30 Aug, 2019
10 : 00
Our community is expanding! Hailing from the United Kingdom, Hannah, David, Rocky and Max are the new additions to the Yew Chung International School of Beijing community. The Capital has been perfect for the family to fully experience the old and new characteristics of the city, the bustling energy and the food of course.
We spoke to them about what they like to do as a family and if they could share some tips for newcomers.
1. Please introduce yourselvesHello! We are the Ferguson family from the UK. Max has just joined year 4 and Rocky, year 6. I'm Hannah (Wilson), a children's non-fiction editor and author. David works in digital innovation (he loves gadgets!). As a family, we like going for bike rides and walking in the countryside. David and I are rock climbers – we met at a climbing wall in London – so we're keen to check out the climbing scene in Beijing. The boys do climb a little, but Max prefers football and Rocky loves his skateboard!
2. What brought you to Beijing?David's job has been transferred from the UK. A general love of travelling and different cultures pushed us to make the move happen. I (Hannah) lived in Singapore as a child, so I was keen to give my boys a similar experience of going to school in Asia.
3. What do you most enjoy about living in Beijing?The energy of the city is great. We love just walking around and soaking up the atmosphere. The clash of old and new is so interesting. There's so much to do and the food is amazing.
4. What do/will you miss about home?We'll miss walking and climbing on Dartmoor, a huge moorland near our home in the southwest of England. We'll also miss being so close to the beach! I'm a British cliché – I miss Marmite, a delicious/disgusting (delete as appropriate) spread for toast.
5. Is there anything that has stood out or surprised you since moving here?Everyone kept telling us how dry Beijing is, but we've had quite a bit of rain since we arrived. The city is very green in many places, which we weren't expecting. The parks are beautifully landscaped.
6. Any tips for new comers?Try to learn a little Chinese before you come – it's hard, but even a few words make a big difference. Be prepared for it to take a while to sort out banking – that has been the hardest admin task since arriving. Pack Tiger Balm for mosquito bites!
7. What do you hope to bring home with you from this experience?We'd love to speak basic Chinese, and we'd like to stock up on amazing memories. Mostly we want Rocky and Max to come away with a wide-angled view of the world with a deep knowledge of and love for China.
8. How did you learn about YCIS Beijing?I was searching the web for international schools and YCIS stood out.
9. Top 3 reasons why you chose YCIS Beijing?The dual Chinese-Western teaching method, with a strong emphasis on language learning.
We love how the school appreciates the importance of creative subjects such as art and music, as well as sport.
The central location next to a lovely park is a big plus, too!
10. (To the boys) What are you looking forward to the most?Rocky says he wants a "cool awesome adventure", and Max is looking forward to "exploring".
What do you want to be when you grow up?Max wants to be a dog-trainer (he loves dogs!) and Rocky wants to be a chef!
11. Hannah, you are a children’s book author. Tell us more about your work.I started working as an in-house editor in several of the big publishing houses in London more than 20 years ago. I slowly learnt the trade, working with designers to commission authors, illustrators and photographers to create mostly non-fiction books. I went freelance about 10 years ago, and began writing as an author as well as continuing to edit and commission. I make books about dinosaurs, volcanoes, space exploration, science, history, pretty much anything! I love working with creative people and I love having a printed book on my shelf after several months of hard work.
We look forward to seeing the family engage with our community during their time at YCIS Beijing!