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Welcome to the neighbourhood: Meet the Taylor family

As kids settle into the new school year, we catch up with the Taylor family in our Welcome to the Neighbourhood series, to get their thoughts on living in Shanghai


Jane and Michael Taylor and their daughters Chiara (12) and Caitlin (10), from Durban, South Africa

Where do you and your family live?

We live at The Emerald in Kanqiao. It's a good area for the kids, as it's very green and spacious, with an outdoor pool and some great sport centres.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in the area?

We like that Kanqiao is not as Western as somewhere like Jinqiao. We love the area's character, in terms of its more local shops and eateries. There's also a good range of local and imported food shops, so we have everything we need. It's close to the kids' school as well, so that's handy. The disadvantage about living in Kanqiao is probably that it's quite a bit further away from everywhere. The metro line is further out too, so you really need to plan your day, living here.

Did you face any particular issues as a family, moving to Shanghai?

I think there were two main things. The first was just the language issue. As an English speaker, you tend to think you'll be okay anywhere, but that's not the case in Shanghai! So, we all have regular Mandarin lessons and that's making things easier.

The second thing was just navigating supermarkets and grocery shopping here. Being able to cook at home was a bit difficult in the beginning as it was hard to find certain, essential items here.

Where do your children go to school and what made you select that school?

They both go to the Nord Anglia International School (NAIS), Pudong campus. We chose NAIS for a lot of reasons. We liked that the school is very international, with over 40 nationalities. That makes for a great atmosphere, plus the school is very supportive with regards to first-time expat families, which we are. We also appreciate that the school instills a very community based attitude in its students; giving back is something that's encouraged through the school's extra-curricular activities.

What is your favourite attraction to visit in Shangahi as a family?

We have quite a few actually! We love to pick a new neighborhood or district each weekend to explore. Lately the girls are really enjoying honing their bargaining skills at AP Plaza. The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre is also worth a trip, as tickets are pretty cheap and it's quite educational. When it comes to eating out we look for kid friendly places, so the Hai Di Lao Hot Pot and Yeli Xiali branches are great.

What advice do you have for families looking to move to Shanghai?

I'd say just go for it and try to get out in the community as much as possible. One way we eased ourselves into getting to know Shanghai was just to go on walking tours around the city. Don't get hung up on issues like air and water quality, because there are ways around those problems. Just explore as much of the city as you can and make the most of your time here.

Want to be featured in our Welcome to the Neighbourhood series? If you're a new family in Shanghai just send us a message on WeChat!