Life in Changchun
The Green City
Changchun is the capital city of Jilin province in Northeast China. Changchun or “Long Spring” has a population of between 6-7 million people. It is a green city, with extensive gardens and parks and with the largest planted forest in China, Jingyue Park. The long tree-lined city avenues and boulevards and the landscaped river banks are the green veins that run through the city.
CAIS is situated on a lush green, landscaped campus and is beautiful in all seasons. It is close to all amenities and teachers are provided with comfortable climate-controlled coaches to and from their apartments all year.
The ever popular CAIS Staff Cafe serves breakfasts and Italian coffee from a top-of-the line Italian Espresso Machine, by our exceptional barista Miss Penny. Teachers receive a 500RMB (about $70) monthly credit on their teacher card.
There are also separate work areas for teachers with desks and storage.
CAIS teachers have commented that it was not easy to find out what it is like to live and work in Changchun before they came. Below are some basic facts about living and working in Changchun to help potential teachers get a better picture.
Cost of Living
The living cost is much cheaper than the first-tier cities such as Beijing or Shanghai. This means living in Changchun allows more savings than other cities in China, and much more than in the West.
Expatriates no longer have to miss any home comforts. What cannot be bought from Walmart or Metro, can be bought on Taobao.
Forget Amazon and Ebay, simply the world of convenience retail, anything you can imagine at your fingertips, delivered to your door (paid via WeChat pay or Alipay of course) at super reasonable prices.
Changchun has a climate with four distinct seasons. Summers can be hot, about 36℃ with the largest amount of rainfall at this time; winters are cold, snowy, dry and lengthy, and temperatures can fall to between -20 to -25℃.
However the city is built for the climate and all apartments have under floor heating. Autumn (fall) and spring may be short, but are very pleasant.
See the live weather in Changchun below!
21stC living - China style
China is more technologically advanced than most countries in the west. Everything can be done and paid through by the phone.
WeChat is the indispensable messaging/social media app in China. It is widely used for messaging and sharing as well as payment.
DiDi (The Chinese Uber) app is in English, easy to download and use, safe, reliable and cheap. Average journeys in a basic car costs about 1-2 dollars. Higher level cars cost 4-6 dollars for a 25 minute ride.
Air Quality Index
The Air Quality Index (AQI) readings in Changchun are generally moderate to good. The vast majority of days have clear blue skies throughout the year.
Hover over the highlighted live AQI reading below for Changchun for more information.
Leisure and activities
There are a wide range of outdoor and leisure activities available in Changchun in all seasons including: cross country and downhill skiing, skating, hiking, jogging and cycling on the over 40 km of pathways on the landscaped river parklands running through the city and in the huge Jingyue Park.
There are a variety of local gyms and outdoor and indoor sports venues for playing basketball, badminton, football, as well as ice rinks, table tennis and swimming pools etc.
There are also many cinema complexes, bowling alleys, karaoke and other forms of entertainment.
Stores and supermarkets
There are also international supermarkets around the city such as Walmart and Metro (Metro is similar to COSCO).
However, it is north east China and it does not have all the familiar stores from back home.
In Changchun there are several traditional markets and tailor-made suits are very popular and reasonably priced. Gui Lin Road is the old down-town area where there are numerous shopping areas and markets you can visit for a whole day for window shopping and more.
There are a wide range of large modern shopping malls such as Ou Ya, New Life, New World, Wanda Plaza and Vitality City mall with a wide range of retail, entertainment and dining options to cater for all tastes.
The Hill is the latest in a series of new large mall to open, a huge indoor space modeled on traditional Sichuan shopping streets.
The official language is Mandarin. Most of the young people can speak some English. The Chinese speaking in Changchun is the most closely to the Maderno (Pu Tong Hua).
Changchun is a modern city which is also home to several well-established universities. Changchun is a rapidly expanding, vibrant city. It is the home of international automobile manufacturing in China, where Volkswagen has a major complex, and Toyota and other auto related companies have a presence. Changchun also has train manufacturing and Huawei has recently announced the opening of a major R&D centre .
The Friendly City
Changchun had been referred to as the most friendly city in China. Those looking for a more Chinese experience and flavor, deliberately avoid Shanghai or Beijing to experience the real China life in cities such as Changchun. There is a slower pace life, less traffic, less pollution and less pressure than many other cities.
Eating out in Changchun is cheap and easy. The usual international fast food outlets such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Burger King etc also have quite a lot of Chinese competition. There are also many international restaurants including Thai, Indian, Korean, Japanese, and Italian etc.
There are several western options in top international hotels such as the Hyatt, the Shangri La and the Sheraton, that offer great value buffets. Eating out is part of Chinese culture, so of course there are also simply 1000s of Chinese restaurants to choose from with food from regions all over China.