It always makes me feel home once I land in Shanghai. Because of its attractiveness in terms of economic environment, business opportunities, fashion attitude and convenient lifestyle, Shanghai has become destination for non-Shanghainese and even non-Chinese. Not surprised to hear that population in Shanghai has exceeded 22 Million. I can tell from crowdedness in each subway line in non-rush hours.
I met a lot of friends during my 4-week stay in Shanghai in April. Most of them are middle-class and some of them are in higher status. The common concern for them is the future of China. Given the problems of pollution, government corruption, political system, unsafe food and social unrest, they are concerned about their future and their next generation’s.
As most of you may be aware, education is top priority for every Chinese family. Especially, “one child policy” makes parents put 100% hope on the only child. Some of them decide to go to US to give birth for their kids. It costs more than C$30,000 but they think it worthwhile as their kids obtain US passport.
On one hand, most Chinese save more than spend; on the other hand, when it turns to education for kids, they spare every effort to support. The mentality for Chinese in consumption is price equals to quality; therefore, they prepare for paying premium for better school environment, more experienced teachers and more advanced methodology. The private school in Shanghai charges more than C$12,000 per year (from kindergarten), which is almost the same tuition in Canada.
North America is always the first choice for overseas study. Canada stands out due to its favorable policy (3-year open work visa after graduation), neutral political standing and its diversity. Chinese families have realized the earlier children accept overseas education, the better. As immigration raised the bar, those parents may not get chance to come to Canada as immigrants and they don’t feel comfortable to leave children when they are too little. The line draws at the age of 15 (Grade 9 or 10). And that’s why they prefer boarding schools.
I came back with the request from my friends (children age between 1 and 12): to find out how to apply for private schools in Toronto/Canada. I suppose Canada may expect more Chinese students in the coming years.