English-speaking schools for kids


#1

I’m a Canadian mom who’s thinking of coming to Taipei to teach English. I’ve heard jobs are abundant, but my main concern is schooling for my son who is six years old. What kind of schools are appropriate for him to attend? How much am I looking at in tuition? Does it matter what time of year we arrive? How do grade levels in Taiwan compare with those in Canada? What subjects are taught?
Any and all information regarding schooling for foreign kids would be greatly appreciated.


#2

It depends if u want western or Chinese style education. I have heard that private schools for foreigners that follow a curriculum from a western country (US, Canada, UK) are extremely expensive. We’re talking half a million taiwan dollars a year (correct me if I am wrong anyone).

So, if you go the Chinese school route, kids don’t start elementary school until they are seven. Your kid could go to a Chinese kindergarten of which there are many many many. Cost varies widely. Obviously, that would all be in Chinese. Many kindies claim to be bilingual but don’t be fooled. Not many of them are. They may say “wash your hands” stuff like that in English but that’s about it.

Schools with classes taught all day every day by a native English speaker are very expensive. Those teachers are rarely qualified, but that does not mean that they can’t do a good job. If your kid did 2 years in kindy here (in other words stayed down for one year) he would be fluent in Chinese (probably) by the time he went to elementary school.


#3

To be honest; I don’t think you’ll make enough money to make ends meet.
The cost of tuition, rent, living costs etc … it’s pretty expensive.

If you don’t have family to care for or you don’t mind your child going to a local, public school it’s a good deal in Taiwan.

If you have a family to care for and want an excellent preferable English tuition than you really need to be on an expat contract.

But in the end it’s up to you if you want to give it a try.

This is just my opinion, I don’t want to scare you.


#4

For information, start here: Taipei American School

Being a Commonwealth member, also try: Taipei British School

Or Dominican International School

For even further info check out this site: Worldwide School search

Good luck.


#5

[quote=“nox”]To be honest; I don’t think you’ll make enough money to make ends meet.
The cost of tuition, rent, living costs etc … it’s pretty expensive.

If you don’t have family to care for or you don’t mind your child going to a local, public school it’s a good deal in Taiwan.

If you have a family to care for and want an excellent preferable English tuition than you really need to be on an expat contract.[/quote]

Can foreign kids go to a local public school? I thought they had to have Taiwanese citizenship for that.
And “LilSis” is not entirely without a support network, since her “BigBro” is here to help pave the way. :wink: :sunglasses:


#6

got to be Taiwanese citizens and if one of their parents is not a Taiwanese citizen i.e. foreigner, then they get put on the bottom of the list and may get into an elementary school if they are lucky


#7

Can foreign kids go to Taiwanese schools legally?
As well as I know, no.
But the schools here have quite a bit of autonomy. In Tian Mu, I lived by two foreign elementary school age kids who went to the local school. They had both been going there since first grade. One kid’s parents, told me that the principal of the school ‘accepted’ their son and agreed to a special tuition.
The parents added that the money was not the motivating factor for the principal, but the value that the Taiwanese place on education and care for children. (Well, it sounded cool when they said it.)


#8

Private school is very expensive. Some preschools/kindergartens charge about $100,000 per semester, which comes out to about $700-800 per month (US dollars). If you teach at a cram school, you’d also have to worry about childcare for him in the evening while you’re at work. Some people employ nannies for less than US700/month but you have to meet certain requirements for that. If you were to try and find a sitter, you’d have a hard time finding one for less than NT$250/hour.

Another option might be homeschooling him and having him join the TYPA sports programs where he can socialize with other English-speaking kids.

Our family gets by on a teacher’s salary but that’s because my husband works many, many hours.

It’s doable, but it wouldn’t be easy. Consider sharing an apartment with another person, preferably one who is comfortable with young children.

J.


#9

My son goes to a Taiwanese school. I am an US citizen and my wife is a dual US and Taiwan (ROC) citizen. My son is not listed in his mother’s household registry, but rather, he has an ARC under mine, which is based upon my employment.


