Join now
Log in Join

Need expat info for China?

Join InterNations to meet other expats where you live and read more articles like Family, Children, and Education in China with relevant information for expats.

David Thyne

Living in China, from the USA

"At the first Shanghai Get-Together I met several American expats. I am very grateful that they shared their experience with me."

Diana Anhaus-Brey

Living in China, from Germany

"It is just so easy to find other international people and global minds with InterNations. I didn´t know there were so many in Shanghai."

InterNations - a community of trust

Family, Children, and Education in China

Education is highly valued in China and the competition for the best schools is fierce. But aside from the questions surrounding China’s education system, family life abroad can come with even more challenges, such as getting married in China and moving with your beloved pet.

There are many expats who come to China and find love. Faced with the question of how to get married in China, they are often at a loss, though. There is the question of which paperwork is required, which authority is responsible, and how does it affect the visa status. To those who bring their family along when they move to China, the country offers a variety of childcare options. Many expats hire a nanny (ayi), for example, to take care of their little ones and help with the household. From the age of two, expat children also often attend a kindergarten or pre-school where they already receive an early education. Furthermore, you should make sure that you agree with the teaching methods, before enrolling your child at a pre-school. While childcare is widely available in China, the competition is high and so are the fees.

Schools and Education

Chinese children have the right to receive a minimum of nine years of education: six years in primary school and three years in secondary school. The Chinese school system is very competitive and focuses largely on results. Unfortunately, many students crumble under the pressure of the Gaokao, the National Higher Education Entrance Exam. This is also why some expat parents enroll their kids at an international school instead. While the curriculum might be more what they are used to, there is a high demand and often long waiting lists, as Chinese students have started flocking to these schools. After secondary school, most students pursue higher education. The universities in China have an excellent reputation. They offer bachelor’s-, master’s, and doctoral programs, as well as opportunities for scientific research. As more and more foreign students are enrolling at China’s universities, the competition is fierce.

Keeping Pets in China

Many expats don’t want to leave their pet behind when they move. But taking your furry friend to China can be difficult, especially if you are keeping a dog. Aside from the actual move, the permits and vaccinations, there are restrictions that particularly dog owners have to keep in mind. In big cities like Beijing, for instance, your dog may not be taller than 35 centimeters if you live in the city center. Moreover, your pet must be registered and properly vaccinated.

InterNations Expat Magazine