Nanjing – what our teachers say

More than half our new instructors have never been to China when they arrive, eager to explore their new city, and we wanted to provide a resource for them.  The best information is from those who are in the cities right now, so we asked some instructors what they thought about living and working in Nanjing.  See below what they have to say.


I like Nanjing as it’s a very green city – almost all the roads are tree-lined boulevards and bicycle lanes run along them, separated from the traffic by a solid barrier (where the trees stand). In that way, it actually reminds me a lot of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. The people here are very friendly – I’ve been most impressed by the sense of community here. Walking my dog around, I certainly feel welcomed into that community – I know people and they know me. This makes me feel very much at home here. It’s easy to settle in.

It’s got a good amount of history – from the city museum which blends a good deal of prehistory and ancient history in an informative way to a more recent exhibit, which has a ‘living history street’ full of shops themed after China in the 1920s. The food here is also very good and there is an excellent variety. Despite being home to some eight million people there are green ‘wildish’ park areas including a large central hill – Purple Mountain- which offers good views of the city.

Get accustomed to the metro system as quickly as possible. Living is not expensive in Nanjing – but out from the center is even more affordable. I’d also check in to the ‘Real Bread Cafe’ – a bakery/ cafe which has a good taste of home.


Nanjing is a bustling metropolis with a huge supply of things to do. I have access to all of the perks of big city life. Nanjing also has quite a “local” feel to it too. It possesses it’s own unique accent, cuisine and culture. When I happen to get bored of Nanjing, I appreciate how Shanghai, Suzhou, etc. are all only about an hour away.

Nanjing has been the capital of six different dynasties in China’s history, and the location of history-shaping events. As a result, there are numerous important and interesting cultural sites to visit. There’re really just too many to list. It’s quite a green and beautiful city as well.

You should know that the city has an excellent and extensive metro system so make sure to get a metro card from any of the terminals in a metro stop. Also, definitely make an effort to just wander into any of the backstreets or working-class neighborhoods. Nanjing still retains some charm in its backstreets. That’s also where you find the best food.


I love living in Nanjing for the balance in nature and city life. If you are someone who loves to hike, see beautiful scenery, but also can appreciate the amenities of living in a developed city, Nanjing is a great in between. Nanjing is a very diverse city. Not only people from all over China come to Nanjing, but even foreigners from all over the world come to Nanjing making each interaction unique and interesting.

Nanjing is one of the great cultural centers in China. Being the old capital there are historical building and relics from many hundreds of years. In addition, Nanjing is home to many interesting and great museums. If history isn’t your fancy, Nanjing also boasts beautiful nature and famous natural formations like Purple Mountain, Xuanwuhu lake, and the Yangtze river!

Nanjing is a city where old and new collide. You will not feel you are in an older city, but if you seek out historical sites they are easily accessible. In addition, Nanjing is quickly growing, as the capital of Jiangsu, there are many exciting new developments and new areas being built year-round, making Nanjing a city that is always going to have something new for you to explore!