Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning Province and the largest metropolitan centre in Northeast China. This is one of the most important cities in the nation and has been the cultural, economic, and political centre of Manchuria for centuries. It is here that the Manchu people built their capital years before assuming political control of China proper and establishing the Qing Dynasty in 1644. Since that time it has continued to retain considerable prestige as the epicenter of Manchurian culture.
Shenyang is a giant city of more than seven million people. There are visible ethnic communities of Manchu, Mongol, Hui, and Korean peoples operating business and restaurants throughout the city. The Korean influence continues to be particularly strong.
Shenyang Aston was established in 2001 and has gone to become one of the ESL leaders of the city. We are located in the Da Shi Zi Jie district just a few minutes walk away from the spectacular Manchurian Imperial Palace. The school has 8 classrooms on two floors, reception and office areas, and a comfortable Teachers’ Lounge with an extensive collection of resources available.
The school has both Western and Chinese management staff, half a dozen Western teachers, and about twenty or so Chinese teachers and office staff. Many of our staff have been here since our opening and we provide a very professional educational environment for our students and teachers.
The Shenyang of today is a bustling city with a considerable historical legacy. The modern wide boulevards and international shopping centers are only a small part of the true picture. Old hutong districts and residential areas teeming with life continue to occupy the main downtown districts. These areas are filled with merchants and street vendors giving the city a very festive atmosphere. Large, old trees provide shade for many of these places, with their ancient bricks, lanterns, and traditional wooden facades creating some genuine classic scenes of Northern China.
Some of the most magnificent examples of traditional architecture in all of China are to be found here. In addition to the remaining hutong areas and turn of the century structures, there are some world class Imperial complexes that have been recognized by UNSECO. The Manchurian Imperial Palace is perhaps the finest example, along with a number of Imperial tomb complexes and pagodas at the four corners of the city. There is considerable opportunity for sightseeing to explore this history and Shenyang has developed a thriving tourist infrastructure to support this.
The traditional food of the region is based upon wheat and millet, not rice which is traditionally associated with East Asian communities. The food is hearty, heavy, and filling. Local specialties include various forms of hot pot, seafood, Korean, and BBQ, the latter of which can be found on practically every corner in the evenings. Cuisines from all over China are represented in Shenyang’s innumerable restaurants, including fantastic Sichuan, Hunan, Shandong, Shaanxi, and Xinjiang places.
Western style restaurants as well as bars and cafes for relaxation and socializing are plentiful in this city that boasts one of the highest foreigner populations in the Northeast. Parks and landmarks are plentiful including Beiling Park and the Botanical Gardens, one of the most fantastic in Asia, which recently hosted the World Horticultural Exhibition.
Shenyang experiences extremes of weather. Summer can get hot and brings some rain. Winter is relatively dry and very cold. Spring and autumn bring fine weather and rain is infrequent.
Shenyang is the transportation hub of Northeast China and there are convenient rail connections to destinations throughout the region as well as an international airport. Dalian and Dandong are each about 4 hours away. Haerbin is 5 hours and Beijing is 6, although there are slower overnight sleeper trains that allow you to sleep the journey off and arrive in the morning.
Overall Shenyang is a progressive city, with a good mix of old and new China to satisfy all the needs and desires of the adventurous. There is ample opportunity to explore this interesting and sometimes mysterious culture and at the same time be able to enjoy a taste of home when needed.
Teacher’s apartments are equipped with all the essentials such as full size refrigerators, microwave ovens, stoves, cooking and eating utensils as well as western toilets and furniture. Apartments are always conveniently located within walking distance of the school.
Shopping is also very convenient as there is a Wal-Mart and New-Mart one block away from the school as well as innumerable local markets where you can haggle for great deals on just about anything. Some Western foods can be found in the area and there are literally thousands of Chinese restaurants nearby.