Julia and Ryan Nielsen
Child: Dylan (12 months)
Background: The Nielsens are from the US and have lived in Beijing for three months. Ryan is currently attending Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) as part of his MBA and Julia is a full-time mom.
Where do you live? We live in Wudaokou because it’s close to Ryan’s campus. This is the only place we’ve lived, and we like it.
How often do you go into the city? On average, we go into the city one to three times a week for church or church-related activities, visiting friends, and shopping.
How do you get around? We take the subway and walk everywhere. We rarely take a taxi. To commute around town, we ride our bicycles unless Dylan is with us; then, we walk.
What fun things are there to do in your neighborhood? We spend a lot of time with friends and enjoy going to Olympic Forest Park. We also like walking around Tsinghua University and the lake on campus. As a family, we like to explore the different places to eat around our neighborhood.
Do many other expat families live nearby? We are friends with two or three expat families in our area. We see quite a few expats [here], but it’s not common to see families.
Do you ever wish you lived downtown or in Shunyi?
Overall, we are happy with where we live. Living in Shunyi would mean being closer to our church and some of our friends, but the subway makes traveling cheap, convenient and easy.
Ultimately, how has living in your neighborhood affected your China experience?
The biggest thing for us is feeling comfortable where we live; Julia feels comfortable going out and traveling by herself with our son. The neighborhood offers us the conveniences that we need.
Do you see yourself living here for a while longer?
Yes, we will be here for at least a few more months for school. Julia would be happy to live here for a while longer after that.
photo by SUI