What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
Unless one spouse is a Mandarin speaker, expats usually choose to send their children to private international schools. There is not a wide choice in Taipei, though the main languages/systems are all represented.
What are some examples of these schools?
Aside from the Taipei American School, there is the Taipei European School (British, French and German Schools), a Japanese School, and a small Korean School downtown. There are four other American curriculum, Christian schools located both downtown and on Yang Ming Shan.
Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
Competition is increasing, though there is not the same worry over places that you'd have in a city like Hong Kong. It is best to contact the school of your choice as soon as you hear of a pending assignment to ensure you have the most current information on availability.
Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
Most English language pre-schools will accept children from the age of 2 1/2, though a few will take younger children upon assessment. These schools are generally located in the Tien Mou area, though there are one or two in the downtown area.
Alternately, a number of parents choose to send their children to Mandarin language pre-schools. That is because there is often such a pre-school located close to home, and the possibility of a child acquiring different language skills is attractive to many.
How are most kids transported to and from school?
The international schools all provide bus service for most ages. Pre-schools usually do not, and so parents will either walk or take public transport to school.
When does the typical school year start and end?
The school year starts in late August or early September and ends in late May or mid-June.
Is there anything else I should know about local schools?
Some schools have cafeteria facilities and some do not.
After-school activities for younger children are provided through the Taipei Youth Program Association. Children from all of the international schools are eligible to register for their classes.
Severe learning disabilities are generally not accommodated. Please contact the school directly with questions of this nature.
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