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Expat Exchange - How to Enroll Your Children in School in China
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Shanghai, China


How to Enroll Your Children in School in China

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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Summary: If you're a newcomer in China and enrolling your children in school in China, here's how:

Enrolling your child in a public school in China as an expat can be a complex process. It requires a thorough understanding of the Chinese education system, the necessary paperwork, and the steps involved. The paperwork includes your child's birth certificate, passport, visa, and health records. Additionally, you may need to provide proof of your residency in China, such as a rental agreement or utility bill. It's also important to note that the Chinese public school system is different from many Western countries, with a strong emphasis on academics and discipline. Therefore, it's crucial to prepare your child for this transition and ensure they understand what to expect.

  1. Research Schools: Start by researching the public schools in your area. Consider factors such as the school's reputation, curriculum, and proximity to your home. Some schools may have more resources for foreign students, such as English-speaking teachers or international programs.
  2. Prepare the Necessary Documents: Gather all the necessary documents, including your child's birth certificate, passport, visa, and health records. You may also need to provide proof of your residency in China, such as a rental agreement or utility bill.
  3. Apply for a School: Once you've chosen a school, you'll need to apply. This usually involves filling out an application form and submitting it along with the necessary documents. Some schools may also require an interview or entrance exam.
  4. Wait for Acceptance: After submitting your application, you'll need to wait for the school to review it. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the school. If your application is accepted, the school will provide you with further instructions on how to enroll your child.
  5. Enroll Your Child: Once your application has been accepted, you can enroll your child in the school. This usually involves paying a tuition fee and purchasing school uniforms and supplies. You may also need to attend an orientation or meet with your child's teacher.
  6. Prepare Your Child: Finally, prepare your child for their new school. Explain the differences between their old school and their new one, and discuss any concerns they may have. It may also be helpful to arrange a visit to the school before classes start, so your child can familiarize themselves with the environment.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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Shanghai, China

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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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