With a few thousand students enrolled at its centres and through its offsite programs, Aihua is a recognizable and well established academy with branches all over Beijing. Truly a force to be reckoned with!
Working at Aihua gives you the opportunity to get to know and experience Beijing as you travel between centres before and after classes on your workdays. All Aihua’s branches are easy to reach by means of public transport and the school provides its teachers with more than enough time to travel comfortably in-between lessons.
Opened in September 2010, Aihua’s ZhongGuanCun branch was its third to open and is currently one of its smaller centres.
Situated in an area that is often referred to as “China’s Silicon Valley” and considered Beijing’s technology hub – Aihua’s ZhongGuanCun school boasts 8 classrooms, each equipped with interactive whiteboards, projectors and computers for the teachers convenience – as well as a teacher’s office and also a movie room for students.
Although not known to be very close to either the academy’s headquarters or most of the teachers’ apartments, getting to ZhongGuanCun is quite simple and there is plenty to do and see on your way to the centre, as well as close to and in the modern and popular ZhongGuanCun area.
Getting to to the centre takes about 45 – 60 minutes by subway and requires only one line change. Although taking a taxi might shorten the length of your journey, it could be a tad more expensive and not a very smart option for those who trying to save as much money as possible while in China.
Even though it is possible to get to the ZhongGuanCun subway station by changing to line 4 from line 1 at the Xidan station or from line 2 at the Xizhimen station – the easiest way to get to the Aihua centre is to do so via subway line 10 and getting off at the Haidianhuangzhuang station.
Baijo Amusement Park subway station is located close to Aihua’s headquarters and walking distance from all its teachers’ apartments. By getting the subway at this station and travelling on line 1 all the way to the interchange Gongzhufen station, it’s easy to change over to a line 10 train heading north towards Xidiaoyutai and get off at Haidianhuangzhuang.
Following the signs for exit A and then for exit A2 leads you through a long passage, usually past a street artist or musician playing some interesting local instruments, and straight into the heart of ZhongGuanCun.
Geographically situated in the northwestern part of Beijing, the ZhongGuanCun area is home to a dozen famous colleges and universities and well-known as a world-class scientific and technological zone in the city. There are many prominent IT and electronics markets and even a “PC Mall” within walking distance from the school – truly a geeky teacher’s dream come true!
Those who like to grab a quick lunch before their classes are spoiled with choice in the Gate City Mall, which subway exit A leads straight to. The mall has almost everything a hungry stomach could desire – from traditional Chinese restaurans to KFC, Starbucks, a BreadTalk bakery, Sunberry Frozen Yoghurt restaurant and way more.
Teachers who like to get some shopping done in the area enjoys both the Gate City Mall as well as the ZhongGuanCun Plaza Shopping Mall next door, also very easily reachable from the subway stop.
Leaving the subway exit the school is just a short walk away. Simply follow the main road on your right past the popular Zhongguancun Scientific and Technological Garden and cross the road at the first pedestrian bridge, turn right immediately and turn left and pass through the black gates opposite the ZhongGuanCun Hopsital.
A few bakeries, restaurants and clothing stores are situated right around Aihua : perfect for those with time to kill between classes at this centre.
Not all Aihua teachers have classes at this centre, but those who do will agree that the ZhongGuanCun branch is a pleasure to teach at and offers more than enough for those curious souls like me who wants to explore and experience as much of Beijing-life in-between as well as on their way to and from classes.