Yew Chung International School of Shanghai (1993)

Ages 2-18, 2400+ pupils

18 Ronghua Xi Lu, by Shuicheng Nan Lu (Gubei Campus)
Ages 11-18
+86 21 2226 7666

1817 Hua Mu Lu (Regency Park Campus)
Ages 2-8
+86 21 2226 7666

11 Shui Cheng Nan Lu (Hongqiao Campus)
Ages 2-10
+86 21 2226 7666

1433 Dong Xiu Lu (Century Park Campus)
Ages 9-18
+86 21 2226 7666

Expat Essentials | YCIS

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Make the Most of Your Family’s Time in Shanghai by Finding the Right International School

Moving to Shanghai can be a huge change for a family. Taxis zipping by faster than the F1 track, skyscrapers appearing almost overnight, and the many decisions to make before your move. It can be overwhelming for the senses – especially during a short scouting trip when you are trying to find a school for your child.

Shanghai’s large number of international schools, covering a wide range of curriculum types, specialties, and languages, can also be overwhelming for families planning a move to Shanghai and trying to choose the right school. The choice of an international school can affect both the child’s and whole family’s experience in Shanghai.

According to Yew Chung International School of Shanghai (YCIS) Superintendent Dr. Nanci Shaw, “The entire family’s experience is significantly influenced by being involved in the YCIS school community. Taking advantage of this exciting and unique opportunity not only has a positive impact on our students and families, but changes their view of the world.”

According to Ms. Corrie Zacharia, Head of Admissions for YCIS Shanghai, “It’s extremely valuable when parents have the opportunity to visit the schools, so they can ask questions and make sure the school will provide the right experience they are looking for their child.” Zacharia notes that while websites and forum comments may provide basic knowledge about schools, every family has different expectations and needs, and recommends in-person campus tours to really dig deep. Some families even have the child prepare some questions – you’d be surprised by how insightful they can be.

Another consideration is the distance between school and your home. Whether you decide to live in Pudong on the East side of the Huangpu River, with its wide streets and parks; or on West side of the river in Puxi, in bustling Gubei or the Former French Concession. Or even farther out in suburban Shanghai locations. Hunker down with a map and keep in mind that long commutes may be trying on the whole family.

Curriculum type may seem obvious, but Shanghai has schools that encompass more than just a national curriculum. YCIS Shanghai, for example, takes elements of the UK national curriculum, and combines it with a strong Chinese bilingual program along with the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. This allows each child to easily return to home country classes, while also giving them a solid foundation in Mandarin, and an enriching and unique experience during their time in Shanghai.

Learning about Language and Culture is an exciting opportunity for your child. Does the school have a strong Chinese program? Children have an incredible capacity to learn languages quickly, and when language is combined with the study of Chinese culture, learning grows exponentially. Find out if the school’s language program is just a few times a week, or if it is truly embedded into the curriculum, and if they will also study Chinese culture.

At the end of the day, gut instinct may play a surprisingly important role in making the right school choice. Without a doubt, Shanghai can offer an incredibly rewarding family experience that is both unique and exceptional.

Eight Questions you Should be Asking on an International School Tour

from the YCIS Admissions Office:

When is the best time to tour your school?

It’s always best to see a school when students are on campus, so you can see the students in action. Morning visits to Kindergartens work well, as the children may have nap times later in the day.

Do students live nearby or have a long commute?

The school should be able to provide information about bus routes and nearby compounds. Many families find a benefit to living within a reasonable proximity to school.

When is a good time to submit my application?

Ask about their timing. If possible, you should apply to your top choices up to a year in advance, especially for ages one to nine, to increase the likelihood of securing a place.

Does your school help parents adjust to the new city? 

The school community plays a critical role in parents’ adjustment to a foreign city. At YCIS, for example, the Parent Organizations in Puxi and Pudong (POP) play an integral role for families within the school community.

What’s your teachers’ average number of years of experience?

Needless to say, the more the better!

Are languages of instruction integrated, or taught at separate times?

This is good to know at bilingual or language immersion schools.

How much of the school day is devoted to “core” subjects?

Questions like this are a concrete way to verify that the school’s curriculum delivery matches your expectations.

How do your teachers and administrators incorporate the school’s philosophy into daily learning?

It is helpful to know how the school is deploying its philosophy and how effective they have been in doing so.

Expat Essentials | YCIS

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