ISB benefits from its location in Beijing, China's ever-evolving capital and cultural center. As one of the world's great ancient capitals, Beijing is a vibrant modern city where tradition embraces modernity. Ancient palace complexes stand side-by-side the city's impressive skylines. Fast-food restaurants and luxury outlets share the urban landscape with street hawkers and people practicing tai chi in parks. Bicycles and tricycles jostle with SUVs and trucks on the city's ring roads. Living in Beijing provides intimate insight into China's great transformation and rise in the 21st century as the world's second-largest economy and influential global power.
ISB is conveniently located among one of Beijing's most popular expat neighborhoods in the city's northeast Shunyi District. Parks, international medical clinics, and supermarkets stocked with imported groceries are all just a short stroll away. While the local area has developed considerably since ISB established its campus in Shunyi more than a decade ago, it still retains its quaint charm that makes it a great place to live for singles, couples, and families. However, newcomers can still expect to experience a culture shock when adjusting to life in Beijing. The language, culture, and weather are all unique, but with a positive attitude and flexibility you can progress from merely adapting to enjoying your new home.
Living in China is an exciting and positive adventure
Despite its status as a huge metropolis, Beijing has a low crime rate and is considerably safer than other global cities of comparable size. A thriving and diverse arts and cultural scene complements a network of museums and galleries, international art fairs and performances by internationally renowned actors and musicians, all of which make living in Beijing a rich and rewarding experience. Nestled in Beijing's traditional alleys, or hutongs, are trendy little bars, cafes and music venues that provide a glimpse of the city's cosmopolitan appeal.
Before living and working in Beijing, it is best to plan well to ensure a smooth transition. Find out as much through online research and talking to people who have lived and worked here. The following resources provide extensive information that many have found useful:
What if You Choose to Live in Shunyi Instead?
So, you've decided the hustle and bustle of downtown isn't for you and you've settled in the suburban serenity of Shunyi. Welcome to the neighborhood! Apart from its convenient proximity to ISB, this family-friendly district has a host of enticing places to eat, shop, and relax.
For coffee or a bite to eat, Jamaica Blue is located opposite ISB's west gate next to the Yosemite Club House. The cafe offers a full menu of Western breakfast and lunch options for both takeaway and dine-in.
At the south gate of River Garden, you will find Le Spa, a full-service spa offering everything from facials, foot massages, and manicures to hairdressing services. The spa often has promotions and the staff at reception speak excellent English.
Victor's Restaurant offers authentic Thai and Indian cuisine across from Le Spa along Yuyang Road.
Further down the road, past The Swan with Two Necks pub and Jenny Wang's supermarket, you'll find Pinnacle Plaza. This is a great place for lunch or dinner with a wide variety of restaurants and bars. Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, and many Western options such as Subway, Avocado Tree (Mexican cuisine), and Starbucks can all be found here.
Shine Hills is a relatively new shopping complex with many clothing stores including Uniqlo and Gap, excellent Western and Asian restaurants and bars, several gyms, and a giant cinema. Most places here have their own outdoor storefront, so you can wander around on a nice day or sit outside when dining. In summer, children can enjoy various outdoor activities and have fun at a water park.
Get all of this information in a handy PDF by downloading the official ISB Your Beijing Guide.