American International School of Guangzhou

Life in Guangzhou

Guangzhou TV TowerGuangzhou TV TowerGuangzhou is a large, vibrant city in China’s Pearl River Delta, one of the most rapidly developing regions of the world. The heart of Cantonese language, cuisine and culture, the city also has a long history as an international trade center and boasts restaurants and cultural offerings from around the world. International restaurant, hotel and retail chains can be seen throughout Guangzhou, alongside local establishments, street vendors and markets. There are fitness clubs, parks, cinemas, museums, art galleries, concert venues, bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, zoos – everything you might expect from a city of its size, with lots to do for all ages. There is also a vibrant nightlife scene, with a wide variety of pubs, bars and dance clubs on offer.

The expatriate community is varied, but many AISG families have connections to international business, manufacturing or one of the many Consulates present in Guangzhou. While many expatriate families live on Ersha Island, more and more families are choosing to live in new housing developments in other areas of Guangzhou.

Some AISG faculty live on Ersha Island, while many live in the Tianhe or Zhujiang Districts, more urban areas closer to many shops and restaurants and served by the city's subway system. Apartment living is the norm for faculty. Many apartments are part of multi-building apartment complexes with leisure facilities and gardens. Broadband internet access and English-language television are readily available, and household help for cleaning, cooking and/or childcare is accessible and affordable.

Guangzhou has a handful of English-language bookshops, although many residents order books from internet retailers. Major supermarkets carry a number of imported foods, and foreign food specialty shops have a wide selection of products on offer.

Faculty receive their salaries and allowances in Chinese RMB. The school will arrange to open a Bank of China (BOC) account for each employee and, on a monthly basis, AISG will deposit RMB salaries into each employee’s BOC account. If an employee wants part of the RMB salary to be converted into US dollars and deposited into an overseas account, the school will facilitate this conversion and transfer of funds once per month.

Guangzhou has a number of international medical and dental clinics which are frequented by the expatriate community. More specialized treatment is often sought in Hong Kong.

Many faculty members enjoy traveling to other Chinese or Asian destinations during school holidays. Domestic travel is relatively inexpensive, and there are daily flights to well-known sites throughout China, as well as to lesser known destinations such as the nearby beach resort of Hainan Island. Trains travel back and forth between Guangzhou and Hong Kong throughout the day, and Macau is two hours away by bus. International flights and packages to East and Southeast Asian destinations are also popular.