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Rusty

Shanghai International school alternatives?

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I know many people that are here without package or without school being part of the package. What do you do? How do you get education for your child if you can't afford $20,000 a year tuition? What are the options? Local school??? International stream?? What schools offer this and furthermore, what does it entail if you and/ or your child doesn't speak Chinese (or read or write)? I am in the fortunate position of having free international tuition because my partner teaches at an international school. However, since we live quite far from the school and because we have already lived in China for a long time, we chose to send our son to a local kindergarten when he was two years old. My partner is keen on him going on to local elementary school as well. Are we crazy?

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i dont think you are crazy. If anything, I think your child will probably get a more rounded experience with local school during the day and English (or whatever your native language is) when at home. What an amazing opportunity to develop the language portions of the brain! Never under estimate kids. Several teachers i have met have told me it probably wont make any difference (international school vs local) until the children start hitting 4th grade or higher. Cant remember the rational, but they all taught elementary school here in China as foreigners so they did get a little insight into the local schools.

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He does speak like a local kid now but he looks quite different with the blond curly hair and blue eyes. We took him to the mall last month to see Ultraman. After the fight with the monster they started asking kids to come up front to answer questions for a prize. He raised his hand, went up and answered (in Chinese) correctly and won an airplane. He was the only foreign (looking) kid there. I cried, it was so cool. But, we will need a tutor soon, he's in zhong ban now.

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I know a few expat parents that used to send their kids to international schools. They later switched to local schools. They felt that the teachers at the international schools are not professional enough. Some of the teachers are recruited from overseas and did not have teaching experience before.

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I sent my daughter to 3&3 bilingual kindergarten. Its a Taiwan school. But the students are mainly kids from China and Asians. They have both international stream and local stream. My daughter is in local stream. But there class have German, Brazilian, Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese. I think its a very good school with very professional and caring teacher. Furthermore their fees are affordable. 2700RMB per month. I am in overseas now. So I don't have their tel no. You can check it out from the operator.

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I feel fortunate that we can afford the choice, and that we've found a good middle ground between local school and int'l school tuition. 

Sounds like your partner is sold on local local, in which case, affordability is not a problem. But if you're still not comfortable with 100% local, then the guoji/waiji bans are worth considering. 

Your son is in zhong ban? My older son did the guoji ban at a local kindergarten (since he wasn't as comfortable with Chinese yet), which was about USD 750/month. Still pricey, but not as much as int'l schools. My younger son is in zhong ban and I'm going to keep him in the local track for the rest of kindergarten because we're happy with the education there and because the price is nice (less than USD 200/month). 

Later when your son is ready for primary school, several local primary schools have guoji/waiji bans, including these downtown ones: Qi Se Hua (on Yandang Lu near Fuxing Park), Ai Ju (off of Hengshan Lu, near Xujiahui), Xuhui No. 1 Primary (on Fuxing Lu near Xiangyang Nan Lu). You should also check out the new YK Pao School which now occupies the former SCIS Changning campus on Jiangsu Lu. Their tuition is half of the international schools! 

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