Chinese public schools and expatriate children

chinese school

 

Most expatriate children go to international schools in Beijing, they are schools specially designed for international curriculum. Still, some parents prefer to send their children to public schools in China, which is a tough choice. It can be done for various reasons. One of the main reasons is that international schools in Beijing can be extremely expensive, and since the expatriate population in China is evolving, parents find themselves obliged to put their children in Chinese public schools. Another reason is the will of some parents to have a cultural immersion for their kids. This is not a majority but it exists as well.

 

This is an option which is more and more frequently by foreign parents in China. This is a good opportunity to promote a new way of life for expatraites in Beijing, with bilingual children and a much better understanding of the Chinese society.

 

It is easier to do with children of a very young age who are going to learn the language much more quickly, and this is a challenge when it comes to language and writing skills, with its tones and thousands of characters. The choice of Chinese public schools might be better at kidergarten age. Among the advantages, the fees, but it is far from being only about fees.

 

The equipment in public kindergartens in China is quite good, with small sized groups of children ; expatriate parents are often surprised in a good way by the facilities.

 

The biggest davnatage is learning Chinese very quickly. Children of yound age are very good at switching languages and can even be amazingly impressive at it. A midterm option could be to send the children in a school with bilingual languages teachings, that are more and more frequent because of Chinese parents willing to have their children speaking english fluently. Expatraite children can benefit from such places as well.

 

When you want to send your children aged 5 and more in the Chinese system, this can be a good idea but this should be carefully thought over. When the children grow in age, it will become harder and harder to adapt to a new system, and a system that is very competitive. Child who discover the language over 6 are going to fight to adapt themselves, they can do it but it’s better they are cared after.

 

There is an amazing amount of homework for the children, parents should knwo it and it can be a schock if they are used to more western flexible systems. You’ll have to be able to communicate with the teachers, this can be a barrier as well. Some schools are extremely competitive and may test your children before they are allowed in. A solution might be the large number of Chinese public schools that are opening international divisions. Once again, these classes are designed for chinese children as a incentive to be more adapted to an internal environment and be at ease abroad.

 

This is an important choice to be made, the best is to visit the schools, ask advice, meet the teachers, as you would do with any school. And then decide if you wnat to go for the 100% Chinese program, the 100% international or a mix of both.

 

 

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