SYA China History

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Since opening its doors in 1994, more than 1,100 alumni have studied at SYA's campus in Beijing.

It all began in 1991. Then-Executive Director Woody Halsey learned of an opportunity to join faculty from founding school Phillips Andover Academy to travel to Asia. This trip, led by Andover’s Chinese language faculty member Ni Xiao-Min, a strong proponent for an SYA program in China, was instrumental in laying the groundwork for what would become SYA China.

The Board of Trustees recognized the importance of the opportunity to open a school in Asia. In 1993 Halsey left again for Beijing on a scouting mission to find what would become home for our campus in Beijing: Middle School #2 (MS#2).

In August 1994, SYA China opened as a semester program with 18 students, who lived in dorms at our campus at MS #2. This was not only an historic moment for SYA, but for study abroad in China. In 1995, SYA became the first American program given permission by the Chinese government to establish full-time host family stays. 

In February 1997, the Board of Trustees decided that SYA China would become a full-year program in 1998.

SYA China; A Brief History

Milestones