China’s Newest Export: Sending Rich Kids to Boarding School

How do you set your kids up for success amongst the competition? For China’s wealthiest one percent you ship them off to boarding school so they can get ahead of their peers and learn the skills that’ll allow them to rise to the top when they return

Released on 1/5/2015

Credits

Director: Lauren Greenfield
Producer: Lauren Greenfield and Sandra Keats
Executive Producer: Frank Evers
Editor: Miranda Yousef

Director of Photography: Shana Hagan

Transcript

00:05
(fanfare music)
00:24
Chinese parents really focus a lot on their kids.
00:28
They place a lot of hope and a lot of investment
00:31
into their kids.
00:32
Anything that can make their kids more competitive
00:36
and stand out from the crowd.
00:47
Children are both investments and cherished dumplings.
00:53
In a Confucian society a child's accomplishments
00:56
is a manifestation of the nobility of an entire family.
01:01
People would sell their souls,
01:04
I speak only a little bit with exaggeration,
01:06
to get their kids into Harvard.
01:09
(upbeat fanfare music)
01:43
[Girl] Don't talk about that.
01:45
Why don't you want to talk about Andover?
01:48
(laughter)
01:50
Andover's an excellent prep school.
01:52
Did you apply to Andover?
01:53
(several no's)
01:55
I don't dare, I don't dare to apply.
01:57
[Interviewer] Why do you say that?
02:01
You have to have a lot of extracurricular,
02:04
and you have to be really, really outstanding.
02:06
We're so sensitive about that.
02:09
I'm Daisy Lill and I'm 15-years old now.
02:13
Calm down, Daisy, calm down.
02:16
You know, my mom used to be just a normal person.
02:19
And well not have money to support me to study abroad
02:23
but she started her own business.
02:33
[Interviewer] So Daisy, where are you going?
02:35
California, Stevenson School.
02:38
Boarding school is very hot right now
02:41
especially in America.
02:43
All my students, the mothers, they remember me
02:46
because I went to Exeter.
02:58
My mother wants me to learn how Americans
03:00
run their business and take it and come back to China
03:03
and use it in her business or my own business.
03:07
Even the party officials' kids want to go
03:09
to college in America because America will equip them
03:12
with the tools, both educational and social,
03:15
to succeed back in China.
03:17
Actually, I've got several offers from school,
03:20
but I chose Stevenson School
03:22
'cause that's my favorite school
03:24
and it can fulfill my needs there.
03:27
They have a field for horseback riding and a golf course.
03:32
Golf is from America, isn't it?
03:37
(upbeat instrumental music)