In a captivating interview with Jeffery Kao, a former student at Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) Hongqiao, we delve into his educational path as both a student and a parent. We explore how SCIS has influenced his experiences and perspectives discussing memories and the unique characteristics and advancements of the school. Jeffery graciously shares his thoughts on why he selected SCIS for his daughter providing advice for parents considering a top-notch international education.
Welcome back, Jeffery! Please introduce yourself.
I am from the SCIS Class of 2011 (the 2nd graduating class of SCIS, I believe). I actually first attended SCIS briefly in Lower School, for maybe a semester during the first grade. But moved around until I came back to Shanghai in high school and attended SCIS from the start of 10th grade until graduation. After graduating from SCIS, I attended the University of Redlands, in Southern California, a liberal arts school – and majored in Global Business with an emphasis in Marketing.
I currently reside in Shanghai with my wife and two kids (Eevie – 2 years old; Eddie - 1-month-old) while running a boutique advertising agency and working at VOL group (an F&B group in Shanghai that runs restaurants including Polux, Mr. & Mrs. Bund, Ultraviolet, Charbon, Roodoodoo, etc.).
What made SCIS special to you?
I think the international community and environment that makes up the SCIS student body is something that has made a deep impact on me. The relationships and the friendships (among classmates and faculties whom I’ve kept in touch even until now) that were from during my time at SCIS really gave me a broader view of the world when I went off to college and even into my professional career.
What made you decide to enroll your daughter at SCIS?
One of the key deciding factors was how international SCIS is and was able to maintain throughout the years. Growing up in an international school myself and experiencing the impact it had on my life really gave me a clear indication of what type of education and environment I would want my daughter to be in.
How did your daughter adapt to the SCIS Hongqiao ECE campus?
So far, the experience and process of enrolling my daughter in the ECE campus has been very smooth and very trustworthy. The focus and dedication of the work at ECE from all faculties have really made an impressive impression on my wife and me (from the classroom teachers, and principal, all the way to the security staff).
How does it feel to return to SCIS, but as an SCIS parent now?
It’s a very strange, interesting, yet also very exciting feeling. From the very first return to visit the campus with my daughter, back on to familiar grounds and surroundings, to the first time having my daughter wear the same SCIS uniform that I once wore was definitely a milestone type of progress for all.
What are the biggest changes in SCIS from 2011 vs 2023?
I think SCIS has definitely made a lot of progress in terms of its content, process, and procedure, and overall improved on its ability to program different curriculums, hardware, and long-term development. For example, aside from the IB programme, I was told that SCIS is also developing different extracurricular programs that would benefit the students in the long run and their future – that is beside the regular activities such as basketball and soccer.
What has stayed the same since 2011?
What I really appreciated, and valued was the fact that SCIS stayed international with its student and faculty demographic since 2011. It’s something that I believe is important, especially after comparing it with other international schools in Shanghai.
What do you hope for your daughter to achieve during her time at SCIS?
I hope for my daughter to be able to grow up in a diversified community that would allow her to encounter many different cultures, people, and a global view – which was something that I experienced during my time at SCIS.
If you were to recommend SCIS to a prospective parent, what are your top 3 reasons to enroll today?
1) SCIS’ faculties and teachers are some of the most caring individuals I’ve met and are true professionals at what they do.
2) A truly diverse and international community group for your children to study and grow up in.
3) The IB programme and philosophy that SCIS follows is a programme that I believe really helps develop kids to become great thinkers, adaptive learning abilities, and global citizens which is something critical in the real world (for current and future).
SCIS. Once a Dragon, Always a Dragon.