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Home School in ChinaShannon reading one of the books shipped from home in Xiamen, 1989

What are educational alternatives for expats' kids in Xiamen? We homeschooled for 12 years because for most of the time there was no Int'l school, and we tried Chinese schools but had some problems (others have done well with this though, and things have improved).

For grades 1-8, we used Calvert School (which began in 1897, so has a long track record). For grades 9-12 we used University of Nebraska distance education High School program (began in 1929!).

And of course, we now have the option of the Xiamen International School (one of China's best--an IB program k-12, almost 300 students). You can also try Chinese schools. Hanway English Kindergarden (汉伟 英语幼儿园)has 2 locations in Xiamen--one on Gulangyu Islet (daily Ferry crossing a bit inconvenient), one in Qianpu (near exhibition center. You can check their website, but it is only in Chinese (you'd think an English Kindergarten could have some English on its website).

Gulangyu 鼓浪屿分园 Address: 鼓浪屿安海路3-7号
Tel: 2067741 2067404
Qianpu 前埔分园
Address: 前埔北区 Tel: 5926582 5926583
Cheers, Bill
Click links below for Calvert, Nebraska, and XIS, and share your own ideas. Cheers! Dr. Bill
Calvert School--Since 1897!
Univ. of Nebraska High School
Xiamen International School

Xiàmén International School (xiàmén Guójì Xuéxiào 厦门国际学校)
In the mid 1990s, Mayor Hóng Yǒngshì realized that if we wanted foreign firms to invest in Xiàmén, we need quality international education for expat kids—hence XIS. Today, XIS is one of China’s finest international schools, with about 30 credentialed teachers from almost a dozen countries, and, as of Sep-tember, 2006, 277 students from 32 countries and regions.

In June, 2002, XIS moved to a modern new 30,000m2 campus, with gym, soccer field, track, three basketball courts, and an indoor swimming pool. The facilities also include a library, reading room, science and language labs, large cafeteria, and an intranet.
Got kids? Visit XIS. No kids yet? Get some so you can send them to XIS!

Add: Jiǔtiān Hú, Xìnglín, Xiàmén (九天湖兴林厦门
Tel: 6256581 E-mail:

Headmaster John Godwin:  "Started in 1997, XIS offers a PreK-12th grace international English language education to the children of Xiàmén’s expats. It is the only school in Fújiàn province, and one of only five in all of China, authorized to offer all three International Baccalaureate Programs (i.e., Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program).

“XIS students come from over 30 nations and regions. Teachers have bachelor degrees, and many have masters. XIS is accredited with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). “We extend a warm invitation to all expatriate families to come visit us when seeking a school for their children.” Dr. John M. Godwin, Headmaster

Colleges and Universities that have accepted XIS graduates:
Harvard University, Ma. University of Massachusetts, Ma.
Stanford University, Ca. Farleigh Dickinson, New Jersey
Binghamton University, NY University of Buffalo, NY
Syracuse University, NY Hofstra University, NY
Michigan State University, MI Penn State University, PA
University of Nevada, Reno, NV Xiàmén University, Xiàmén, PRC
La Salle University, Shànghǎi, PRC Nottingham University, Níngbō, PRC,Concordia University, Montreal, Canada Euro-Control Maastricht, Netherlands

XIS Enrollment, Fall 2006  277 Students from 32 Countries and Regions: Argentina 1 Australia 7 Belgium 2 Belize 1 Britain 7 Canada 7 Colombia 1 Denmark 1 Holland 1 France 2 Germany 6 HK 5
India 3 Indonesia 3 Ireland 3 Italy 4 Japan 4 Korea 55
Macao 3 Malaysia 7 Mexico 2 Norway 2 Philippines 3
Singapore 14 South Africa 1 Spain 1 Surinam 1 Sweden 3
Taiwan 78 Thailand 1 USA 48

