Mountain schools?

My wife is having doubts about how good of an idea it is to send our daughters (Chinese-speaking 3rd and 1st graders) to a regular local school in Taipei/New Taipei. We had heard about Shuang Feng Elementary School, which is a “mountain school” with open enrollment, less homework, and a more relaxed atmosphere. It got us thinking, there must be other mountain schools out there, right?

Does anyone know of a list of mountain schools or other similar places? We didn’t really see anything online. Also, how do people usually get their kids to these places? (I’d like our kids to be able to get to school by themselves, I don’t want to have to drive them.)

On a related note, if anyone has experience to share about their kids in regular local schools that would help us make our decision, that would be great too!


My son went to Tsa Jiao in the hills of San Xia for kindergarten years and years ago. He and we loved it.

The teachers were incredible, creative and caring. The classes were fun and LOTS of nature walks.


Nice! Was it far from where you lived?

We were in Ying Ge at the time. I used to zip him up and down on my motorcycle. Monkeys used to walk the powerlines. It was a great time.


Did you switch to a different school for elementary/1st grade?

Yeah, we sent him to Ying Ge Elementary. Then we moved to San Xia, around Taipei University.

1 Like

From my personal experience, kids in elementary school are quite happy in Taiwan. My two kids went to regular public elementary school for the full 6 years. Of course, different kids may react differently. They went to a buxiban after school until around 6pm and often finished their homework there, or maybe did another hour or two at home.

There were times where I thought their homework was a bit much, unnecessary, stupid, or whatever, but the kids were fine.

The biggest risk that I can tell is that you and your partner (being foreigners?) get in the kids’ way of accepting the local situation. I caused trouble for my kids too, so I know. Just get out of the way and tell yourself that everything is fine. Your kids will adjust and be happy.

As to intermediate school, pressure starts to increase, especially as it builds up to the 3rd year where the kids have to do an exam to decide which high school they can go to. My kids are in intermediate school now.


This probably won’t help the OP but I thought I’d mention this awesome mountain school I visited thanks to geocaching. It’s the Xinguang Tribe Elementary School (新光部落國小) in the Smangus (司馬庫斯) area of Hsinchu. The campus is in a gorgeous mountain area and even has an open air forest classroom.