Search for the best international schools in China; you can find a list at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
The world’s most populous country with 1.38 billion citizens, China has witnessed a boom in international schooling since the millennium. Most international schools are centred on Shanghai and Beijing with smaller clusters around Guangzhou, Chengdu and Qingdao.
More than 500 English-medium international schools now exist in mainland China, compared to just 22 in 2001, and together they enrol more than 200,000 students. Among them are 123 IB World Schools, including 97 authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
There are schools offering the curriculums of France, Germany, Switzerland, Korea, Japan, Australia and Canada, while many follow American and British programmes and exams. Most are coeducational day schools but a sizeable minority offer boarding, including sister schools to several leading British independent schools.
Harrow International School has two campuses, Dulwich College International School has four, Wellington College International School has three, and Malvern College two. Foreign-owned international schools are not allowed to admit Chinese citizens, unless they have one parent with a foreign passport or have returned from abroad. However, public schools and Chinese-owned private schools may admit foreign nationals and many have set up an international stream alongside the Chinese curriculum. Meanwhile, some private schools have developed bilingual programmes in Chinese and English that use international curriculums and exams.
A new type of Sino-foreign cooperative school that was pioneered by Dulwich College in Suzhou is taking off. Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai and Wycombe Abbey International School opened in August 2016, while Wellington College Bilingual Hangzhou is due to open in August 2018 and Nanwai King’s College in September 2018.
The international education group Nord Anglia Education has also entered the Chinese market, operating seven international schools plus two bilingual schools, while the Hong Kong-based Yew Chung Education Foundation offers its model of bilingual, bicultural education at four international schools and five private schools in mainland China.
Education is compulsory and free to Chinese citizens for nine years. It includes six years of primary schooling starting from age six and three years of middle school up to age 15. Three years of senior secondary school or vocational education follow.
If you are looking specifically for International Baccalaureate World Schools in China, you can find selected schools on our sister website: www.ibyb.org.