republic, Ms. Claudine Ledoux, the Director of the AEFE, Mr. Christophe Bouchard and Ms. President of the CGS, Ms. Cécile Perrot.
Qui est Josué Hoffet
Josué-Heilman Hoffet, born in Lorraine in 1901, is a scientist of the first half of the 20th century who worked in Indochina as a doctoral student and then as a researcher.
A geologist by training and profession, Josué Hoffet also played a pioneering role in Laos in ethnology and paleontology.
A patriot during the two world wars and a member of the Resistance, he died in northern Vietnam after the coup de force of March 9, 1945.
Josué Hoffet obtained a degree in natural sciences at the University of Nancy with certificates in geology, botany and zoology. In 1927, he left for Indochina to carry out geological studies in central Annam and lower Laos (on a Danang - Mekong axis) for his doctoral thesis, for which he received a prize from the Academy of Sciences in 1933.
He returned to Indochina the same year in order to continue his work; he was thus officially entrusted with the realization of a geological map of Indochina on a scale of 1/500.000. The major part of his activity consisted in exploring the territories and analyzing the soils in order to develop mining productions such as tin or copper in Laos, gold and iron in Tonkin. His activities also led him to hydrogeology: fresh water supply (Tourane), dam project on the Black River.
A pioneer ethnologist and paleontologist of this region.
To facilitate his work as a geologist, Josué Hoffet is led to carry out ethnographic studies. He is interested in the tribes of proto-Indochinese mountain people who live between Tourane and the Bolovens. The material collected (hunting objects, photographs) during his tours is kept at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris.
While making a geological map of lower Laos, Josué Hoffet discovered fossil bones of dinosaurs near the village of Tang Vay, including a large femur and a small codal vertebra.
He described a new species of herbivorous quadripedal dinosaur: titanosaurus falloti as well as a new species of hadrosaur (duckbill). Hoffet will also prove the existence of prehistoric fish in Laos.
A dinosaur museum in the Savannakhet region exhibits the results of these researches which were resumed after a fifty year interruption.
Josué Hoffet, a committed patriot who participated in both world wars, died for France.
While Lorraine was part of the German Reich, schoolboy Josué Hoffet was sent to study in England and then in Switzerland during the First World War. He continued his higher education in Lorraine, which became French again in 1918.
After this eventful period of schooling, Josué Hoffet found himself once again, after 15 years of work, confronted with the Second World War. While he was supposed to return to France, his native region having become German again after the defeat of June 1940, he was mobilized in Hué and then in Hanoi as a teacher and member of the intelligence services within the administration of the Governorate General. The latter ensured the continuity of the French presence in Indochina while accepting the requisitions of a rapidly expanding Japanese army of occupation.
Josué Hoffet, deeply patriotic, was part of the French resistance against the Vichy regime..
During the coup of March 9, 1945, he was part of the minority who managed to escape from the prisons and internment centers of the Japanese army. He marched towards the Chinese border with a free group to join the fighting units. It was in 1947 that his death in an ambush in the north of Tonkin (in the province of Son La) on April 21, 1945 was officially recognized and he was declared Dead for France.
One would think that with this heroic yet tragic story, Josué Hoffet deserves to be better known.
Text written by P. Treutenaere, LFIV student.