Best International Schools in Shanghai?

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    Colleges are all different in the priority of what they are looking for – SAT scores, grades, course work, extra activities, application essay, etc.

    Each school has a different ranking of these items. For course work they like to see that the student took the most challenging path offered at their school – recognising that not all schools offer advanced classes. If you can’t take AP classes but take the highest level offered and do well in the class, then it should be ok.

    Where SAS really shines is in college counseling – they lead the kids through the whole application and college selection process. Colleges visit throughout the year and kids are very well informed.


    I agree with /profile/250-tnmom/?do=hovercard” data-mentionid=”250″ href=”<___base_url___>/profile/250-tnmom/” rel=””>>@tnmom completely.

    The order is usually GPA, SAT, activities, and then essay/interview. For all schools I visited, the most important factor is GPA with the evidence of taking the most challenging courses offered at school.

    If you can show you extend yourself to take online advanced course not available at your school, that is a plus. My son took a EPGY advanced math course after AP Calculus BC at school. His college did accept the EPGY credit, that is a bonus for time and money saved.

    The book Making it into a top college by Howard Greene, and Matthew Greene is a good guidebook.

    PS Hi,  /profile/250-tnmom/?do=hovercard” data-mentionid=”250″ href=”<___base_url___>/profile/250-tnmom/” rel=””>>@tnmom Did you receive my email?


    I found Concordia very cold. It didn’t feel like a school at all. It was so quiet!!! It felt like we were in an office building not a school. The person that gave us the tour was very matter of fact and dry.

    There were no pictures or drawings on the walls and the kids were soooo quiet. It was really quite wierd. It was like the life was sucked out of the school…

    just my experience, that’s why it is so important to visit the school before you choose.


    Does your company offer a look-see trip where you pick a house and schools?

    This is the best option – to work with the relocation agent to find both things that are relatively near each other and also near work. Since you are coming from Australia I think the grade levels may be mixed up – don’t they start the school year now instead of August/Sept? I imagine the schools will be aware of that.

    This may be a difficult time to relocate since the schools are fairly full – which is why a good relocation service could help. We used FPD Savills and they did a great job – setting up school and house appointments and negotiating our housing contract.


    I guess I’m biased as I work at the British International School, Puxi Campus, but I think it’s one of the best schools in Shanghai.

    The school aims to keep ratios within 25% for any nationality, so we have a huge eclectic mix of cultures from all over the World, all studying within a UK National Curriculum context.

    Located just around the corner from SAS in Puxi, BISS Puxi boasts great facilities and a very competent body of staff.

    There is also a campus in Pudong for those who live on the other side of the river.

    Feel free to send me an e-mail if you would like to know more.


    My husband is very likely to relocate to Shanghai in the middle of this year, therefore my family will be in the city after July.

    Dose any one know a good map in internet of Pudong area? My husband will be working in Pudong , so ideally we will live in Pudong , thus so as the kids school.

    We would enrol our kids into British school, but I heard the BISS is bit far to travel from the expat residential area. OR dose any Australian out there can shed some light on schools in Shanghai simular to the Australian education system.

    Any comment would be much appreciated.


    We looked into schools and finally settled on YCIS (Yew Chung International School). SMIC is a school made up of 50% (I believe) students whose parents work for SMIC, and I wasn’t that into the idea of sending our kids to a school run by a corporation unrelated to schooling…. But from the website it looks ok.

    There are better options. Also, a great option is Shanghai Community International Schools (SCIS). We looked at this one, and it was very beautiful, very friendly staff, and kids from all over the world. The reason we ultimately chose YCIS over SCIS was because YCIS is a bilingual school, and the location is better for us. Both were great.

    My advice to you is to plan 1 or 2 days when you get here to go look at all the schools you are curious about (I would say to look at at-least 3 schools). All the international schools are quite expensive, but if you’re coming on an expat package they should give you some allowance for this.

    Last, you also have the choice of some local schools (and there are some very prestigious schools that allow foreigners) which is great for Chinese immersion, but we decided against this due to the high academic demands and the very long hours (7:30-4:30 for primary school, + 2 1/2 hours of homework per night!)


    Another option not mentioned before is Shanghai United Bilingual School (aka Xiehe Bilingual School aka Shanghai United International School) – it is a Chinese school with a International track in Hongqiao and they are talking about opening a campus in Pudong in the next year. They have a low teacher student ratio (9:1) because they have a Chinese native speaker and English native speaker teaching every class. They also offer pullouts for CSL and ESL so the kids have the opportunity to catch up with their peers if they aren’t fluent in both or either. It is an IB school. And much lower price than it’s big name counterparts.


