Expatriates moving to Shanghai must search through the limited information online and decipher which is the best school for their children. Some families enroll their kids into local schools; however the most expats decide to look for schools that mirror their own country’s educational system. International schools in Shanghai offer expatriate families the choice of educating their child using various curriculums from different countries such as Britain, America, Germany, France, Holland, Korea, Japan and Singapore. Since Shanghai has such a large and vibrant international community, the city boasts a good number of international schools to choose from. Here are some helpful insights into International Schools in Shanghai. Knowing about the schools is essential before you start searching for your Shanghai Apartment.
Shanghai American School (SAS)
The Shanghai American School is not only the largest international school in Shanghai, but also the largest international school in China. With over 3,200 students spread across two campuses, one in Puxi and the other in Pudong. SAS is quite diverse with over 40 different nationalities represented in the student body. SAS offers an educational experience in line with American standards. Students at SAS are exposed to a rich academic environment and generally score well above average on standardized tests. More than 98% of SAS graduates go on to universities in the US and around the world.
1. SAS emphasize fostering well-rounded students by encouraging student involvement in enriching extracurricular activities. The facilities at SAS are known for being state of the art. The campuses include multiple black box theatres and performance centers that are known to house professional musical and theatre groups from China and around the world.
2. Chinese language programs are integrated into the curriculum ensuring that students have a working-knowledge of the local language.
1, Getting a spot at SAS is rather difficult and usually there is a wait list to get in at the Puxi campus.
Tuition fees: $19,983-$31,798 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP), American high school diploma, and IB Program.
Concordia International School
Concordia International School provides a college-prep American-based curriculum. The learning environment is based on a Christian context. Located in Pudong, Concordia boasts several newer buildings and facilities that are of a high-caliber.
1. Concordia is known to have an active parent community with many avenues for parents to get involved in the school community.
2. Smaller class-sizes foster a close-knit environment and help to individualize learning.
Concordia emphasizes an English speaking environment, which could make it difficult for students who struggle with English; ESL programs are not offered.
Tuition fees: $12,700-$21,300 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses and American high school diploma.
Shanghai Community International School
With four campuses scattered around Puxi and Pudong, the Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) enrolls around 600 students per campus, which as indicated by the school’s name really makes each campus a tight community! With over 60 nationalities represented in the student body, SCIS follows an American-based curriculum, while at the same time promoting a very strong international environment by exposing students to educational features from other countries. SCIS has a reputation for having one of the top athletic programs in Shanghai; SCIS’ basketball, volleyball, and football team have long winning streaks! SCIS also provides a large range of after school activities for students ranging from Model UN to choir groups. SCIS was voted by Shanghai Cityweekend as one of the top schools that build character in their students!
1. SCIS is recognized for having excellent Early Childhood Education Programs
2. SCIS strives to be a responsible institution by implementing efforts to foster a “green” campus and by actively engaging in community service projects.
Tuition costs for upper-year students are among the most expensive in Shanghai.
Tuition fees: $13,888-$33,497
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP), American high school diploma, and IB program.
SMIC is a unique international school that was founded by the Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and is essentially a bilingual school with an English division and a Chinese division for students. In the English division, SMIC follows an American educational track and incorporates elements of Chinese educational philosophy in order to give students a unique educational perspective. SMIC’s vision is to create a community of global citizens.
1. SMIC has one of the lowest tuition fees among international schools in Shanghai, making SMIC an affordable option for parents who want to expose their children to high-quality education.
2. Small class sizes and tight-knit faculty fosters an increased sense of school spirit.
Compared to other international schools, SMIC has limited activities and electives for students to choose from.
Tuition fees: $ 12,000-$14,440 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP).
Livingston American School
Livingston American School was established in 2001 as part of a former U.S. congressman’s mission to establish schools with American traditions in five cities around the world. As one of the newer international schools in Shanghai, Livingston American School’s enrollment is expanding every year. Livingston American School also offers a unique bilingual Korean and Japanese preschool option.
1. Offers a comprehensive ESL program for non-native speakers
2. As a new school, students benefit from small-class sizes and receive more individual attention from instructors.
While Livingston’s student body comes from all over the world, the majority of students attending are from a Korean background, making Livingston not as diverse as other international schools in Shanghai.
Tuition fees: $11,823-$26,255 USD/year
Curriculum: Advanced Placement courses (AP).
British International School Shanghai (BISS)
The British International School Shanghai is one of the most prestigious international schools in the city. With two campuses, one in Puxi and the other in Pudong, BISS aims to keep ratios within 25% for any nationality, giving the school a very international feel. The sports, arts, and technology facilities are all first-rate, which allow students to participate in a wide-array of extracurricular programs. Graduates from BISS often matriculate to top universities in the western world.
