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Hangzhou Expat

kangoala

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About kangoala

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  1. We are moving to Hangzhou very soon (me in mid-June, wife and kids in late July). Our kids are 3 and 1. We are looking for a good private kindergarten for our older child. We think we want to live near west lake but are open to other suggestions. I've been looking into the HIS but since we won't have a car it doesn't seem like a great plan to have my kid in school in Binjiang and live near west lake. Anyone know of any good kindy near west lake? I came across the Freinet school. Does anyone here send their kids there? Any info is appreciated.
  2. kangoala

    Young family moving to Hangzhou in early 2015

    An update. It's been a long process getting all the documentation in order and converting my US pilots license to a CAAC license but things are finally in motion. Looks like I'll be moving to Hangzhou in the middle of June, with my wife and kids following in mid-July. The company I'm working for gives me an extra US$1000 per month for kids' school fees. We will only send the older child to school initially. Because we don't have a car I think we will look to live in Binjiang close to the HIS. Does anyone send their kids to other private schools? My daughter is only 3 so we are looking for a preschool or kindergarten. It sounds like it might be nicer to live in the west lake area but might not be as convenient to a school location. Our budget for an apartment would probably be in the 10,000 RMB vacinity. We would be looking for a 3 bedroom place, ideally with a pool, gym, kids playground and other nice amenities. Anyone stay in the easy sky plaza? Looks to be right opposite the HIS.
  3. kangoala

    Young family moving to Hangzhou in early 2015

    Probably not looking to buy a car at this point but I might consider it if other transport options prove difficult. Ideally my apartment will be located somewhere with all the amenities my wife needs within an easy walk. As for my trips to/from the airport for work, I'm not sure but the company will probably send a car for me to take me to the airport. If not, taxi won't be a problem. It would only be 2 or 3 round trips per month. I haven't been to Hangzhou yet but when I was in Beijing in June I took a cab to the airport and it was only about $US15 if i remember correctly. That trip was at least 20 km. surely cabs would be cheaper in HZ than in BJ?
  4. kangoala

    Young family moving to Hangzhou in early 2015

    Also, does anyone know if there is a mums/kids group in Hangzhou? I would love to put my wife in touch with some other people who are also from out of town and who also have small children. Any info appreciated.
  5. kangoala

    Young family moving to Hangzhou in early 2015

    Thanks for the info so far. I'm more interested in getting a nice apartment somewhere there will be some of the creature comforts my wife is used to from the states than I am in being right near the airport. I'll probably only be flying about 10 or 12 days per month and that only means maybe 2 or 3 trips to and from the airport, so it really doesn't matter whether I'm 15 mins away or an hour away. I will probably be arriving a couple of months in advance of my wife and kids, so I'll be looking to settle into an apartment and get my bearings. I understand that English isn't widely spoken in Hangzhou. Neither of us really speaks Chinese at all. I've got the Rosetta-Stone software on both of our iPads, but I'm sure the best way to learn is just to immerse oneself in the culture and pick things up as you go. I did do one semester of Mandarin in high school back in the mid 90's. Amenities I'm looking for when selecting an apartment are: Good quality grocery stores stocking imported goods Kids activities (children's museum, playgrounds, a good kindergarten, bookstores, baby clothes/goods stores, etc) Easy access to transportation (my wife won't be driving in HZ)
  6. Hi all, I'm Conrad. My wife Rebecca, our two small kids and I will be moving from Rhode Island, USA to Hangzhou in January or February 2015. I'm from Sydney, Australia originally and my wife is American. I have been living 10,000 miles from home for 10 years now, but this will be my wife's first real expat experience (other than one year of study-abroad in Scotland during college). I'm a pilot and will be flying corporate jets out of Hangzhou airport, and my wife is planning on staying home with the kiddos for the 3 years of the contract. We don't know much about the city, other than there are quite a few expats living there and that it's close to Shanghai. I'm hoping this forum can shed some light for us on life in Hangzhou. I'd like to know what areas of the city we should look for an apartment. I'd ideally like a neighborhood with lots of other expats, lots of amenities and facilities to make life comfortable for the wife and little ones, ideally on the east side of town fairly close to the airport. Also, my wife will be looking to meet other international women (with or without kids) who live in the area for coffee, play dates and other activities. Any and all other tips, pointers etc. that folks care to give us would be appreciated. Thanks!
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