#10

I spoke to a good friend who has a kid of mixed race and British nationality. Although he goes to the European school/British School, he could go to an elementary school, provided they hadn’t filled their “quota”. Apparently some schools have some sort of quota system, and if you’re a non-citizen, you’re last priority.

However, AFAIK, Taiwanese primary schools are pretty good. Certainly much better than the junior high schools and high schools where they turn the kids into test-taking robots. If you came in the near future and got a full-time day job in a kindy, they would probably let junior in for free. Then come September he would probably be acclimatised enough to enter first grade. Bit of a minority, maybe, but that’s not always a bad thing.


#11

I am teaching at an International school in Hsinchu. In Hsinchu there is a bilingual school where a lot of foreign children go. Your child would be taught in English for a large part of the day but would also learn Chinese. They might require a tutor for a while, I am not sure how the Chinese classes work.

There are also several other kindergartens here with good English programs. Hsinchu is less expensive than Taipei and growing everyday. We have a large foreign population with the Science Park being located here.

Jobs here may be a little more difficult to find, I’m not sure, but most of the chain schools are here and there are also lots of little kindergartens.

Hope this helps. :smiley:


#12

What exactly is the law about schooling for foreign children?

  1. Which children are considered “foreign”? It sounds like ROC citizen children with even one foreign parent (or is that foreign father?) are discriminated against in school. (Material here for a lawsuit, anybody?)

  2. Which children must go to school? From what age to what age? Does nationality matter? (It seems to me that if they won’t let my kids in their schools, then they can’t be too picky about how my kids are educated.)

  3. What is a “school” for purposes of #2 above? Can a foreign family home-school their kids, assuming they have no special certification? Can they teach someone else’s (foreign) kids?

  4. Are there any laws about language or curriculum for non-registered schools? For example, is it required that my kids study so many hours on the Three Principles of the People?


#13

tuition for the american school is about NTD$350,000 a year.


#14

Foreign kids can go to school if you are here on a legal work permit. There are certain problems with local schools, but much can be ameliorated if you have a good teacher. Be sure to get him some Chinese lessons.

My daughter goes to local school, although she does so as an ROC citizen. (I am married to a local). Chinese children are brutal, like all children, but the difference is that in Taiwan adults will not intervene to prevent brutality or to remonstrate with the kids. They just shrug and watch. Child-rearing differences between the two societies are tremendous…and this one is much more authoritarian and competitive.

My advice is to try and find a SMALL school >400 kids. At larger schools – and there might be thousands of kids at a large one – she might be a cog in the machine. Additionally, the potential to be abused rises, and no one will protect her.

Also, they will vaccinate her with some kind of TB thing that may show up on US tests as TB-positive and affect your future health care costs. We elected to avoid that. Our local health people were very cooperative.

You might want to check out my kids page at:

users2.ev1.net/~turton/kids.html

for more things to think about. Be sure to bring tons of books. What city are you planning to live in?

Vorkosigan


#15

[b]

  1. Which children are considered “foreign”? It sounds like ROC citizen children with even one foreign parent (or is that foreign father?) are discriminated against in school. (Material here for a lawsuit, anybody?)[/b]

2. Which children must go to school? From what age to what age? Does nationality matter? (It seems to me that if they won’t let my kids in their schools, then they can’t be too picky about how my kids are educated.)

Nationality matters. ALL ROC kids MUST go to school, homeschooling is illegal outside of Taipei (my wife and I looked this up) and then you have to file all sorts of stuff.

Foreign nationals have no trouble with homeschooling their non-local children. We did it for a while.

3. What is a “school” for purposes of #2 above? Can a foreign family home-school their kids, assuming they have no special certification? Can they teach someone else’s (foreign) kids?

Yes and yes.


4. Are there any laws about language or curriculum for non-registered schools? For example, is it required that my kids study so many hours on the Three Principles of the People?

If they are ROC citizens, you can’t homeschool them, if they are foreigners it is your business what you teach them.

Vorkosigan