Expat Kids in Local Schools: Why Do They Join and How Do They Like It?


The beijingkids magazine staff invited me to attend their 2014 Spring School Choice Fair and blog about it. I was free to express my honest opinion and write from any angle I liked. No payments were made. This blog post only reflects what I thought and cared about. Beijing 
March 29, 2014

Why do some expats choose to send their kids to local schools, and how do they like that experience? I have been curious about this since we started to live in Beijing last year. So when the beijingkids magazine invited me to attend their 2014 Spring School Choice Fair earlier this month and blog about it, I was intrigued because the program included an English-language panel discussion with parents titled ‘What it’s like for international kids in local schools’.

Choosing the right school for our kids can be an intense and emotional experience. So many factors play into it such as our experiences from our own childhood, our opinions formed about the variety of education systems since then, our financial resources, and our aspirations for our kids.

It's That Time Again, Summer Camp Season is Coming Soon!

For the coming weeks, beijingkids will bring you all (well almost) summer camps being offered in town because it's never too early to start doing your homework. The summer camps blog series will focus on answering the who, where, when and how much.

Shunyi Happenings: INN Coffee Morning, Tea Room Tots, Salo Salo, Kimono Bunnies, and Easter Brunches and Lunches

If you have kids under 5, Tea Room Tots is a great way to keep them entertained while you relax and enjoy a coffee with other parents. While we’re on the subject of coffee, this week’s INN Shunyi Coffee Morning will be held at Jamaica Blue (Yosemite) instead of its usual location at Roundabout. Struggling to find Easter decorations or a gift that’s a little bit different? Look no further than handmade kimono bunnies or origami eggs. Also for Easter, what better way to celebrate the holiday than with a family brunch or lunch this weekend?

Shortcuts to Adventure - Part 1/5

Spring break is almost here - do you have vacation plans? If not, take heart; there are many destinations within easy reach of Beijing. We spotlight 15 travel destinations within a three-hour flight from here, including South Korea, Mongolia, Japan, and a host of Chinese cities. Admire the gorgeous photos, read about ancient wonders, and whet your appetite for exploration. Bon Voyage!

Easter Brunch, Egg Hunt, Face Painting and Cake Decorating at Fairmont Beijing

Still looking for the prefect venue to spend Easter with your family? Find everything in one place at Fairmont Beijing this Sunday.

Enjoy a scrumptious brunch at The Cut with all-you-can-drink sparkling wine, beer, and cocktails while you kick back and watch a live performance featuring resident musician Tim Ambler’s live performance. Families also have a chance to win prizes in the lucky draw.

King’s Pre-university Summer School at Harrow International School Beijing

This sponsored blog post has been brought to you by Harrow International School Beijing

There are many career choices available to 16-18 year olds as they decide whether to study at university, what to study and where to study.  King’s College London Summer School is launching a pre-university Summer School in Beijing this August to help prepare them as they take their next step in academic life.

LAYman's Chronicles: Practice Makes Perfect

Growing up as a child, I hated practicing the piano. Sure, I wanted to sound great at it, but I wanted to be a virtuoso without the need for endlessly doing scales and simple songs. Oddly enough, that didn’t work out so well. As a photographer, I can see the result of practicing my craft daily as I evaluate my work before selecting the images I give to a client and deleting the rest. I think of photographs that didn’t work as my practice scales. Click, view, evaluate, delete. Still neither of these stories does much for encouraging a first grader to sit at the piano or to pick up a pencil and to practice her handwriting. I needed a good visual image to bring that lesson home for her.

Family Favorites: The Feng Family

Feng Cheng and Kitty Wang are from Tangshan and Zhengzhou respectively. After being set up by friends, they now have two kids: Claire (age 4) and Sean (almost 2), both students at The Children’s House International Montessori Kindergarten. Feng Cheng is the director of China Culture Center (CCC) and Kitty is a full-time mom. Recently, we caught up with Feng Cheng to find out what he and his family like to do in their spare time.

Last Chance To Pick Strawberries at the Second Annual Beijing Agricultural Carnival


2nd Beijing Agricultural Carnival, which kicked off in March is still ongoing at the Strawberry Expo Park in Changping and ends on May 4. The carnival features an agricultural produce exhibition of more than 500 species and fair, hands-on farming activities such as grinding flour with a stone mill, spinning and weaving, strawberry pickling, a photography competition and various dining and entertainment opportunities.

13,000 strawberries will be on display that have been planted using seven different cultivation models according to the Beijing Review's website. Visitors with full priced tickets (RMB 50, RMB 25 student, free for children under 1meter) will be allowed to pick half a kilo of strawberries for free. This is offer is only valid till April 15.

Sound Advice for the Graduating Class of 2014

This sponsored blog post has been brought to you by The British School of Beijing, Shunyi.

At international schools across Beijing, graduating students have begun their final term of their school life and that means final exams.

For parents it is an anxious time where we advise, encourage, nurture and sometimes cajole our children into studying as much as they can, to do the best they can, especially as we are reminded of our own past and the opportunities gained or lost during these final weeks of school.

Perhaps the best advice for students at this time comes from those who were sitting in their seats this time last year.

The British School of Beijing, Shunyi (BSB) gathered comments and advice from last year’s graduate students, who went on to pursue their dreams at Universities around the world, with the aim of discovering their secrets for success.

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