Reply To: Best International Schools in Shanghai?

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As a student, I attended Chinese local schools, Taipei American School, and Shanghai American School… My opinion is that if you have a younger child (non-high school), a local school would not be such a bad option.

It is a great way to become immersed in local culture and learning Chinese would be quick. But I think parents who are concerned with their child’s education should keep in mind that local school teachers/admin may not be very helpful towards an expat child… When I attended local schools, there was a general kind of “let’s beat the little American kid” type atmosphere and I got the feeling I wasn’t being treated and taught the same way other kids were…

If you are looking for a semi-international school, there is actually a little-known school called SHS (Shanghai High School). I don’t know much about it but apparently it is a local school with an international division..?

But I must say, Shanghai American School is hands-down the best intl. school you are going to find in Shanghai. The quality of education is no doubt better than any other intl. school… No question better than US public schools… Now I sit in a US university classroom while other students struggle and think “Hey, I learned this in 11th grade…”

Concerning the fact that intl students lead “a privileged, expat life devoid of any meaningful interaction with locals”… I think this has nothing to do with what school you attend but what your attitude is… If you want your child to understand and learn about the culture, for godsakes don’t be living in China and get them to take French language classes! In addition, the school makes a huge effort to teach students about Chinese culture.

8-10 graders get “China Alive” trips each year visiting and learning about places as close as Beijing and Nanjing to as far as Guilin, Xinjiang, and Urumuqi. There are also high level Chinese classes available for students who want to keep their mandarin up to scratch…

All I can say is SAS has prepared me very well for life after high-school as well as giving me a fun and challenging high-school experience…