By the early 1920s, there were, for the first time, enough Vietnamese students in Paris to be noticed by the popular press. Though they did not arouse so much curiosity as other foreign students, particularly the much larger contingent from China, the Vietnamese were the subject of occasional human interest stories, which usually stressed their seriousness of scholarly purpose, and their gratitude to France. Had a curious French journalist chosen to ask how the Vietnamese students got to France, by what criteria they were chosen, what was their social and academic background, and, more pointedly, what was the French policy for education in her Indochinese colony and what role did educating students in France play in it, he would have had a difficult time finding someone who could give him a comprehensive answer. For the Vietnamese student presence in Paris after the war was not so much the consequence of any particular program as it was the outcome of a tangled interplay of French policies, French compromises, Vietnamese aspirations and Vietnamese social movements. The Vietnamese presence in France was not something planned by the French. Instead it was the result of France’s long term failure to create an educational policy in the colony that would satisfy both Vietnamese aspirations and her own needs as the colonizing power.