TRAVEL LINKS Hakka Earthen architecture Favorite Fujian Sites Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi MountainFujian Foto Album AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianXiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu Guide to Fukien Fuhken Fujian Guides Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou Longyan Yongding Liancheng Changting Amoy Tigers LianchengLongyan Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi Mtn Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming
Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning
Hakka Earthen architecture Taimu Mtn. Hakka Earthen architecture Roundhouses Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges Hakka Earthen architecture Jiangxi Hakka Earthen architecture Guilin Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books
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Guide to Xiamen University Historic and modern, including departments -- Arts Science computers mathematics accounting management law department etc.Xiamen Univ

Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  Chinchew

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XMU Links: Xiamen University Office of International Exchange Foreign Affairs hire foreign teachersOfc. of Int'l Exchange (ICE)Teach! Overseas Education College Study Mandarin Chinese in class or with tutors or study Minnan South Fujian Dialect Overseas Educ. Collegee  Study! Xiamen University China Studies ProgramCSP China Studies Program  Numerous International Exchange Programs with Xiamen University International ExchangesInternational Exchanges Xiamen University GuideXMU's Many Firsts! Xiamen University Management College Economics College MBA Center Accounting StatisticsMBA Center (China's 1st MBAs) Xiamen University Library loan and exchange policiesXMU Library Xiamen University Chinese European Art Center Holland Dutch Ineke  GudmundssonChinese-European Art Center Xiamen University Foundation College FCXM  United Kingdom Ireland France Canada XMU Foundation College Xiamen University GuideXiada Today! Tour Xiamen University Guide over 100 locations, sites, background Tour XMU!   Xiamen University Office of International Exchange Foreign Affairs hire foreign teachers104 XMU Sites!
XMU History: Chen Jiageng Tan Kah Kee Founder of Xiamen University Jimei School Village Henry Ford of AsiaXMU Founder Tan Kah Kee (Henry Ford of Asia) Wang Yanan Spirit devoted to Science Tao Dayong HunanWang Yanan --Scientist Lu Xun Father of Modern Chinese Literature founded China's first anthropology museumLu Xun Father of Modern Chinese Lit. Lim Boon Keng Safe of Singapore Xiamen University PresidentDr. Lim Boon-keng, "Sage of Singapore" Lin Yutang Memorial and Luxun Memorial International writerLin Yutang Lin Yutang Photo Album Memoirs of an Octagenarian Pagan Love and Laughter IronyLin Photo Album Xiamen University Srrength of the SouthXMU--Strength of the Nation (by Dr. Bill & Robin)

“This school [Xiamen University] is entirely a Chinese institution, with no foreign teachers and no foreign connections, and right out in a small Chinese village. The course of study is being made very practical… When we think of the future days, it is one of the most encouraging things to be seen in the whole of China.” Paul Hutchinson, 1920s

Xiamen University (XMU, or Xiada) gets top billing in Amoy Magic for three reasons:
1) Its China’s most beautiful campus;
2) Its China’s most strategic university (the only key university in a Special Economic Zone);
3) Its our home.   I rest my case!
Photo of Xiamen University's Furong Lotus Lake

Xiada’s 400 acres, nestled snugly between the Five Old Man Mountains and the sea, are as tranquil as the sprawling Nanputuo Buddhist monastery right next door – except on April 6. Then the campus springs to life to celebrate its founding in 1921 by Mr. Tan Kah Kee, a patriotic overseas Chinese with a big heart and an even bigger wallet.
  Click Here to read about Mr. Tan, who earned his fortune not from Tan Kah Kee Fried Chicken but from the rubber industry.

To add to the festivities, Xiada’s birthday follows on the heels of the April 5th Tripleheader: 1) Grave Sweeping Day; 2) the anniversary of Chiang Kai Shek's death; and 3) my birthday, the latter being the most important.
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Xiada Today! Xiada now boasts over 20,000 full-time students and a few thousand part-time students, who pursue 60 majors in 25 departments, with master’s degrees in 57 majors, and doctoral degrees in 18. One student earned so many degrees I call him Dr. Fahrenheit.

