Confucius International School (CIS), Qingdao among its league of strong international schools. Established seven years ago and already the foremost leading institution with a British curriculum in Qingdao, CIS was founded on the values of its namesake. Confucius believed that the goal of educators was to train students to be both competent and virtuous, and that good teachers were masters of their subject matter, passionate about their work, and committed to the well-being of each and every student. Teachers must love their pupils and know them well, always considering ways and means to help them access knowledge in the way best suited to each student. Confucius further believed that teachers and students alike must cultivate their own personal morality, always matching their deeds with their words.
The Grade 9–12 boarding school is next to a major university and, depending on the traffic, 45–60 minutes from the city's downtown, with easy access to restaurants and shops. While Qingdao is a sprawling metropolis of nine million people, it feels far smaller due to the positioning of various, climbable mountain ranges within it, which create more intimate "mini-cities." Most faculty members live along the gorgeous seaside 20–25 minutes away from the school, where 44 kilometers of beach, boardwalk, and trails for walking and biking make it a nature lover's paradise. In the same area are three Western-style malls with hundreds of globally-recognized eateries and several grocery stores, which allow a comfortable lifestyle for expats. The people of Qingdao are friendly, kind, and helpful. It's a wonderful place to live and work.
At present, 380 Chinese students are enrolled at CIS. The teaching staff of 96 includes 20 from North America and the U.K. and 68 from China. The school, accredited by Cambridge International Examinations, Edexcel, and the Qingdao Local Education Bureau, offers the GCSE, IGCSE, and A Levels. CIS's Boarding Program helps students cultivate self-confidence, self-reliance, self-motivation, and self-discipline. Because they learn effective people skills and conflict resolution techniques, CIS students develop greater responsibility and sensitivity for self, others, and for the environment while building lasting friendships.
First-class facilities, such as clean and modern dormitories, a restaurant, and an indoor stadium encompassing a theater and auditorium, a basketball court, weight room, billiards, and table tennis room, are the hallmark of CIS. Outside are basketball courts and a playing field.
Students at CIS can choose from a variety of enriching after-school activities. Model UN is a popular choice, as is ASDAN, a business simulation activity, requiring teams to engage in sequential decision-making within a model of business operation. Participants assuming the role of management compete to create the best business by earning the most profit. Additionally, students can take week-long service trips to places like Phnom Penh, Cambodia or Anchorage, Alaska to build houses for Habitat for Humanity. Other extra-curricular activities include piano, folk music, art, dance, debate, computer programming, Chinese chess, basketball, football, swimming, rugby, tennis, fitness, table tennis, and more.
CIS prefers to hire singles, interns, and teaching couples, without dependents, who have not recently been teaching in China for more than three to four years. The school clarifies, "Our province makes it difficult to hire expat teachers in Qingdao with four or more years teaching in China." CIS will consider those certified in non-English speaking countries, and teachers are not required to have a degree in the subject they will be teaching. Certificated teachers up to the age of 60 may obtain a work visa in China.
The CIS package includes annual airfare for home leave, a moving and settling-in allowance, and a large housing stipend per year. One dependent per teacher receives a 100% tuition benefit. Worldwide (except for the U.S.) health insurance, including emergency evacuation, is fully covered. The school also offers both internal and external professional development; faculty and staff are welcome to apply to workshops or conferences related to the British curriculum and general teaching practices. Finally, daily lunch is served for free at the school canteen. With these benefits, a CIS contract allows for some savings.
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