Established in 1997, Chengdu International School (CDIS) is a member of International Schools of China (iSC). Chengdu International School offers early childhood through 12th grade North American curriculum with an international emphasis. Our rigorous college preparatory education, including the AP program, integrates a worldview grounded in truth.

iSC - International Schools of China

CDIS is part of the International Schools Consortium (iSC) — a nonprofit organization that, since 1987, has offered excellent academic programs to meet the intellectual, physical, and emotional needs of students. iSC has six schools around the country — in Chengdu, Qingdao, Wuhan, Wuxi, Tianjin, and Yantai — and serves more than 1,600 students, most of whom are the children of foreign nationals and expatriates working in China. iSC is a multi-school program, enabling students and teachers to participate in system-wide programs where they can interact with others outside of their immediate school. Students compete in basketball, volleyball and soccer tournaments, as well as music and choral festivals, and Model United Nations (MUN) conventions. In addition to student involvement, all teachers attend iSC’s annual professional development conference to share best practices. The opportunity to be a part of this larger, interconnected community is just one of the many ways in which the CDIS experience is unique.

How we started

Chengdu International School (CDIS) was the first international school in Chengdu; founded in 1997 to provide an international education program for the children of expatriates living in the Chengdu area. Classes began in the fall of 1997 on the third floor of the Jia Hao School campus with only 18 students and four full-time teachers. In 2000 the school grew to 72 students and expanded the secondary program from seventh to tenth grade. Due to continued growth, CDIS moved to the fifth floor of the Jinguan Xincheng School in 2002, where complete PreK through 12th grade programs could be offered. In 2005, CDIS moved to the Zhonghai International Community campus. After several years, once again CDIS outgrew its facilities and relocated to Tonggui Road in Jinjiang district in September 2013.

CDIS is the first international school in Western China to receive accreditation for its education program by WASC (US, 2007) and NCCT (China, 2010) and the first to be certified in 2009 by the Ministry of Education to teach foreign students.

Who we serve

Chengdu International School offers a western education to approximately more than 350 Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade expatriate children and their families in Chengdu and the surrounding areas. Knowing the importance of parental participation to the success of education, Chengdu International School strives to create strong relationships with both the parents and students to maximize learning for the students. CDIS has an active Parent Teacher Organization, whose goal it is to serve the families of CDIS and wider community.

How we serve

In cooperation with parents, we are committed to providing a safe, nurturing environment. Our Western education approach focuses on:

  • partnering with parents to develop the whole child intellectually, spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally
  • emphasizing the meaning of success as fully reaching one’s potential
  • encouraging students to compete against themselves rather than their peers
  • developing critical thinking skills and problem solving abilities versus strict memorization of facts
  • preparing students for global society by exposing them to diverse cultures and peoples and guiding them in their daily interactions with each other

After graduation

It is our aspiration that students at CDIS will graduate as men and women of truth and excellence equipped to impact their world. At CDIS, students will not only excel academically, but also grow and mature in character and integrity and seek to serve others and the community in which they live.

Upon graduation, CDIS students are:
• prepared for academic, professional, and personal challenges and to pursue knowledge and wisdom for life
• balanced as they explore the world beyond academics and learn to approach life from a holistic perspective
• committed to integrity as they grasp the true meaning of a successful life

We like the high standards the school sets in the areas of behavior and respect for others.  – CDIS parent

Mission Statement

Chengdu International School provides a quality college-preparatory education for international students in Chengdu. Our goal is to prepare students to realize their full potential in academics, character, truth, and service – in order to meet the challenges of an ever-increasingly complex multicultural world.

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching expat students in a foreign country with teachers from around the world requires a clear frame of reference, criteria, and values agreed upon by all parties involved. Our teaching philosophy provides stability, continuity, and long-term guidance, for staff, students and parents.

Guiding Principles

‘ESLR’s’ are a school’s agreed upon ‘Expected School-wide Learning Results’. Our team collaborates at all times, in conjunction with parents, to provide developmental and age-appropriate learning activities in order for students in all grades to achieve positive outcomes for each of the ESLRs: Academics, Character, Truth, and Service.

We believe in providing an education open to all students irrespective of race, sex, color, or religious background. Our curriculum is intended to prepare students for active involvement in our contemporary, multicultural society, and to equip them with tools for shaping the future.

We believe that parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children while enlisting the expertise of the school to assist in their children’s development. We believe that the school should assist families in helping their children develop a sense of their own intrinsic worth and their identity as human beings created for a purpose. We believe that education is the continuing process through which this awareness develops in an individual as he/she grows in all areas of life toward his/her fullest potential.

We believe that lifelong learning occurs when students’ hearts, minds, and bodies are actively engaged. For this reason, we provide academically challenging learning opportunities within a university-preparatory course of study replete with exploratory activities. CDIS does not have a comprehensive special education program but we do differentiate for and accommodate students with learning challenges.

Students will be able to:

  • Strive for excellence in their academic work.
  • Communicate effectively in the English language.
  • Solve problems by utilizing both creative and critical thinking strategies.
  • Understand how to interpret and evaluate information.
  • Value self-discipline and life-long learning.

