Expat parents in China choosing local schools rather than internationals

Expat parents in China choosing local schools rather than internationals

Expat parents in China choosing local schools rather than internationals

Increasing numbers of expat parents in China are rejecting international schooling in favour of local education for their kids.

An increasing number of expat parents in China are now choosing local public schools for their kids in the hope they will become fluent in Mandarin Chinese. It has to be said that high international school fees are a factor in their choices but, with many parents hoping to stay in the country and an increasing demand in business for Mandarin Chinese as a second language, a public school education can be a route to a successful career as a translator for major Chinese corporations.

Obviously, coping with cultural barriers as well as the language can be tricky for many youngsters, as can the endless and inevitable state propaganda present in Chinese schools, but parental help can ameliorate the majority of issues children might find confusing. One 13-year old expat student at a secondary school attached to Beijing’s University of Science and Technology is one of only two expat kids in his class of 39, and has interesting comments about his experiences.

As a foreign student, he says, he’s allowed more privileges than his Chinese classmates, such as being allowed to read a Chinese novel in English language classes. He’s totally fluent in Chinese, as he’s always attended local schools, and all his friends are Chinese. His parents chose to have him educated in local schools as they felt it was important for him to become fluent in the Chinese language as well as becoming disciplined and resilient.

His mother admires the way Chinese children are taught across all academic subjects, saying her boy's skills in maths are far higher than their friends’ skills in the USA. She's also happy to admit the exorbitant fees charged by Beijing’s plethora of international schools were another reason for her decision to have her son educated locally. China is now home to over 700 international education institutes, with around 60 more opening every year. One 2018 survey taking in 677 international schools worldwide found China’s to be the most expensive at around $33,591 a year on average. As a result, the majority of Beijing expat parents are now sending their kids to local schools or homeschooling them as a last resort.

Related Stories:

Latest News: