It’s not easy moving to a country with a culture vastly different to your own. In our series on Beijing's personalities and families, Time Out Family checks in on families who have just moved to Beijing, to see how they’re coming along
Parents Nick and Anna Baker,
and their children Ethan (9)
and Ruby (1)
Where do you live?
Phoenix City in Chaoyang district.
What are the family-friendly
perks for kids in the area?
There are wide open spaces where
Ethan can ride his bike and play
football with his new friends. There
is also a great playground right below
our apartment which Ruby loves.
Is there anything you don’t like
about your neighbourhood?
Not at all. We’re close to everything
we need: the third ring road,
restaurants, the subway and the
airport. Expats are commonplace in
our area so we’re not so much of a
novelty, which is nice.
Where do your children go to
school and why did you send
Ethan is in Grade 3 at Beijing BISS
International School, and Ruby will
be starting there in August. Anna
was also appointed as the school’s
first ever nursery teacher. In his own words, Ethan is ‘loving BISS’! It
has a nurturing environment with a
global focus. Ethan is enjoying the
enquiry-based learning and now has
a burning passion to visit Kashgar.
What issues did you face as a
family moving over to Beijing?
The main dilemma was making the
choice to embark on this journey. We
had to prepare for missing friends
and our old schools, making new
friends, riding the bus to school,
learning a new language, trying new
food and not having a backyard.
And how did you resolve them?
We get out and about, trying new
things and going away with friends at
the weekend. Anna is going to night
school to get a hold on the language,
and even Ethan and Ruby are
speaking a lot of Chinese after only
three months. On the other hand,
we try to keep alive much of what we
loved about Australia, and we follow
What advice do you have for
newbies who have just arrived?
Don’t go it alone – hook up with
others who have done what you are
doing. Get busy with work, school
and travel and go out of your way to
get to know people. We come home
exhausted at the end of every day,
but it’s better than being isolated
and lonely. Keep your family rituals
alive. Work out how to get those
ingredients you love. Anna’s brother-in-law just posted us three packets
of Australian gravy because we were
missing our Sunday roasts!
Are you a new family in Beijing and want to be featured? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org