Education after 12

My wife is obsessed with sending our daughter to an international school. We can’t get her into TES as it’s fully booked. She’s looking at other options in Taoyuan such as Shin Shing. The trouble is I’ve met foreign teachers from these places (TES included) and it’s generally been far from a positive experience.

My view is the local schools have better teachers and she’ll end up virtually bilingual anyway (reading and writing won’t be). I don’t know what to do for the best.

Does anyone have any advice based upon experience?


Not yet, but I’m interested in the topic.


I am not sure about junior high, but we were looking at…

if my daughter didn’t test into Wu-Ling or Zhongli.

I’m like you. I think the (top) public schools have better teachers. But the campus at Dayuan International was quite nice.


I don’t know. Even their school motto is a bit off.

We have a student that applied to TAS and didn’t get in, so they went for TES instead.

The problem with TAS, from what I’ve heard, is that they overwork all of their teachers and no one there is really that happy. Just imagine an American school with the same toxic Taiwanese management that we all loathe.

Also, had your kid taken the ISEE yet? I think most schools here require it, and most places are full, but a decent score might make them more competitive.

PS: If you can’t find an international school, look around for experimental schools in Taipei. I think there are some that run western style classrooms.

I’m reaching the conclusion that the Taiwanese state schools will be better in terms of education. The private international schools will be better in terms of contacts.

It’s something to ponder upon.

EDIT: Apart from the insane level of testing.


Terrible school, skip it.

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Nah, I wouldn’t look at it that way. Sure, international schools are way better at getting kids ready to function as members of the western upper class, but they also function to give kids the education necessary to excel in the west unlike local schools. If you plan on doing high school, or college in the west, it’s way better to do international school. If you aren’t, and you plan to stay in Taiwan long term, public schools might be a better option. I think the problem in Taiwan is that there just aren’t quality international schools like there are in other countries because the government limits them.

We had UNIS and Concordia when I was in Vietnam and they would both be considered top notch private schools if they were in the states. Sure rich kids went to them, but there were also great choices for poorer kids without connections like Amsterdam. While they were full of families that had great connections, their ultimate goal is to get kids ready to move west where they can make decent money connections or not. So, I don’t think that sending kids to a school for connections in necessary. Perhaps I’m too western though. I know that would be something that wouldn’t occur to a western parent, but might be a great selling point to local families here.


What makes a school top notch, in your opinion?

A strong Russian accent amongst staff
(1881) The Russian English Teacher from Canada - YouTube


DON’T DO THAT!!! International schools here suck and are racist. You want your daughter to feel like Asian’s never gonna be as good as a White native English speaker? Whether the teachers talk about that, the kids are gonna pick it up eventually when they see only white people teaching English and Asians doing the assistant jobs. Also the curriculum sucks. Most cases I’ve heard cant even speak English fluently. And the culture is the worst, breaking up student couples, regulations on hair styles, etc. Nothing about the international schools here is international. Just local schools with an English name and bunch of white teachers.

My best students came from international schools in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai/Beijing, Cambodia. Always used English in class and could think/communicate in English very well. This was when I taught at Kang Chiao.

I would be very careful on that too. I’ve now been to observe four “Montessori” elementary schools on Taipei, all of which claimed to “authentically follow the Montessori method”. All of them had only AMI-licensed teachers and admin and none of them were anything more than a traditional Taiwanese school that used Montessori materials alongside the public school textbooks. The white teachers were considered “real English teachers” and the Asian teachers were considered “proper teachers”. There was your typical shouting at children and meaningless homework that you find everywhere else in this country.
I know OP is talking about education for 12+, but I’m going to put this out there because I know the “Montesomething” schools around here are all planning to collectively open an “adolescent” program (12-18 y/o) in the next year or two. Don’t be fooled by their propaganda. They are not Montessori in pretty much any way, and they charge almost as much as TES for tuition.


School Motto:
Honesty, Diligent, Simplicity and seek for truth

Yikes! :open_mouth:


Our plan was to send our kids to local schools until they finished the fifth grade and then switch them to TAS or TES. Around 2013 or so though the MOE pushed through some reforms in response to parental complaints about one high school entrance exam determining a child’s entire future. Instead, several avenues/additional testing for high school openings were initiated and instead of resolving the issue chaos ensued. Applications at international schools skyrocketed and it became next to impossible to find openings. Rather than continue in local schools we (my wife and kids) moved to the U.S. (Portland, Oregon area) where our kids have been attending junior high and high school. Problem solved. They love their schools and the oldest just started college. The only downside is – under normal conditions – I spend about half the year alone in Taiwan taking care of business. I’ve gotten used to it though.

That is shocking to hear. I thought TES and TAS were fun and cool.

Btw local schools don’t break up couples lol. That probably used to happen in the 90s.

Could you please explain that?
How are they racist, and how does their curriculum suck?

If nothing about the international school here is international what does make international schools in other countries more international.

I only experienced TES. And yes compared to international schools in other asian countries there are “differences”.

Wearily shakes head. When I see a thread about private schools in Taiwan, I see this poster jumping in to say how she “heard” how terrible they are. If all you did was “hear”, why are you so vocal about a topic where you possess so little actual understanding and insight?

You do know how packed and expensive many of these schools are. Are the parents, many very accomplished, such as the C-levels of multinationals with a presence in Taiwan, such idiots that they don’t understand they’re actually being taken advantage of?

Go to some of these schools. Walk the hallways. Do you see the smiles on the faces of students and hear their laughter? Even the higher grades. Those are the first indicators I care about, and let me know the parents are onto something you aren’t.

How about some objective data: College Board Advanced Placement results were released about a week and half ago. AP Chem, AP Physics, AP Calculus, etc. These are standardized tests for college credit. One of the schools you frequently rail against has test averages that are much higher than global averages, and higher than Taiwan averages, in multiple subjects.

If you believe in education, when it comes to this topic, consider taking more of a student role.


Ah I should specify, “local INternational schools”!! The kind with Taiwanese laobans. I heard that TES TAS and KAS are the only decent international schools. The Japanese schools are very also Japanese, though the curriculum might not for everyone.

I meant “local international schools”. The ones with Taiwanese laobans. I’m not sure why but I can’t seem to edit my post.

I can’t count how many times I’ve been told that Asians aren’t qualified as a teacher so they could only offer me an assistant’s job while I apply for “English teacher”. I mean you could at least tell me that before the interview. Now I just skip all the local owned international schools.