Taipei American School Admissions Grade 3 Help

Was notified by TAS Admissions Director Ms. Winnie Tang today that the third grade class for the 2017-2018 school year has been completely filled. I sent in my son’s application on January 2017 and was just notified today. I called up the Dominican American School in Taipei today and was told by the Admissions office Ms. Connie that the 3rd grade class for the 2017-2018 school year has been filled as well. Why is there such a high demand for American school lately? Seems like all the true American Expats have left Taiwan. The students are predominantly local Taiwan kids USA passport holders. My son and I are both American citizens. He just finished second grade curriculum at Lih Jen Bilingual elementary school.

What are my options now? Can I contact AIT for help? Money is of no object. Would a making a donation or establishing personal relationship with school teachers at TAS or Dominicans improve my son’s chance to secure a spot in the upcoming school year?

Anyone know Dr Sharon Hennessy or Dr. Catriona Moran at TAS personally and can help pull a string for me?
Many thanks in advance

It’s like this every year. They give priority to foreign service brats and a few other categories. There are always too many applicants, and the student body is always predominantly Taiwanese-American. (You may not consider them to be “true American Expats” but there you go.) Don’t bother bothering the AIT or flashing money around, you’ll only humiliate yourself. There ARE some other “foreign” schools around, other than those two. For example:

Other options you can try in Taipei:
Taipei European School (Beitou)
Grace Christian Academy (Nangang)
Morrison Academy (Zhongzheng)

I expect you would encounter the same capacity problems in these other schools

I think 3rd grade is the most competitive year to attempt to transfer to TAS because there is an entrance exam (or English exam) that becomes part of the application process starting 4th Grade.

And fwiw I have seen open spots for 4th grade posted on the front of the TAS website itself.

Good luck!

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Thanks very much for the valuable advice. I called Morrison and was told by admissions office Ms. Rebecca Owens that 3rd grade class for year 2017-2018 is all filled as well. Anyone know why there’s such a surge in American education lately? Is it due of the AIT relocation to Neihu area and the sudden surge in military presence (U.S. Marines Station) in Taiwan next year?

I don’t know that there has been a surge in American education recently. I would expect most of us have our own reasons why our kids go to certain schools, especially private schools. One reason to opt into an international school like TAS and the ones listed earlier is to avoid a test-driven culture; it’s one of the reasons why my wife (who grew up in the public school system in Taipei, and chose a career in management training) suggested we consider alternatives for our son. She wanted him to be a kid while he’s a kid. I, happened to have grown up in a very similar school to TAS (called IS Manila) – and I enjoyed it, too – so I’ll jump at the chance for my son to have a similar experience.

I would think that if AIT’s long-pending relocation to Neihu would impact family decisions on where to send their kids to school in Taipei, then it might discourage enrollment in places like Morrison (currently in Gongguan area of Zhongzheng District and moving campus to Linkou in the next 18 months), TAS, TES, or Dominican -(Beitou/Shihlin districts) - that is, assuming schools in Neihu are comparable to those elsewhere.

We had enrolled our kid for pre-school in Kang Chiao Biligual School, which is a system of 4(?) schools around Taipei, and we were very happy there. Starting elementary school, the system follows the Taiwan education system, so we continued to explore alternatives to that.


This is an option. I know many people who are in a very similar situations as you. If you can pay, they will enroll you kid. You might have to pay a little more. But you will get in if the price is right. Pretty much no matter what. You can always enroll else where next year. And no, you don’t have to be Christian. Doesn’t hurt, but obviously don’t be like I don’t believe in God and think it’s all BS when you talk to them.

And if you’re kid happens to be a little challenged in the classroom…GCA will let you basically pay for your grades. I’m not joking. However, it can prove to be a little difficult if your kid wants to enroll in a different higher level international school from what I heard if you went to GCA.

Kangchiao international school is also an option if you haven’t check. Much better then GCA and respected.

Grace is run by the Baptists, with all that implies. (Look at their dress codes, for instance.) Morrison is more generic conservative Protestant–it was started as a cooperative venture between several mission boards–but not so ecumenical that they don’t have a set of rules that are every bit the equal of the Baptists. For example, last year a teacher was fired for saying that she didn’t believe the Bible was anti-gay. I understand that Alinea (linked above) was founded in part as a solution for secular or liberal-religious (“humanist” in their parlance) families who are uncomfortable with the fundamentalist vibe of the “Christian” schools. Note that you don’t have to be a Christian to go to Grace or Morrison (I think), your kid just has to be willing to follow their rules, which may include chapel attendance. Anyway, do know what you’re getting into. The Gulenists (modernist Turkish Muslims, now in trouble with Turkey’s government) used to run a bilingual junior high school in Kaohsiung (Kivam), but check to see if it still exists if you have a kid that age and don’t mind them learning a little Turkish.

Hey Dawud,

Just for clarification the teacher who was “fired” for saying she didn’t believe the Bible was anti-gay actually left by choice. The issue was that she had chosen to sign a statement of faith when she accepted a position at Morrison thus fully understanding what Morrison stands for. It wasn’t like she was fired for her personal beliefs. She agreed to follow a standard when she accepted the position and didn’t hold up her end of the deal. She was reminded of the agreement she had made with the school and decided she could no longer honor it so she left. She was not fired but she was asked not to continue posting on her social media and encouraging students against the statement of faith she had signed voluntarily. Hope you can understand the truth and share about what really happened.

Definite (and revealing?) dichotomy here.

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oops typo. What I meant was that she didn’t believe the Bible was anti-gay. Thanks for pointing that out. Editing my comment above.

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But the bible isn’t anti-gay. Its only so-called “Christians” who are anti-gay. If Jesus came back tomorrow my guess is he’d be very happy to hang out with gays, less happy to hang out with the hypocrites and child molesters that pass for Christians these days. YMMV.


You bring up a great point. I absolutely agree with you. Jesus I’m sure would love to grab a drink with all of them and hangout. But that’s not the point that I wanted to mention at this time. I just wanted to point out that this teacher made a choice to sign a statement of faith to Morrison. Whether or not their statement of faith is accurate or right, that’s another story. Morrisons interpretation of the Bible isnt the only interpretation. She broke her agreement with the school and was thus reprimanded for it. But it’s not correct to say that Morrison “fired” her when in fact they didn’t. That’s the only thing I disagree with.

12 posts were split to a new topic: Is the Bible anti-gay?

I acknowledge the correction. Regardless of what the Bible does or doesn’t say about being gay, and setting aside this specific personnel issue, it seems obvious that Morrison is anti-gay as a matter of policy. Prospective parents and students need to be be aware of its conservative Protestant ethos.

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You’re definitely right in some regard, speaking as a student who graduated from Morrison. I do not fully agree that Morrison is “anti-gay”. Anti-gay giving the connotation that “gays” would be hated and attacked there almost making it sound like the Westboro Baptist Church of Taiwan. I would say that Morrison uses, and teaches, what it has interpreted as a Biblical definition of marriage, between a man and woman. I know plenty of students, past and current, who are gay there but still treated with respect and kindness. Morrison policy is based on their own Biblical interpretation which I think parents should know so that they can decide whether or not they feel comfortable sending their children there.

But saying Morrison “fired” her does paint the school in a false light that I don’t think is fair or right. For all of it’s “conservative Protestant ethos” I think it still provides a quality education and produces people of admirable character.