Formal after school activities are organized by each individual school and will vary by campus and semester. The larger international schools (especially those with high school grade levels) will have organized intramural sports teams, clubs, and other activities. Kindergartens and elementary schools may have fewer options but will still offer organized after school programs such as kung-fu, soccer, ballet, and other activities, usually for an additional fee.

Because there are limited options for kids outside of the school setting, younger students often visit their compound’s play areas after school while older students will stay on campus for activities. Many parents have expressed that the competitive nature of some international schools, as well as the additional language learning, keep their kids quite busy and unavailable for too many activities.

There are limited organized extra-curricular sports and classes outside of what is available at school for those who want to dedicate more time to a specific pursuit. Occasional postings on expat forums looking for private voice coaches, drum teachers, and dance studios testify to the dearth of organized activities readily available. However, there are still some options that parents can explore:

ClubFootball organizes soccer leagues for kids on weekdays or weekends in different locations, depending on the “team” that kids join. Check http://www.clubfootball.com.cn for more information.

SportsBeijing is a community based non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality sports and recreational programs to the expatriate youth of Beijing after school and on weekends. Explore their programs at http://www.sportsbj.org.

The Beijing Girl Scout Overseas Council Committee runs a Girl Scout troop in Beijing, headquartered at one of the international schools but accepting applications from students at any school. Email girlscoutsbeijing@yahoo.com for more information.

Part of the Direct Service Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 943 was initially chartered by the International School of Beijing (ISB) and still exists today, accepting applications from students at any school. Email chair2009@troop943.com for more information.

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