Beijing Southwest – Quick Facts
- Founded in 1934.
- Approx. 1,200 students.
- 15 minute walk to subway stop.
- International Department: Students in the international department are mainly Chinese students who plan to attend university abroad.
- Some classes are taught according to the USA AP (Advanced Placement) curriculum.
- Students with no previous Chinese knowledge are also welcome to apply.
IMPORTANT – The Beijing South West High School accepts international students between 14-16 years old interested in attending one or two semesters.
Studying at a high school in China is a once in a life time opportunity.
You will experience a completely different culture, people, education system, and language while living in one of the world’s most exciting and fastest changing cities, Beijing.
A Chinese high school might be quite different to the education system you are used to, yet in many ways quite similar too.
High School in China – Beijing Southwest
Beijing Southwest High School is an elite school that prepares Chinese high school students for attending university abroad, usually the United States.
Classes are taught in either Mandarin or English, however because all teachers and most students are Chinese the common language throughout the school and most of the classes is Chinese.
The school has excellent facilities, with a football court, swimming pool, track and field courts, two canteens, modern class rooms and a highly qualified teaching team.
There are many after school activities and clubs, including music, sports, dancing, painting, calligraphy and so on. Students eat lunch together at the school canteen, but breakfast and dinner will be eaten with the homestay family.
Your class will have approximately 20 other students in it and most likely you will be the only non-Chinese student. This means you might be a very popular person to sit next to, as there is usually quite a bit of competition who will sit next to the foreign exchange student next semester.
Getting into this Chinese high school is quite competitive and your class mates will be performing academically quite well.
However, the general atmosphere is a bit more relaxed than at most other Chinese high schools, because the students plan to study abroad. This means they will not have to take the super competitive Chinese gaokao university examinations that most teenagers between 15 and 18 spend almost all their time studying for, leaving little time to enjoy life outside school. Most students will have traveled abroad and speak comparatively good English.
Facts About the High School in China
- Roughly 1,200 students, from 12 to 18 years old
- 15 minute walk to the next subway stop
- Approximately 40 minutes travel time to the city center
- Founded in 1934, one of Beijing’s top high schools
- International education focus school
- Students in the international department are mainly Chinese who plan to attend university abroad
- Some classes are taught according to the USA AP (Advanced Placement) curriculum
The Chinese Language Course
Inside a High School in China
To give yourself a bit of time to settle into China and improve your Mandarin before starting high school, most students do several weeks of Chinese language course in Beijing first.
Depending on when your summer holidays start this can be for anything from one to eight weeks.
During the Chinese course, you will be studying four hours of Chinese in small group classes with other international students and be staying with a homestay family.
NOTE – It is also possible to add an additional two hours of individual Chinese lessons to the group classes to get ahead faster.
At the language school a lot of social activities are offered and you will very quickly meet other students from all over the world who also came to China to learn Mandarin. English is widely spoken and this is a very good first step to ease into China before immersing yourself fully into the culture and language in your new Chinese high school.
Once you are at your high school it is also possible to take individual Chinese classes during the weekends to help you to improve your Mandarin.
The Homestay Family
Tereza and her Homestay Sister
You will be living with a friendly Chinese family that will be looking after you during your stay.
Your room will either be shared with your host sibling or you can book the single room upgrade to have your own private room.
The homestay is really the most fun and interesting part about spending a year abroad in China.
You will eat daily freshly prepared Chinese food and be part of a Chinese family where you will practice your Mandarin every day and really get to know Chinese culture.
At the same time there will always be someone to help and support you. Our families are famous for going out of their way to make sure host students feel comfortable.