Beijing Luhe International Academy
About Beijing Luhe International Academy
Beijing Luhe International Academy
Information about the school
BLIA opened in impressive new purpose-built accommodation in September 2005 and enrolled the first students on its English A level programme at the same time. This programme is aimed at Chinese students who wish to apply to study at university in the UK or other English-speaking countries. The academy’s ‘parent’ school, Beijing Luhe High School, is a very famous, prestigious and highly achieving school within the Chinese school system and has a number of longstanding international links. Luhe High School is very unusual, if not unique, in the Chinese school system. It was originally founded by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1867 as a missionary school when Tongzhou Boys’ Boarding School was opened. By 1889, it had developed into an advanced academy called North China College that included a primary school, a middle school, a high school, a college and a seminary. In 1918, the university part of the school was moved to west Beijing and later became the highly regarded Yenching University, while the secondary school that remained was named Luhe High School. It is situated 18km due east of Tian’anmen Square on a large, beautiful campus that features buildings from the beginning of the 20th century as well as extensive open green spaces with lawns, tree-lined avenues and a lake; it is particularly beautiful in spring when the trees are full of blossom. The building of modern teaching facilities, administration areas and accommodation has been done in a style that retains the school’s traditional ambience. The school has many alumni who are distinguished within China and the wider world, including the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in the mid-1980s. Luhe High School and its new International academy are the kind of places that attract able young people with ambition and the drive to succeed.
Living in Beijing
Beijing is one of the world’s great cities, with a number of iconic world-renowned sites, including the Great Wall of China, Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace. It is heavily populated and the traffic can be congested, but the staging of the Olympics in 2008 brought massive investment in the city’s infrastructure, not least in the subway system to which new lines have been added. There are two subway lines: Batong Line and Line 6, and the trains every few minutes for the 40 minute ride to central Beijing, which costs a few British pence. Several subway lines are being constructed and planned because of Tongzhou’s important status as the sub-center of Beijing, which means Tongzhou now is where Beijing Government is located. When Luhe opened in the 19th century it must have been situated in the countryside to the east of Beijing, but now Tongzhou has formed the sub-center of Beijing that has seen great development recently. That development means that there is plenty of modern, well-built accommodation and facilities like a large Carrefour supermarket, Wanda Plaza, a very famous shopping Mall, houses various shopping outlets, a multiplex cinema and the Wal-Mart, and a Universal Studio, the largest one in the world, is being built that will be open in 2019.
Central Beijing, its heritage sites and international life are easily accessible from Tongzhou. A ride back in a licensed taxi late at night takes less than 30 minutes on the expressway and costs about £8 (RMB 80). Summer can be hot and humid and winter a bit cold (but dry). Autumn and spring are very pleasant and are the best times to travel and go sight-seeing. The staff of the school are very friendly and welcoming, as are the Chinese in general, and social events and trips are put on for the expatriate staff from time to time.