We send our oldest child to Hsinchu International School (HIS). He is in the elementary department and has been going there for 2 years.
We live in Zhubei, and were looking for a school offering a quality education in English, compassionate and attentive teachers, and most importantly for us, diversity of students. Our son is mixed, and we wanted him to attend a school where he wouldn’t be the only non-Taiwanese kid in his class. Or the only native English speaker in his class. We’ve found that HIS offers all these things (especially the last item regarding diversity).
HIS has been around since 1981, and has a reputation of accepting primarily students from overseas families who come to work in Taiwan (in the science park or in ASML, for example). That isn’t to say that native Taiwanese students can’t get in. However, they told us from our first visit to the school that they give priority to students of overseas families. Having a non-Taiwanese passport is a requirement for entrance. There are many nationalities represented in the student population, including French.
(HIS offers something called the French DELF and Spanish DELE, I have no idea what these are, but maybe you do?)
I found out about HIS through Forumosa, actually. This thread is old, but still relevant:
As far as the other international schools go: I’ve heard that Hsinchu American School (HAS) could be comparable to HIS these days, especially in the high school department. But the other schools don’t even come close. Also, almost all of them are more expensive. I do know that Pacific American School offers teaching in Spanish, not sure about French though. One downside of HIS is that the students have more holidays than other schools, including 3 weeks for Christmas and several professional days throughout the year, in addition to the normal national holidays, and 2 months off during the summer. But for us, this wasn’t a huge issue and we were able to work with it.
In any case, we will probably send our other kids to HIS too (and go broke in the process…)
If you have any other questions about living in Zhubei/Hsinchu, please feel free to PM me.
Thank you, this was very helpful. We are looking for an international school in Hsinchu for our two US-raised kids, and we’ve been in contact with all three of the schools mentioned here (HIS, HAS, HCAS). HIS looks great but we’d prefer not to have to drive the kids to school so the location isn’t ideal.
HCAS in Zhubei looks very impressive in terms of facilities and it seems very popular, though my impression is it’s mostly Taiwanese kids. We’d prefer to live in Zhubei so that’s in HCAS’ favor.
The downside to HAS for us is the small class sizes, I think the 3rd grade is like 4 kids or something.
for information, we have decided to register at HIS, and frankly, this was the best decision we could have made. The school, teachers, and generally the integration had been great. Under no circumstances I would make a different choice today.
As for your specific point, do know that there are ways to send your kid to HIS from Zhubei (by specific “taxis” which acts like school bus for HIS), you should contact them, they can give you more details
Thanks, that’s great to hear - we have applied already for HIS but haven’t paid the application fees, bit confusing whether they have a spot for us for January or not, does the school fill up? We will have a car and I probably won’t be working so I could drive them to school I guess. I’ve driven in Japan, Italy and Boston, so hopefully that’s enough preparation for driving in Taiwan. We’re also applying to Hsinchu County International School.
they had 2 classes of grade 3, and I hear there might be only one of grade 4 (but do check with them directly though).
I’d say they do fill up.
we also felt that HCAS was too Taiwanese… (not sure that would be great honestly, from an integration point of view), also, it felt like HCAS was under heavy structuring/restructuring, and feared the overall system was more a sattelite of their mother school, rather than an actual school…
Either way, hope you’ll find the right school for your situation!