Putting Down Roots - What worked: one family’s experience over nine years in Beijing

Finding your feet in a foreign country can be exciting and daunting all at once, and in China there’s an adventure around every corner. One of the most important factors is a solid support network, which helps newcomers make the transition into what can be a challenging new environment.

Different people will find their support networks in different ways: some through a faith-based community, some through work or volunteering, others through hobbies or interests. However, two very distinct approaches can be observed in the international communities here in Beijing.

Throwback Thursday: Moving Towards Independence - The challenges of transitioning to middle school


If you talk to parents of middle school-aged children, you are likely to hear an exasperated story about how different their child has become after just one year. Some tales are funny while others are frustrating, but they all reveal that middle school can be a tough time. With increased responsibilities at school, issues such as time management, organization, and prioritization are often encountered for the first time. Finding the right balance for success can be challenging for both children and parents. To gain some insight, beijingkids talked to school counselors and parents for their take on the subject.

Dealing with My Beijing Goodbye

Today I had an epiphany. I am moving. Now before you all join in a chorus of “Duh!,”  let me explain. As you know, I’ve been carefully planning this move for months. Over the last several weeks, I have been completely absorbed in the details required to get our family from Beijing to Shanghai. This has become almost a full-time job, characterized by ridiculously long to-do lists, endless sorting, purging, and packing, a plethora of errands, and myriad other small, but vital tasks.

In my quest to manage the logistics, keep the children happy, juggle an increasingly full calendar of events, and encourage my husband to focus less on our summer plans and more on our leaving Beijing needs, I somehow forgot to think about myself. I’m not a selfless person by nature, so this is a surprising realization. In fact, the older I get, the more often I tend to take time for real introspection.

Ask an Educator: What is the Columbia Reading and Writing Project and how is it different from other programs?"

For our new column, Ask an Educator, we turn to educators, whether teachers, tutors, or principals, to answer frequently asked questions from parents. To send in your question, email jessicasuotmaa@beijing-kids.com.

Answering for us is Amy Luczak, Grade Six English Lead Teacher at Daystar Academy.

This week’s question is:
"What is the Columbia Reading and Writing Project and how is it different from other programs in practice?"

Food at Your Fingertips: Ordering food the easy way

Delivery Services

This company’s familiar orange scooters can be seen across the Chaoyang and Dongcheng districts. It was founded in 1999 and has a large selection of restaurants which have partnered with them, such as Home Plate BBQ, Wagas, and Tandoori Kitchen. There’s a minimum delivery amount of RMB 100 at dinner hours from 6pm.

THIS Reporting: Beijing in the 60s

The beijingkids student correspondent program provides a resource for guidance, feedback, and real-life training to high school students interested in writing and journalism. If you are a student interested in becoming a beijingkids student correspondent, or you know a student who is, please contact jessicasuotmaa@beijing-kids.com.

Jing Wen is currently a junior at Tsinghua International School. She writes for the school newspaper, Spartan Times, and is a member of her school’s dance club. Outside school, Jing is passionate about life and loves socializing with different people from a variety of places. Through the student correspondence program, Jing hopes to share stories about her life, school, and her Beijing experiences with the rest of world!

Trying Out Lanxiniu, the "Uber of Moving Vans"

With less than two weeks to go before leaving Beijing, I'm currently in the process of posting some of my personal belongings in the mail. After filling two large boxes with my stuff, I was a bit worried that the average Uber car wouldn't have enough trunk space. Then I heard about Lanxiniu, an app that was described by a member of one of my WeChat groups as "the Uber of moving vans."

Shunyi Happenings: Sunday Market, Ayi Cooking Lessons and Charity Wine Tasting

We’ve had a really busy few weeks, but Shunyi Happenings is slowing down. We have fewer events to report this week. If you want to promote an event, store opening or closing, sale, and any other fun family friendly event taking place in Shunyi, please get in touch with our Shunyi Correspondent Anjana Kainikkara by emailing anjanakainikkara@beijing-kids.com 

Helping Hands: How to hire an ayi (and other help)

Affordable domestic help is one of the luxuries of expat life in China. Not only do ayis (as nannies and cleaners are known in Beijing) provide invaluable help for any family, their services can be downright liberating for new parents and those with limited mobility. Many families develop a bond with their ayi beyond that of employer and employee; time and time again, long-term expats have told us that the hardest part of leaving Beijing was separating from their ayi.

Beyond domestic chores, ayis can also soften the effects of culture shock by helping families navigate some of the more challenging aspects of living in Beijing: dealing with repairmen, tracking down missing parcels, sourcing hard-to-find ingredients, etc.

Beijing Mamas Market Provides Platform for Creative Moms

Two local women have set up a new family fair to provide opportunities for creative moms.

The first Beijing Mamas Market will take place on Saturday May 28 at Park View Tower, from 10am to 3pm. It’s the brainchild of Nina Xu and Kiyono Sakashita, who both understand the challenges of raising children while running a business.

RSS Feed