By Justin Poupart, Director of Global Education
In 2013, Admiral Farragut Academy took the bold step of launching a dual-diploma styled program in China as a way of giving a wider group of students the opportunity to earn a U.S. high school diploma without traveling half-way around the world. Students can study in a local school and earn credits granting them both a Chinese high school diploma and an Admiral Farragut Academy diploma. This gives them advantages for attending college in America both academically and linguistically, because Farragut courses in China are taught in English.
Yaohua Jiacheng International High School became Admiral Farragut Academy’s first China Dual-Diploma partner in 2013. It started with just over 20 students and occupied a couple of classrooms in a building located on the grounds of the world renown Yaohua Public High School in Tianjin, China. The international school operated independent of the public school but there was still some legal and administrative cross-over which limited the international school’s opportunities to grow.
In the two years that followed, the international school grew to more than 100 students and the administration quickly realized that they would need to break free of the restrictions imposed upon them by the public school. They began looking for their own location and ultimately settled on what could be a no more perfect location for a Farragut campus; the former WWI U.S. 15th Infantry Regiment Barracks in downtown Tianjin.
This building has been amazingly well preserved externally, although the inside has been completely redesigned. Originally built in 1910 by Germany during its occupation of the area, it was given over to the U.S. 15th Infantry Regiment in 1917 as its barracks while the Americans were on mission in China. Some famous American military figures, including military strategist, diplomat and statesman, General George C. Marshall; General Joseph Stillwell; U.S. Army commander, General Albert Coady Wedemeyer; and Diplomat Colonel David D. Barrett have spent some of their military service here. The location is also directly across the street from the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Tianjin and The Astor, which was built in 1863, housed the original U.S. Embassy and was often visited by President Hoover during his missions to China. The military and cultural history of the area are an almost ideal match to that of our St. Petersburg, Florida campus.
In September 2016, Yaohua Jiacheng moved to the Barracks building and was formally rebranded as Admiral Farragut Academy, Tianjin. With this branding, the administration has also become Admiral Farragut Academy’s Flagship school in China and will serve as the incubator for our China-wide development in the years to come.
Our Tianjin location currently boasts more than 120 students and is already looking at expanding its program to occupy nearby empty buildings and even opening a satellite campus in one of the nearby suburbs. We are excited about the growth of the first and best partner in China, and look forward to what ‘our’ students will accomplish in the years to come.
If you have additional questions about our International Dual Diploma Program, please contact Brian Chatterley, the Director of Ancillary Programs.