And by that title, what I really mean is lack of international schools.
I occasionally get asked this question via wechat or email, so I’ll put what I know about schooling options for international kids in this post.
- There are many 幼儿园you er yuans (preschools/kindergartens/whatever word your country uses) with “international” in their name. Don’t let this fool you. I don’t know any of them that have even one international student. The name just means that they either supposedly adhere to some kind of international curriculum or they have a foreign teacher or they teach an English class.
- There’s also Honder International School.They actually have a lot of international students, most of whom are university level or higher. I think they have a high school, but to my knowledge there aren’t any foreign students in that part of the school (some of you who teach there comment if you know otherwise).
- I haven’t personally known any Western families here who have sent their children to local schools. I have known of some one local parent/one foreign parent families who have but most of those ended up returning to the other parent’s home country. I’ve known a couple Japanese families who have used local schools, but their children could speak fluent Mongolian and went to Mongolian local school. I’m sure there are Outer Mongolian families (or one parent Outer/one parent Inner Mongolian) who use local schools, I just don’t know them personally.
- I’ve been told there is only one local school with the official permission to accept foreign students (other than universities): 呼和浩特市民族实验学校 the Experimental School on the southwest corner of Xing An and Da Xue Lu. They do have foreign students…Buryat Russians and Mongolians. (again, no Westerners) Although the school does have a number of foreign students, the methods, curricula, scheduling, and all other aspects of the school are like a typical local school.
- There’s a school called 英伯恩国际学校 Ying Bo En that now has a you er yuan and I’ve heard they have plans to partner with and move one location out to Tai Wei ski slopes/golf course and incorporate those sports into their school programs. Again, it has international in the name because they supposedly follow a British model, but to my knowledge they don’t have any foreign students and no full time foreign teachers. Also, you can expect the school fees for this school to be proportionate to the housing prices at Tai Wei (10 million RMB/house).
- All the families I know in town currently either homeschool or don’t have school age children. Some of them cooperate for their homeschooling for interaction with other kids and for special classes and projects.
Do you think Hohhot is ready for a true international school? Did I leave out any vital information in this post? Leave us a comment.