The Quill

The Student News Site of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley

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The Quill



Did you know that there are BASIS International schools in China? Have you ever wondered what life is like at BASIS International Schools? As a former student of BASIS International School Hangzhou (BIHZ), I want to share my experiences with you.



Guess what! We also have Spirit Weeks in BIHZ, and we have more frequent celebrations and more diverse themes because we celebrate both American and Chinese holidays. For Halloween, the cafeteria provides all kinds of cookies and cakes, which we can enjoy while we participate in various activities on the field. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, we have a poetry competition, and our Chinese teacher gives us delicious mooncakes. One small regret of mine is that BIHZ didn’t give us red envelopes, which are monetary gifts given during special occasions in China, during the Spring Festival…just kidding! For field trips, we go on hikes and climb nearby mountains, but I’ve always wished for more variation. Since this is my first year in BISV, I hope BISV can surprise me.


2. Outfits

At BIHZ, we have to wear school uniforms every day, so I always looked forward to Spirit Week when I could finally wear what I wanted to. Now that I’m at BISV, I don’t have to wear a uniform everyday. However, the air conditioner makes the temperature even colder here than in BIHZ, so my outfit choices are still limited.


3. Campus

The BIHZ campus is actually about the same size as BISV, and the hallways also have lots of glass windows allowing you to see the outside world. BIHZ has a playground with entertainment facilities, and I used to walk around the playground after lunch with my friends. The BIHZ library has a wall that is made of iridescent glass, which looks stunning in the sunlight. Most importantly, there are two convenience stores and a Luckin Coffee shop next to the campus. Can you imagine how satisfying it is to sip a hot matcha latte in the winter?


4. Academics

At BIHZ, we also take the AP Exams. In fact, my friend even got two perfect scores in her AP Exams. I know, that’s crazy! Additionally, I can confidently say that the amount of homework and tests we have in BIHZ is no less than that of BISV. We also have lots of group projects in BIHZ. In Calculus BC, we use Desmos to draw our favorite characters in anime and games, then color them with Procreate. 


5. Food

I apologize for my criticism of my BIHZ lunch in the past. I was too naive and ignorant. This is only my third month in the United States, and I already miss authentic Chinese food so much. However, I love the food trucks that came last month; we never had this type of event in Hangzhou. 


6. Clubs

At BIHZ, we also have a variety of clubs. My FAVORITE club has to be the baking club! Since I did not successfully get into this super popular club, I was so jealous when people posted pictures of the butter cookies and puffs they made! At BISV, I was surprised by how passionate and committed everyone is to their clubs because at BIHZ, attendance is generally very low. With more diverse clubs, BISV has provided me with volunteer opportunities I never imagined before!


Although BIHZ and BISV have a lot in common, such as the deluge of homework, I personally prefer the food at BIHZ and the learning environment at BISV. I am looking forward to finding out more interesting similarities and differences between the two schools as I spend more time at BISV!


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