Sofia Tan, Bin Huo, Brian (Grade 2) and Chloe (Pre-Kindergarten) are Australian Chinese having lived in two dynamic cities, Sydney and Shanghai. Sofia is an accountant and Bin works in the automotive industry. Brian and Chloe have both attended WISS since Nursery.
How many years has your family been a part of the WISS Community?
Tell us how you came to WISS. Where did you move from, did you live anywhere before that?
Our family came back from Australia in 2012 and Brian started to WISS in March 2013. Beforehand, we were living in Sydney Australia.
Where were you born? What passport do you hold? Where would you call “home”?
My husband and I are Chinese and Brian and Chloe were born in Sydney Australia.
We call China our home but we also feel at home in Australia.
Why did you choose WISS for your family?
We like the international atmosphere in WISS and the IB programme.
What do you like most about WISS? What makes WISS unique?
From Brian and Chloe: kids and teachers are friendly. The school facility is in very good condition. Brian likes the food in the canteen. J The teachers in WISS don’t push kids too much and the kids are enjoying their education.
From my husband and me: kids can be creative and imaginative. It is really a true international school with multiple national mixtures. Through the IB program, kids enjoy the learning with happiness.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What do you enjoy doing as a family? How do you create your family time in Shanghai?
Sofia: I am now working full-time as an accountant in a German company. I like jogging and reading in my spare time and also enjoy the time with Brian and Chloe. As a family, we like to go to travel from time to time to explore the nature and different cultures.
Bin: Due to many business travels and quite tight agenda during the working days, I try my best to spend my time with my family during the weekend and holidays as much as possible. I like all kinds of sports. Now I am doing quite a bit swimming. Other time I mainly focus on playing with my kidsJ
Please tell us about any special involvement that you have at WISS. Do you volunteer? Are you a part of the parent committee group? Do you support the parent social functions? Why have you chosen to give your time to this project and how do you feel it complements the WISS community?
Sofia: I was a volunteer as an English teacher at Stepping Stone with several WISS parents. I am happy that I can give my support to Chinese kids from the countryside. WISS community is the community with love and care, which also gives positive influence to our kids. We hope our kids grow up with love and happiness.
What is your favourite subject at WISS, and why?
Brian: UOI, Math, Art
Chloe: UOI, Art, Music
What do you think of life in Shanghai?
Bin: Shanghai is an amazing city. It is modern and dynamic but with a lot of historical tradition. We love living in Shanghai. It has everything for the family, good school, many shopping places, a lot of museums and parks for the spare time and the most recently there is Disneyland opened up. Kids have a lot fun here. The life in Shanghai is never boring and very convenient. We are very happy to live in Shanghai but sometimes also troubled a lot with the heavy traffic and bad air quality. J
How has living abroad, and in Shanghai, changed you?
Living in a different environment and location has opened our horizon and mindset. It helps us to be more flexible and agile to different circumstances. Sometimes it is very difficult where one can suddenly feel like you have become completely illiterate in some foreign country without basic knowledge of the local languages. It can be frustrating, but on the other hand, it can be motivating to make a change for yourself such as learn a new skill, new language and make some new friends. We find we become much more open and adaptive to the outside world after living in the different places of around the world. We are enjoying these sometimes adventurous experiences which are always very nice parts of our life journey.