WISS Today Article

Vidal family


The Patino Vidal family is from Spain and joined WISS in 2016.  They are a well-traveled family having lived in various cities in Europe prior to moving to China.  Gerard and Gemma have three girls, Nina (Grade 3), Olivia (Grade 1) and Mafalda (Pre-Kindergarten).

How many years has your family been a part of the WISS Community?

This is our second year.


Tell us how you came to WISS. Where did you move from, did you live anywhere before that?

Before coming to Shanghai we lived in London, Dublin, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Before moving in we both came to Shanghai for a school hunting and checked 3 schools. We visited WISS the last and as soon as we went in we looked to each other saying this is the school our daughters need.


Where were you born? What passport do you hold? Where would you call “home”?

GERARD: I was born in Girona (Spain) and home for me is Salitja, a little village were we lived and where we have just bought a house.

GEMMA: I was born in Barcelona (Spain) and home for me is Barcelona

NINA: I was born in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and home for me is Salitja, Shanghai (the Racquet Club specially) and Amsterdam.

OLIVIA: I was born in Girona (Spain) and home for me is Shanghai.

MAFALDA: I was born in Salitja (Spain) and home for me is Salitja.


Why did you choose WISS for your family?

We liked the IB program and we considered that it was the appropriate for our kids. As well the fact WISS have great facilities and infrastructures. Also we loved the atmosphere we felt on the first day.


What do you like most about WISS? What makes WISS unique?

GERARD: We were impressed how welcoming everyone was to our daughters the first day. That made their adaptation much more easier.

GEMMA: WISS always provided immediate solutions to any problems we had.

NINA: I like reading and I love the library WISS has. Also I like the food in WISS.

OLIVIA: I like the jungle the library and learn a lot in WISS, especially Math’s. I also like the food.

MAFALDA: I love the food and the playground.


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?

GERARD: I am a fan of planes and high buildings, and since living in Shanghai I have the opportunity to fly a lot (because of my work) and visit all the buildings in Pudong. Also we enjoy walking around the area where we live while the kids ride their scooters.

GEMMA:  I am a graphic designer and I love photography. I like to discover new places of Shanghai and take photos of them. I also love to travel and the adventures and living in China brings you the opportunity to explore Asia. Recently I have discovered yoga.

NINA: I like to travel with my parents and sisters. I like to play with my sisters and friends. I like to swim and ride my scooter. I love to cook with my mum.

OLIVIA: I like all sports in general, swim or ride my bike is my favorites. Also play with my sisters and friends and travel with my family.

MAFALDA: I like to ride my bike or my scooter. Also I like to help my parents to cook.


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?

Gemma is the class parent for G3Y. We would like to get more involved but we both work and we do not have much time left, although we try to participate in all the events WISS do.


What is your favourite subject at WISS, and why?

NINA: Arts and Music.

OLIVIA: Maths and PE

MAFALDA: Maths and Chinese.


What do you think of life in Shanghai?

GERARD and GEMMA: we like Shanghai a lot! We feel super comfortable living here. It is a city that never stops and where you can get anything at anytime! It is very easy to live in except for the pollution.

NINA: I like living in Shanghai because I made new friends. I love dumplings and the fried rice.

OLIVIA: I like the compound where we live. Also I like going to WISS, I made a lot of new friends.

MAFALDA: I like learning Chinese in the school. Also the food and make new friends.


How has living abroad, and in Shanghai, changed you?

ALL OF US: Living abroad have its advantages and disadvantages. The beginnings are never easy and it took us some time to get adapted to China and being so far from home was hard.

However we think our kids are having the great opportunity to get to know a new culture, a new city a new country and loads of new and nice people from all around the world. Also at once they will be able to speak 4 languages.

We have become a super strong family and we help to each other a lot.