    /profile/261-emselst/?do=hovercard” data-mentionid=”261″ href=”<___base_url___>/profile/261-emselst/” rel=””>>@emselst, have you gone there for a visit? and where is your daughter now? You previously posted that she wasn’t happy at YCIS.


    Yes, I’ve been to SUBS/SUIS/Xiehe (they’ve recently changed their name, and I’m not sure which one is official) for a visit. It had a small school feeling, with a lot of attention paid to the individual needs of the children. They boast that they combine the best of Western and Eastern teaching methods by having a Chinese and English teacher in all classes at all times. And, unlike YCIS (which also does this with the teachers) they actually teach subjects in English and Chinese, instead of teaching subjects in English and Chinese in Chinese. I also have a friend that has had her kids there for 3 years, and they are quite happy with it. They are older children (10-12 years) and they are both bilingual now.

    Currently, we have our daughter at a local Chinese kindergarten, which is much more play oriented (ironically) than YCIS. YCIS just didn’t pay careful attention to detail and was not attentive to her individual needs. She started halfway through the year, and so she was behind and they just threw her in and expected her to just figure it out. There was a lot of damage done because of this sink or swim attitude. But, that said, I know several people who really are very happy with YCIS. It all comes down to everyone is different. It didn’t work for us, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad school.


    I’m always very curious over one thing – for a school to get top notch teachers, they probably have to pay top-notch salaries.

    How do schools which don’t command high fees pay their teachers?

    They must have some secret that my company does not…hmm…


    Yes, that’s true. In logical terms, you are absolutely right. But it is really much more complex than that.

    I think some reasons the REALLY expensive ($20G/year) international schools charge so much is because:

    a- they can because what other choices do parents have when they feel so out of place? Plus, to attend these schools, you HAVE to have a foreign passport, which means that most of the people who attend receive an education allowance that covers all or most of the tuition.

    b- they generally build new facilities (as I said, SUIS is a Chinese local school with an international branch, which means it is not a western facility)

    c- they import teachers so they have to pay them a lot more, packages etc… whereas the bilingual schools only import about 1/2 of their teachers, and the other 1/2 are local and don’t receive packages. YCIS is an exception to this, although they may import many of their Chinese speakers as well since they are a Hong Kong based school, I’m not sure.

    I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons, and I’m not an expert. I am only making observations. It seems a very bad idea to assume that just because the school is expensive that they pay their teachers well, and that because they pay their teachers well, it means they are top notch. It is not always as it seems.

    It is my opinion that quality teaching doesn’t necessarily have to do with how much you are paid, the facilities you are teaching in, or what country you come from.


    i have to fully agree with /profile/261-emselst/?do=hovercard” data-mentionid=”261″ href=”<___base_url___>/profile/261-emselst/” rel=””>>@emselst – that just because some international schools pay their teachers well, doesn’t mean they are top notch, nor does it means that the kids are getting a reasonably good education.

    It would be not be wise for anyone to assume that low salaries means the teachers in that school is of low teaching standards.


    Unfortunately, I have to disagree about Livingston. I thought the small classes, nice environment & reasonable tuition fee was a plus when I registered my kids last Fall but ended up taking them back to the US after only enrolled in class for two months bc my son & daughter (7 and 4 at that time) were the only native English speaker among ALL Korean speakers.

    They had to boot my kids two grade levels up and they learned nothing, infact, fell behind when they entered school back home in CA.

    I was also told when I first registered at their school that they were accredited by the US bc they used an American curriculum, but was misinformed when I contacted the US accreditation association directly.

    The staff and teachers are very sweet, though I found that they are very young & inexperienced.

    During a parent conference, I spoke with my daughter’s kinder/1st grade teacher who was a new graduate from the US, she told me she couldn’t wait til her contract was up in a year when she had only been in Shanghai for one month!

    So I expect the turnaround rate of the teaching staff must be often.

    On another note, has anyone ever heard of the Xiehe Chinese/International School in Hongqiao???


    Montessori school of Shanghai is the best to me. I am a mother of a child of 3 years old and my daughter does enjoy her schools in MSS and also I am pretty satisfied with it due to its philosophy and I can tell it is the only authentic Montessori school in shanghai.

    I do appreciate what they offer and this is the best gift I can give to my child I think.


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