Beijing - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

I do not have school-aged children, but I understand that the schools are excellent and a major draw for many families. - Nov 2021

The schools are a huge draw for people. There are people that come to Beijing even though they don't want to but they, and their kids, want to return to one of the several fabulous schools here. - Nov 2020

Most international schools are slated to begin Fall classes on September 1st, although it’s still unclear whether those will be in-person or virtual. The majority of expat teachers are still stuck outside of China due to visa issues, so expect a steep learning curve as schools make use of Chinese substitutes and interpreters. - Aug 2020

Great schools so many choices - including downtown. WAB, ISB, YCIS, BSB, so many more. a bit expensive for pre-k, but super great choices. - May 2020

People tend to go to ISB or WAB. Both are good schools although WAB is a feel good school their academics are not as strong as ISB and if you are going to college in the U.S. ISB prepares kids for that well. - Oct 2017

No experience, but I know there are a large variety and I've heard no complaints. People have their kids in American, British, French, and other schools. That's an advantage of being in such an enormous international city. - Dec 2015

Many great international schools. Most of them are located in Shunyi. - Apr 2015

There are several good schools in the city but I don't have school-aged kids so I'm not too familiar with this subject. - Aug 2014

There are lots of school options here. My kids go to the main embassy-supported school. It is quite large and well-funded. There are lots of sports teams and amenities at the school. You can find a variety of other options though, from smaller schools to bilingual ones to Montessori schools. - Jul 2014

Excellent international schools but expect to pay New York City private school prices. - Jun 2013

Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) and International School of Beijing (ISB) seem to be the most commonly used by Americans, though there are other options. - Aug 2011

I teach at Yew Chung International School. It's a good one. I've enjoyed my time here and the children are lovely. - Apr 2011

There are international schools and parents here have the same complaints about the schools as they do anywhere else in the world (with some unusual ones like one school where a kid was run over on the playground by an Audi - no, I have no idea what it was doing there). I don't have kids so if you do, do your research. I've heard that the Chinese government allows children of foreigners to attend local schools, and this can be much less expensive than the private international schools. - Jan 2011

We have kids at ISB. I love everything about it except the Chinese program. If your kids go to a big int'l school, they will not learn Chinese. The schools all split native speakers from non-natives, and they pretty much ignore the non-natives, or teach them to sing songs about bunny rabbits and things. They will not allow your child to "sink or swim" with the native speakers, no matter how much you beg. But they will put brand new kids in your child's Chinese class, even if your kid has been here for 4 or 5 years, and they'll expect your kid to sit and behave while they catch the new kids up. VERY frustrating. I've also seen kids (whose first language is Chinese) turned away from the native-speaker program because they don't "look" Chinese. No joke. Lots of families end up hiring tutors. Some send their kids to 3e, the only bilingual international school. Other than my issues with the Chinese program, I've been quite happy with ISB. It has a fabulous facility, amazing teachers, and a terrific PE program. WAB is also very, very nice and quite popular. - Apr 2010

Most of the schools are national schools in an international setting. So ISB provides the American curriculum, the French Schoolthe French curriculum, Japanese the Japanese etc. There are only three international schools who provide the full International Baccalauriat curriculum: WAB, BISS and BCIS. All are good schools. - Jan 2010

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