Staff Picks with Head of Administration Anna Darby

The Best things to do in Hoi An

 We sat down with our new Head of Administration, Anna Darby –  to talk about some of her favourite things about Hoi An.

Anna Darby is Hoi An International School’s new Head of Administration & Operations. But it’s not the first time we’ve seen her around campus. Ms Anna has been a staple at HAIS since the school’s inception and has witnessed our students grow and the school transform over time.

Born and raised in Ukraine, Ms Anna studied Advertising and Public Relations in International Partnerships in Saint Petersburg and is fluent in English, Ukrainian and Russian. Her adventurous spirit led her to travelling South East Asia and when she spun her compass towards Vietnam, she never left. Ms Anna immediately fell in love with the people, the food, and in particular Hoi An.

I fell in love with Hoi An almost instantly, and shortly after my arrival, a friend told me Hoi An International School had an open vacancy in the Administration Office. Building a new home and family is a privilege that Hoi An and HAIS gave me. I can do what I love with the people I care for. This feeling of growing with and building the school gives me a purpose.”

Life at HAIS has shaped Ms Anna’s life in more ways than one. She met her husband, Teacher Jo at the school and her son Oaken will attend the Early Years programme this academic year.

When Ms Anna talks about the school, it is with so much heart and spirit. Her commitment to the school shines and she leads the Administration Team by example of determination, consistency, and kindness. She’s also a bit of a transcendental trend-setter and we love her sense of style.

Thank you, Anna – everything you do here is a gift and we are grateful to have you steer the admin ship this year.

Anna’s Favourites:

Favourite food in Hoi An? 

I cannot name one favourite food, as Hoi An has much to offer: from Hoshigami Sushi, TOK’s yummy okra, Nourish falafel burger, 3 Dragons schnitzel and Sunday roast at Barefoot to Rosie’s French toast and Lagom’s strawberry croissant. And, of course, delicious Vietnamese street food. I am getting hungry by naming these! 

Favourite beach? 

Undoubtedly, the best beach around here is at Hoiana (Nam Hoi An).

Favourite coffee shop? 

Bonte Cafe for an exceptional coconut coffee (located conveniently by the school), 9 Grains for a refreshing everyday latte and Sound of Silence for the best coffee with a view.

Where do you always take visitors? 

Best fun to have in Hoi An without spending a cent? 

Cycling around Hoi An and walking through the rice paddies. 

Favourite time of year? 

The start of the school year, of course!

Best place to watch the sunset? 

Cầu Đế Võng Bridge & Coco Casa.

You can’t leave Hoi An without……?

Having a bowl of Cao lầu, a portion of Bánh ướt cuốn thịt nướng by the river and a handmade lantern from the Old Town. Someone would say, “Bahn Mi” and I would agree, just not a big fan of bread.