Date registered: August 3, 2010
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@ADaringAdventure - Reading about your background, I recommend CDIS for both of the kids. Seeing as how you are Christian, you will have no problem at that school. There isn't one particular division at CDIS, as long as you're Christian, it's fine. There are many different divisions of Christianity at that schools, so it's very diverse. The reason I had problems at that school was because as a non-Christian who came from a public school, I struggled to fit in. Also, if your kids were homeschooled, that is great because pretty much 75% of students at CDIS have been homeschooled in the past.
If you choose to put your younger kid in QSI, that sounds pretty good. However, only this summer, there was a case with a parent who switched her 12 year old from QSI to CDIS because the kid would come home and have nothing to do (no homework at all), so he would watch his younger sister doing her homework. (She goes to a different school.)
The last choice you have is continuing to homeschool your kids. I personally know many expat students who live in Chengdu, but are homeschooled.
@saosao - It IS my personal opinion. Based on my and other people's experiences. And if you have a problem with it, don't read it or listen to what I say.
Why is it that everything that I said is an open subject within everybody in Chengdu and everybody knows it, but when I actually say it, it's such "slander?" Wouldn't it be more of a "common knowledge?"
The bottom line is, when you visit the school, you will have the first impression much different than if you would spend a few days at those schools and actually interact with the people there. When I was visiting those schools, everything seemed great and perfect, but it really wasn't.
If you don't want to listen the person who has actually experienced all of this trouble with international schools, then don't.
Thank you. :)
@ADaringAdventure - Meishi used to be a great school when it was lead by their old principal. However, the principal moved back to the States and Meishi lost a lot of their student population and drama was stirred up. Now, this school has a very bad reputation. Their students are commonly seen drinking, smoking and partying. Talking to real Meishi kids, I got the impression that their education is not very up to par either. When I first moved to Chengdu, I was considering attending that school. The (new) principal was very nice to me but he seemed overly desperate to have me come to that school. I knew something fishy was going on, so after having my mother talk to many people, we came to the decision that the school sucks. A lot. Also, the majority of the high school is Korean and other parts of Asian. So the whole Asian clique is going on. If your kids are not Asian, I do not advise you to send your high schooler to Meishi as he will be faced with a lot of groupings and it will be very tough for him to fit in. (I have interacted with many of those kids and they're not very... approachable.) Yes, they are the only IB certified school, but don't be too quick to jump to conclusion.
When we first moved, our house used to be about an hour away from Chengdu International School. Luckily, they offered a bus that picked me up at 7:05AM every morning. (School starts at 8AM.)
I hope you read what I previously posted, but as I have said before, CDIS is a conservative Christian school. I have visited QSI numerous times and as a junior in high school, I'm glad I chose CDIS, even if I do have to deal with orthodox Christians and chapel once a week. I used to go to school at a large public school in the States and CDIS is the largest high school with about 100 kids in the entire high school. I do enjoy a lot of their extra curricular activities and clubs, and dances and mixers are a fun bonus as well. We also have week-long trips out of town every spring and fall. (We have went to E-Mei Shan, Xi'an, Lijiang, Yunnan, etc. It was a lot of fun.) So activities-wise, CDIS is very good. However, if your kid is not a Christian, he will struggle with a lot of principles the school imposes. (No dress codes or nuns walking around beating kids with a stick, though!) As a non-Christian, I had to speak out numerous times in order to be left alone by the missionaries. Another positive thing about CDIS is how challenging education is. Advanced Placement (AP) classes are a must and the environment is very competitive. Many of the kids have GPAs over 4.0s and the amount of homework and work in general that is assigned can be overwhelming. However, the education system is more advanced than it is in the States and about a year (and more) ahead than the American school system.
As for your middle schooler, QSI is a good option. I have not heard any complaints about the middle school program.
As for your high schooler, I feel sorry for the kid. To give you my honest opinion, he will be better off going to a boarding school because pretty much all of the international schools in Chengdu are not that great. They all have downsides and upsides.
That was a lot of information to digest but I hope it helped you! I'm happy to help if you would like more information because I certainly have a lot of things to say, as someone who has had a lot of experience in the schooling part of Chengdu.
I have been to all of the international schools and have dealt with the people who teach there and go to school there, so here is an overview of everything you need to know about the schools, but nobody will tell you.
+ QSI - Good education for younger kids. (But the high school needs a LOT of improvement.) The only thing that draws back many people is the obsessive involvement of certain people in that school. They almost live there and know everything about the kids' and parents' lives. So if you want to send your kid to QSI, then either you have to join that clique of people who have nothing to do, or you prepare to be talked about like Britney Spears who just shaved her head.
+ CDIS/Chengdu International School - I actually go to that school. If you are a Christian, then go ahead and send your kid there. But if you are not, your kid is going to get brainwashed like a zombie without a brain. They're pretty orthodox and reserved Christians, mostly missionaries. However, their education is very high quality and very challenging. The teachers are very nice, friendly and attentive, especially to the littler kids. Their Chinese language is very extensive and tough, and pretty much all of the school is fluent in Chinese. They also offer a wide range of extracurricular activities. And in order to get a discount on the tuition, you either have to be a missionary or you can talk to Jim Belcher (the principal) and explain the budgetary problems.
+ EtonHouse - It's only an elementary school and the education is pretty good and fairly challenging. However, last year, the school got a new principal and then the school has started going downhill. The staff is irresponsible and you will have lots of problems contacting the school if something comes up. A lot of parents complain about that. Also, basing on the parents' complaints, their Chinese program is pretty mediocre, but I heard they're working on making it harder.
I hope this helps you! :)
As the restaurant has been growing and more people have been eager to try "Mexican" food, Peter's has dropped in quality but raised in price. The "Tex-Mex" food is the farthest that you would get from genuine Mexican cuisine. As someone who has tried numerous dishes from their menu, I have come to the conclusion that almost every single item off the menu is mediocre, to say the least. In the past, the staff used to be pretty good, at least for Chengdu, but lately, the new girls they have been hiring look at you with clueless looks when you ask for some ketchup. Even at a Western restaurant, the "English-speaking staff" barely know anything. Service in general sucks. Once, when I went there with my family, the food kept arriving one at a time, 5 minutes after each other. However, they brought the last person's food after everyone else was finished. And the prices are ridiculous for the quality of food and service! Peter's is getting more expensive. So do not go there unless you want to waste your money. However, their flurries are pretty good.