Chinese culture and way of life
Whether you focus on language, religion or culture, Guangzhou offers a colourful blend of tradition and modern conveniences.
The local way of life is quite unique and very different from that of other cultures. You may experience some culture shock and may not be prepared for the initial loss of independence if you can't read or speak the language. Feeling comfortable in a new culture takes time, but with patience and an open mind, you will soon adjust.
Neighbourhoods in Guangzhou
Guangzhou is comprised of eleven distinctive districts, each offering their own unique areas of discovery. Here is an overview of some districts where many of our families live, to assist you in making your decision:
The majority of our families live in Tianhe in downtown Guangzhou. There are plenty of international restaurants, shopping malls and child-friendly residential compounds. Zhujiang New Town, with its wider, tree-lined roads, is home to the Canton Tower and Opera House.
Plenty of wholesale markets and older residential compounds are located in this area. Locals prefer it due to its close proximity to the traditional streets of the city. Ersha Island is also located in this district, featuring large houses, parks and bike lanes.
For the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Guangzhou, Panyu offers low-rise residential compounds and villas at reasonable prices.
Just north of the city centre and near to the school, this picturesque area has several lakefront compounds and larger living spaces.
Choosing between schools in Guangzhou
Choosing a good school for your child is an essential part of the relocation process. However, deciding on the right school can be a difficult decision, particularly if you’re moving to an unfamiliar city.
There are currently excellent schooling options in Guangzhou for the British, International Baccalaureate and American curriculums.
Before your school search starts, it may help to come up with a list of five things that are most important to you (and your child) in your choice of a school. You will need to think about what will work best for your child’s characteristics, personality, strengths, needs and interests. You might also consider how different schools’ cultures and values sit with your family values and family life.
It is a good idea to speak to other parents and children in the community to get an idea of their impressions of the school, and to remember that what may suit one child may not suit another.
The best way to make an informed choice is by visiting a prospective school during the course of the day to see the students and teachers interacting. During your visit, take advantage of the opportunity to meet the Heads of School so that you can ask relevant questions about curriculum, as well as creativity and innovation as it relates to teaching instruction. Getting a feel for the school in person makes it easier to tell if that school is a good fit for your child.
Family life and wellbeing
Traditionally, Chinese family life was structured and patriarchal. In recent years, family life has moved toward a more typically Western, nuclear style with fewer restrictions. Despite these changes, modern Chinese families still retain some traditional values such as respect and helpfulness for elders.
Guangzhou is quite a sprawling city, making it tough to get around by foot.
Fortunately, the city is well-serviced by a very efficient public transportation system. Its excellent infrastructure makes it easy to get around using the metro, public buses or taxis.
The metro is easy to navigate and well-signposted in English. There are several lines and tickets can be bought at the stations, ranging from RMB2 to 14.
Buses are the cheapest option and are efficient, although it will take some getting used to.
Taxis are the easiest and preferred choice for most. However, you must remember that most drivers do not speak English so bring along a name card of your destination. Flag fare starts at RMB10 and can be hailed anywhere.