Educating your children is one of the most important decisions you can make. Internationally, the choices are limited and usually more expensive. In Taichung there are two fully international schools that offer K-12 English Education for Western Families.
Morrison Christian Academy – This school has a Christian worldview and was started by missionaries for missionary children. Enrollment is open to children holding a foreign passport when space allows.
American School in Taichung – (as of this writing, I do not have information on this school’s enrollment or background)
In addition to the two schools above, there are several private schools. These are usually bilingual or have English as a primary part of their curriculum.
Ming-Dao Future Heir Bilingual Elementary School
Natural Way Elementary School
+886 4 2252 0026
Yu Jen Catholic Elementary School
Shen Chai Elementary School
Wagor Educational System (Elementary School)
The Elementary School of Tunghai University
Feng Le School
886 4 2380 5691
Washington Elementary School – Bilingual
TEL: 04-25393299 Fax: 04-25394695
Placing a western child into a Taiwanese elementary school should be accompanied by significant research and background work. The Taiwan education system is not designed to offer ESL support for English speakers, so a westerner joining a class would be expected to take part fully in the Chinese education. There are some special circumstances we know about that were negotiated on a case by case basis with each school, principals and teachers. We have spoken with many local educators and their preference is actually that foreign children would not take part in the Taichung school system. There is no bias towards foreign children, their system is just not designed for foreigners.
There is no support provided for westerners, and it creates distractions that are not easy for the system to accommodate. Here are just a few:
- Communicating with western parents who do not speak fluent Chinese creates extra work for the teacher who is already overworked and underpaid.
- The difference between Western children and Eastern Children is quite different and can cause stress inside and outside the classroom.
- Having a foreigner in the classroom causes distraction to the children when they should be focused on the teacher and the learning process.
- Some foreigners arrive and their children have some Mandarin education already. Again, this must be approached on a case by case basis, but if your child has learned simplified characters, this presents a problem in Taiwan because only traditional characters are taught here. There will be no support to help them make the transition and places a tremendous burden on the classroom teacher.
From a western mindset, we often think of these things as opportunities for growth, but we must also consider that this is not our country, our system, our school. We are guests.
There are some cases where it has worked and been no problem. We would be glad to aid you with the process of contacting a local school should you choose to research this option. Please use the contact form below to ask help.
In other parts of Taiwan, there are a few select public schools which have developed programs to serve a rather large foreigner population that lives in their area. If you would like help identifying these schools, please contact us using the form below.