Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, was called Chang'an in ancient times. It is situated in the central part of Weihe Plain. The city is bounded by the Weihe River in the north and the massive Qinling Mountain Range in the south. As one of China's seven ancient national capitals, it served as the capital for 12 dynasties spanning more than 1,000 years. Xi'an, therefore, has a great number of precious relics and historical sites.
The main tourist attractions include The Terracotta Warriors, Great Wild Goose Pagoda, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Huaqing Pool, Banpo Site, Stele Forest, Great Mosque, Qianling Mausoleum, Famen Temple, and the Maoling Mausoleum. Xi'an was the starting point of the old Silk Road that extended from Asia to Europe and played an important role in cultural interflow between the East and West in ancient times.
Xi’an Aston One opened during the winter of 2001, starting with less than 100 students and growing to a thriving enrollment of now over 3500, making it the largest school in the Aston system and one of the largest in China. It is located on Dong Da Jie (East Street), the main shopping street of the city, within the beautiful and ancient city walls and about 5 minutes walk from the central Bell Tower.
We are a highly professional and modern educational facility. Our success in becoming the premier English training school of the province is owed to a very dedicated and hard-working staff, many of whom have been with us since the beginning. We are leading the way, not only in Aston’s development throughout Western China, but in Xi’an’s expectations of what English education should be about. We employ a highly trained full-time Chinese teaching staff and have significant resources available to all of our teachers for planning and administering lessons.
All our accommodation is within a stones throw of the school, i.e. you can stroll to work everyday with no need to commute (the walk only taking 5-10 minutes).
Xi’an Aston One recently moved locations and is now decorated with all of the new Aston designs. The “new” Xi’an Aston One is less then a block away from the old location. It houses twenty-two classrooms, one giant staff lounge, a grand lobby as a waiting area, multiple management and administrative offices, two student interviewing rooms, and an accounting office. And, of course the approximately 3500 students that perhaps make us the liveliest English school in China.
Xi’an Aston Two is situated in the south part of the city in an area known as Xiao Zhai. We are about five minutes walk to the west of Da Yan Ta on Chang An Zhong Lu, on the fifth floor of a modern office block. We share the same building as Xi'an's biggest bookstore which has the largest selection of English books in the province. It takes you away from the maddening up-tempo area of East Street and allows you to retreat to the more cultural side of this great city surrounded by Chinese art and historical architecture. The area around Aston Two is the ideal place to step back in time and see the city the way it used to be seen. The main university district is nearby making this the preferred location for our teachers interested in formally studying Chinese language or art.
Xi’an Aston Two opened its doors in January of 2005 due to our original location not being able to handle the influx of new students. We renovated the entire fifth floor of a modern office building to create the design we were happy with. Our location has all of the same comforts and amenities for teachers as Aston One just up the road.
Xi'an Aston Three is the newest addition to the Xi'an schools and is found about 10 minutes by bus outside of East Street's East gate on Jin Hua Lu. It is in a much quieter part of town but has been fast growing. The apartments are all within walking distance of the school, which is found on the sixth floor of an office block. There are many large and interesting discount markets as well as many classic Chinese jade, tea and art markets.
The school itself has been furnished with all the latest bits and pieces, with thick easy to clean and childproof glass whiteboards and child sized whiteboards accompanying the regular whiteboards for younger learners to reach easier when involved in classroom activities. Aston Three also has a large media hall for presentations.
Shaanxi Province, an inland province in China, is also called "Qin" or "Shaan", and is one of the birthplaces of Chinese culture. Beishan Mountain and the Qinling Range stand as two boundaries that divide the province into three natural areas - the Loess Plateau in northern Shaanxi, the Guangzhong Plain, and the Qinba Hilly land. The plateau and hilly land make up most of the province's area. Shaanxi Province boasts an area of 205,600 square kilometers and a population of 36 million people.
The weather in Xi'an is continental with four distinct seasons. This is an arid region that experience little precipitation outside of summer and autumn thunderstorms. The summers can be rather hot, though the occasional rain shower will cool things down. The winter is usually cold and dry, and the snow levels are not significant (only about 5cm). The best time of the year turns out to be the spring and autumn as the weather is neither hot nor cold – making it perfect for daytime walks, traveling, shopping, or just sitting outside with the locals eating kebabs.
Everywhere you look in Xi’an food is being sold, from the impromptu noodle vendor on the roadside to the classy five star restaurants. Shaanxi cuisine is one of the most remarkable in the country, containing elements of various Asian styles. It’s blending of method and ingredients hints strongly to the history of the region as a center of cultural and information exchange. Most dishes are noodle based and most noodles are hand made on the premises. The flavours of Shaanxi display a mixture of Eastern China, Sichuan, and the Central Asian republics that have influenced the culinary development of the region for millennia.
If you ever miss food from home Xi’an is there to help. There are several McDonalds, Pizza Huts and KFCs around the city centre and in Xiao Zhai (close to Aston 2). Most of the big hotels as well as the youth hostels cook an assortment of Western dishes. The best deal is the buffet at the Hyatt Hotel, where you can indulge in all your cravings from salads and cheese to steak and brownies. There’s an odd Brazilian Barbeque/Bavarian hybrid on Heping Lu. The Brazilian restaurant has waiters that come round and carve up big bits of meat for you. The best pizza in town comes from High Fly located in three different places around the city. There is also a foreign owned western restaurant called “Small World”. Small World serves hamburgers, pizza and much more.
The transport system is very well developed and you can get anywhere in Xi’an by bus for 1 yuan. There are taxis everywhere as well which are also very affordable and more convenient. Many locals prefer to simply ride bicycles or electric bikes from place to place, and many of our teachers choose this option. There are even some bicycle rickshaws still plying the streets that will take you through the back alleys for only a few yuan.
The train station is the main hub for long distance travel. It is located outside the North-East corner of the City Wall. From here you can purchase tickets to locations all over the country. There are very convenient overnight sleeper trains originating in Xi’an to destinations all across Northern China. The bus stations are also located in the vicinity of the train station. Short distance travel is very easy since the bus stations have 100’s of buses running to different locations throughout the province. These locations include tourist hot spots, smaller cities, and villages located all around the greater Xi’an region.
Xi’an also has an international airport located away from city centre, near the town of Xianyang. From here you can fly to destinations all across China and beyond. Given the development of tourism in the region the airport is exceptionally well connected for inland China, largely to cater to the needs of domestic travellers.
Due to our large staff numbers and two locations, Xi’an Aston owns and rents a number of apartments throughout the city. While each of these has its own unique character, we have taken great care to ensure all are high quality and suitable to our standards. We also try very hard to get all of the individual preferences of our teachers fulfilled. We always strive to find an apartment placement that suits our teacher’s needs and special requests. All types of concerns are taken into account when assigning apartments to incoming teachers, including smoking status, age, physical limitations, and personality are taken into account. Since X’ian Aston has 20 different apartments for our foreign teachers’ accommodation, we are usually able to take into account everyone’s wishes. All the apartments for our schools are also located within a block or two of each other, making socializing extremely easy yet (being spread across a variety of buildings) giving you your own feeling of space and community. In fact, everything you will ever ask for is within a stones throw: thousands of shops, restaurants, malls, cinemas, bars and clubs, beautiful parks etc. Distances from School – All apartments are approximately 10-15 minutes (walking distance) away from their parent location.