Students will be able to:

  • Acknowledge the intrinsic worth of themselves and others.
  • Show self-control and take responsibility for their actions.
  • Recognize and practice habits conducive to balanced health.
  • Pursue emotional well-being.
  • Practice teamwork and display sportsmanship.

Students will be able to:

  • Investigate the world and strive to answer life’s essential questions.
  • Critically evaluate truth claims.
  • Articulate and defend their worldview.
  • Reflect critically on the past in order to inform future actions.
  • Demonstrate integrity in decision-making.

Students will be able to:

  • Consider the needs of others in their community and actively seek opportunities to serve.
  • Collaborate with others.
  • Develop leadership characteristics marked by humility.
  • Use their talents for the benefit of others.
  • Appreciate the richness of cultural diversity in China and around the world.

Our Learning Environment

At CDIS, we understand that learning only takes place if students’ basic needs of health, safety and security are met. Your child’s safety is always paramount in our minds and each member of the CDIS community shares the responsibility of maintaining a secure, nurturing learning environment. Our skilled and experienced school staff ensures that this aim is met by always providing a protective environment for study and play, carefully selected healthy food options and regular access to exercise.

Child health and safety is the number one concern of all parents, especially when living abroad. Schools need to have an accountability system in place.

OUR CAMPUS - built for safety

Our modern, purpose-built campus includes every facility you might expect at a quality international school: bright, spacious classrooms and hallways with plenty of work and communal spaces for students, in- and outdoor sport and play areas, multiple fine arts classrooms and a large auditorium, a cozy café, and a spacious cafeteria. It is designed to meet the hygiene and safety needs of international students. Our gated campus has only one gate that provides access during the school day and is monitored by uniformed guards and 24-hour CCTV camera surveillance. Our Early Childhood Department can only be accessed through biometric-secured gates, keeping accessibility to this area to a needed minimum and ensuring that each child can learn, play, and move around safely and without interruption.

THE HEALTH OFFICE - experienced nurses always available

The CDIS Health Office has a school nurse on duty every day that school is in session to serve students and staff. Parents are also welcome to visit the clinic if they have questions. Our Health Office is equipped to handle minor injuries and illnesses, and regularly provides advice to school, students and parents on best practices for health. For children who need medication during school days, the nurse can administer the medicine at the time requested. With parent permission, the nurse can also provide over-the-counter medicines to your child for mild problems such as headaches. Our experienced nurses are constantly working to maintain a learning environment for our students that meets Western health and hygiene standards.

CHILD SAFETY - Our Child Protection and Safety Program: to guarantee optimum safety

CDIS is an associate member of the Child Safety and Protection Network. This international network of schools around the world has developed directives and standards based on UNICEF’s Child Rights declaration regarding teacher-student behavior and facility use and design, to guarantee optimum safety for each child in each school. All member schools and staff members are committed to hold each other accountable through regular inspection visits.

LUNCH & SNACKS - it's all about hygiene, health, and great food

Healthy, well-balanced food is crucial for each child’s development. This starts with a kitchen that meets health standards. Our kitchen and dining areas are regularly checked by government authorities to assure that all hygiene standards are met and hygiene procedures are followed.

All our lunches are prepared by our own chefs, who have worked in international hotels and are very experienced in both Western and Chinese cuisines. We purchase our food and beverage products from trusted vendors only, and each morning carefully select meat, vegetables and fruit.

Each day, our students can choose between Western and Chinese food. They can of course also bring their own lunch and warm it up in one of our microwaves. An assortment of drinks and small snacks are available throughout day.

All students eat their lunch in our clean and spacious cafeteria. The Early Childhood Department has its own cozy lunch area, specially designed and equipped for our smallest students.

TRANSPORTATION - a safe way to travel

Every school day, CDIS provides bus transportation to and from school for all students who have registered for it. Experienced and well-trained bus monitors are always there to ensure your child’s safety. All our buses keep in constant contact with the CDIS transportation manager while on their routes. This system enables us to increase security and communicate delays with parents.

AIR QUALITY - minimizing the effects of air pollution on campus

Air quality and the effects of heavily polluted air on children’s health is a serious concern. Even on days with a low AQI rating, Chengdu air is full of pollutants. For that reason, CDIS indoor facilities (classrooms, hallways and areas for indoor sport and play) are closed from outside air and constantly provided with filtered air though our Centralized Air Filtration System. This allows us to continue with classes and sports, even on heavily polluted days. We check the air pollution rate several times each day.

For our outdoor facilities, CDIS monitors pollution levels on a daily basis, using the information on this site: A policy is in place to adjust activities in an attempt to safeguard the health and wellness of our students. This policy applies to outdoor sports as well as outdoor playtime. A summary of our AQI (Air Quality Index) policy:

  • AQI 0-150: normal activities
  • AQI150-200: reduced-intensity activities
  • AQI 200-250: Elementary students indoors; Secondary students have low-intensity activities if outdoors
  • AQI > 250: All activities inside

Teachers will immediately pull a student from an activity if he/she shows signs of abnormal respiratory distress, and notify the school nurse for further monitoring.