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Paul deMena (the U.S.A)

Source: hubei.gov.cn 06/22/2017 08:06:00

Paul deMena: Keep up with the world’s development with Wuhan

Wuhan Yangtze International School is very famous among Wuhan residents, not just because it is a school only for foreigners, but also because it marks the debut of international school in central China.

Paul deMena, 54, founder of Wuhan Yangtze International school, came from New Jersey, the United States. After graduating as a chemical engineering major, he used to work for a pharmaceutical company as a research engineer. In late 1990s, he and his wife were attracted by quick-developed China and they decided to move to Wuhan for a band new life in 2000.

“We chose Wuhan because it has a lot of opportunities for us to do what we want to do compared with Beijing and Shanghai at that time, ” Paul said.

In the first time, Paul wanted to do something in the field of general medicine because his wife is a family doctor and had a work experience of more than six years in the US.

However, the reality was that a foreign doctor needed to pass strict certification and exams for the Chinese medicine license and should be employed by the certified hospital if he/she want to practice medicine in China, which was very difficult for newcomers like them. And what’s worse, they found the field of general medicine almost empty in Wuhan at that time, which meant lacking scope for their abilities.

Later, a chance brought him to the notice of the education of foreign children. When exchange with many foreign friends, they always complained about how to give their kids a proper education because they had no access to the local Chinese schools. Different language, different culture, different education system and evaluation mechanism made the foreign children difficult to receive school education in Wuhan.

There was a demand, so naturally the American couple opened a tutorial center for those children who accompanied their parents from other countries to Wuhan. The tutorial center was started with only 12 students, but soon expanded to 25 and attracted business partners.

In 2003, South Lake international School (SLIS) opened and changed its name to Wuhan Yangtze International School (WYIS) in 2007. In 2008, WYIS received full accreditation status and in 2011 its official international school license from the national government of the PRC. Partnering with the government of Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone, the new campus construction began in 2012 with school beginning in the new campus in January 2014. WYIS’ diverse community has come from more than 35 countries and territories around the globe during its history.