A university brochure rightly boasts, “Xiada’s tens of thousands of graduates and postgraduates have been highly recognized both at home and abroad as outstanding in their fields.”
Of course, local farmers are out standing in their fields too.Xiamen University Beach

To appreciate Xiada’s impact on Chinese science, arrange a tour of the Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, one of China’s key strategic laboratories, where renowned scientists (5 of whom are in the Chinese Academy of Sciences) wield such hi-tech devices as scanning tunneling microscopes to perform research in bioelectrochemistry, spectro-electrochemistry, and other esoteric stuff I can’t even spell correctly.
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The laboratory is located in the five-story concrete and bathroom tile covered edifice across the street from our Economics College (and not far from our MBA Center). Website:

A tour of beautiful Xiada should include the anthropology museum, which is holding its own even though budget cuts forced the anthropology department to be shut down a few years back.
Standing beside the anthropology museum is the statue of the patriotic poet, writer and all around good guy Lu Xun. Behind Mr. Lu Xun is our campus’ best photo spot—the majestic granite structures of the original campus, which curve around the soccer field and face the sea.

By now you’re hungry or thirsty or both, so take a break for lunch or dinner in the International Academic Exchange’s (Yifu Bldg) dining room. They have great hot pot, and the best spicy fried shrimp in town (coated in spices and deep-fried, you can eat the shells and all—though Sue balks at eating the tail, but that’s another tale). Phone ahead for large groups, or to reserve a private dining room: 208 7988.
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Wind down your whirlwind tour with a stroll around our serene mid-campus lake, which mirrors the Five Old Men Mountains and the Oriental architecture of the student dorms (and walls of weeping willows until Typhoon Dan flattened them). On a small island are statues of Tan Kah Kee surrounded by students—and the occasional Laowai listening in.

By day, the lakeside is host to dozens of students standing alone, textbook in hand, memorizing English dialogues. By night, the lakeside is still host to dozens of students, this time in pairs.
And they aren’t studying English. In the early 90s, university regulations forbade males and females (my wife and I included!) holding hands. But men held hands…

I Wanna Hold Your Hand?
I nearly fell off my trusty rusty Forever Brand bike when I saw a gate guard sitting in another’s lap, arms about him, eyes locked intimately.

Chinese men are very intimate -- unlike us Westerners who religiously defend our inviolable body space (about 30 inches, according to space cases who study such stuff).

Chinese view privacy and body space differently because with 1.3 billion people there isn’t a lot of room for either one. Men have no qualms holding hands, arms, or bodies, which is all well and good for Chinese who know the ropes, but not for foreigners.

Consider the simple handshake. Americans grab, squeeze, pump for oil 3 times, and escape, but Chinese may grab your hand and hold it intimately in theirs, even stroking it throughout the entire conversation. It still unnerves me, even after 12 years.
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I eventually gave a lecture on how not to shake hands or other body parts with unsuspecting Laowai. And the very next day, I ran into Foreign Affair’s Lao Huang, (Lao means “old” or “venerable”), one of my sons' favorite Chinese grandfathers, and handholder par excellence.

Lao Huang grasped my hand and caressed it for a good 15 minutes while he chatted away. He eventually asked, “Xiao Pan” (which means “Little Pan,” not “Unvenerable Pan”), “Do you feel awkward holding my hand?”

“A tad,” I confessed.

He roared with laughter, threw his arms about me (that I could handle), and confessed, “I heard about your hand-holding lecture yesterday!” And ever since then, the old rascal has greeted me with an American pumping-for-oil handshake—and a sly chuckle.

XMU Main Website:

ICE Website:
Job Descriptions:
Job Application:
Contact: Lisa Yu E-mail:
Phone: 86 592 218 6237 FAX: 86 592 218-0240

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