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About sexypanda

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  1. 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 apparantly 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...
  2. I'm an American who was in China a little under 5 years ago. I overstayed the maximum, something like 2-3 months, due to a broken ankle. I was on a 1-year multi-entry tourist visa, meaning i was supposed to leave every month. I was told i had to pay the maximum fine, which seems to be 5,000rmb. I asked the US embassy in Shanghai to help me, & they somehow talked China into letting me leave without paying the fine, which is something i haven't heard of in others' stories. Anyway, awhile later i went to the Chinese embassy (consul?) in Tokyo & applied for a new visa. I didn't expect to get one, just hoped to find out if i could ever return to China. They said i couldn't get back in China, but didn't know how long or why or if i could pay the fine, etc. Can anyone tell me how i can find out if i can pay a fine & return or not? Who do i contact to get answers?
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