If you are moving to China with your family, the first thing you need to make sure of is that your children can attend a good school and continue their education without problems. China has a verity of options for you, from public schools, private schools, international schools and homeschooling.
Chinese public schools follow the national education system and curriculum. As in any country, some public schools are better than others, but all of them are more competitive and more rigorous than any public school from outside China. These schools don’t have a second language class in their curriculum and all the classes are taught in Chinese.
Most of the expats that send their children to public schools are the ones that have plans of permanently residing in China and want their children to adapt as much as possible with Chinese culture and language.
Tuition costs vary, but even the highest one is way cheaper than an international school.
Compared to public schools, private schools have better facilities and a more international curriculum that includes some English taught classes for expats. Also, here, students will have more extra-curricular activities that a public school has to offer.
The tuition fees are higher than public schools but still very much cheaper than any international school.
International education in China
Most international school in China follow the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Classes are taught in English but student will also attend Mandarin or Cantonese classes.
This is why international schools are the most obvious option for expat families. Although the tuition fees for international schools are very high, reaching up to 250.000 RMB for a senior student, the admission to such a school is very competitive and the waiting line can be very long.
Here is a list of International Schools all over China.
Some expats feel that with their earnings they can’t pay for schools in China so they go for homeschooling. In most major cities there are even homeschooling support groups for parents and children, where they have the opportunity to interact, exchange ideas and learning materials.
For homeschooling, the best thing to do is to bring most of the learning materials from your country. Here, even the English literature is very limited and expensive.
So, these are the options China has to offer and if you are thinking of moving here you should make sure your children have a place booked in a school. Waiting until you come here might be a risk of not finding a place in time and having to wait for next year.