05 Oct 2018
The international education scene in China is booming.
While this brings more options for expat families to choose from – there are 566 English-medium international schools in China according to this article by Relocate Global last year – this makes researching for the best school possible a little bit more difficult. Add to that government regulations dictating the sorts of curriculum they can teach and students they can enrol, it can be a lot to go through.
If this is your first time as an expat about to relocate to China and of encountering this unique system, our quiz can guide you towards understanding this system more and hopefully, making your decision easier.
1. What is your nationality?
2. Which curriculum do you want your child to study?
3. To what level do you want your child to learn Chinese?
4. Do you want your child to be surrounded by an international or local community in school?
5. How important are experiential learning and co-curricular activities to your child's education?
Which international school in China will best suit your child?
School for Children of Foreign Workers (SCFW)
"Expat School," as they are known will be best for your child. This is where children of expatriates living in China receive an international education - The local curriculum is not offered here. Local Chinese children are not allowed to be enroled, except those migrating from other Asian countries or with a parent who holds a foreign passport.
Sino-Foreign Cooperative Schools (SFCS)
These are joint ventures between a foreign education company or school and a local Chinese owner. The former provides the teaching and learning, while the latter provides the land and funding. Both expatriate and local Chinese students of any age can attend these schools. Take note, however, that they are restricted to secondary and higher education only.
Chinese-owned private schools
These are internationally-oriented schools where local Chinese can enroll their children in. Many offer bilingual learning, arts programs, an emphasis on English and internationally-recognised qualifications.
Chinese-owned public schools
These institutions teach the national curriculum regulated by the Chinese government. Though many continue with the traditional rote learning approach to education, some public schools in China now offer "international streams" that teach the national Chinese curriculum in both Chinese and English as an option to high school students.
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The 4 types of international schools in China