1. BISS is considered to be one of the most accommodating schools for children with special needs.
2. BISS has a unique Dutch program where students can take one hour of Dutch per day!
BISS’s campus in Pudong is quite far and could be a hassle to reach for parents with children at other campuses.
Tuition fees: $9,307-$17,513 USD/year
Curriculum: National curriculum of England, A-levels and IB program.
Dulwich College is an international school that is associated with Dulwich College in London. The Pudong campus boasts around 1,350 students from over 40 different nationalities. The campus is nested in large open green space, which is a pleasant contrast to the urban feel of the city. Dulwich is known to be a very academic-oriented; students are encouraged to strive for high levels of academic achievement. In addition, Dulwich has high-quality facilities and offers extensive extracurricular programs in both athletics and arts.
1. The school’s location is quite central, making it convenient for many families.
2. Staff and teachers are quite accommodating and are known to exhibit a high level of professionalism.
Dulwich offers a limited selection of secondary foreign languages from students to choose from (French, German, and Chinese).
Tuition fees: $12,192-$40,978 USD/year
Curriculum: National curriculum of England and IB program
Shanghai Rego International School
The Shanghai Rego International School is located in Puxi and follows a British curriculum but also offers SAT testing for students. With the majority of students being non-native English speakers, Shanghai Rego International School provides extensive language programs in tangent with the school’s English-language structure. Students are given the option of participating in sports, arts, drama, and language activities outside of the classroom.
1. Only British-curriculum based school in Shanghai that offers SAT testing to students.
2. Offers a specialized language program that promotes the usage of students’ mother tongue, in tangent with taking classes in English. Languages included are: Dutch, German, French, Spanish, and Chinese.
In 2012, there was a scandal with Shanghai Rego International school’s teachers having illegal or no visas, which almost caused the school to shut down.
Tuition fees: $18,258-$29,832 USD/year
Curriculum: National Curriculum of England up to A-levels, IB Program, and IGCSE.
Yew Chung International School of Shanghai
Yew Chung International School is a bilingual school (English and Mandarin) with headquarters based in Hong Kong. The Pudong campus follows a British educational tradition, and also focuses on student’s achievement of competency in both English and Chinese. The school offers a great deal of sports and arts programs and also offers academic enrichment opportunities.
1. Yew Chung International School of Shanghai is recognized as one of the best international schools in integrating Chinese language into the school’s curriculum.
2. The location of Yew Chung International School of Shanghai is relatively convenient.
1. The school offers a limited amount of sports programs compared to other international schools in Shanghai.
Tuition fees: $11,902-$42,878 USD/year
Curriculum: National curriculum of England
Non-English International Schools
The Eurocampus is located in Qingpu district and is composed of both the German and French school of Shanghai. Both schools have students from varying nationalities; however students must be proficient in either French or German in order to attend the schools. Both schools have extensive extracurricular programs and impressive arts and sports facilities. Both schools also offer students the opportunities to take academic and language courses in English and Chinese.
Deutsche Schule (Eurocampus)
Tuition fees: $10,449-$19,294 USD/year
Curriculum: Based on the Ringen curriculum.
Lycee Francais de Shanghai
Tuition fees: $7,515-$19,546 USD/year
Curriculum: French Baccalaureate
Shanghai Japanese School
The Shanghai Japanese School provides a Japanese-based education, with the language of instruction being Japanese. The School predominantly caters to Japanese expats, with a few students from other Asian countries that are proficient in the Japanese language.
Tuition fees: 80,000 yen/month
Curriculum: Based on Japan’s national education system.
Shanghai Korean School
The Shanghai Korean School caters to the children of Korean expats in Shanghai and teaches based on the Korean education system. Students must be proficient in the Korean language, in order to attend this school.
Tuition: Inquire at School
Curriculum: Korean National Curriculum
For a complete directory of schools you can visit http://www.shfamily.com/articles/2012/06/01/essential-school-guide-shanghai/
Information regarding the different types of curriculums offered, and the difference between Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate is described in-depth here http://www.shfamily.com/articles/2012/06/01/international-education-shanghai/
For a list of some of the concerns with International schools in Shanghai and problems that students face can be found here
Adrienne Farrelly is one of Shanghai’s most experienced expatriate Property Agents helping expats find new homes since 1994. You can reach her at +86 13122 810 421 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with her on Skype at shanghaiproperties8. Shanghai Properties