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April 14, 2010

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BISS online guide to city move

BRITISH International School Shanghai has just published a free online guide for expat families preparing to move to the city. It covers everything from getting settled to getting around to getting the most out of Shanghai. Fei Lai downloads.

Relocating a family overseas is stressful, but British International School Shanghai is trying to minimize the anxiety and hassles with a free, downloadable city guide.

"The Essentials Guide to Shanghai," prepared by parents, students and teachers from BISS, aims to prepare expat families well in advance of actually moving to Shanghai.

The 200-page online guide contains articles on housing, transport, education, health care, getting connected, shopping, culture, entertainment, helpful organizations and other topics.

"We understand clearly that a family's move to a new country, a new city, and a new culture can be challenging and stressful," says Travis Murray, marketing manager of British International School Shanghai.

"The core focus at our school is helping others thrive, whether it be our students or their families or the charities that we work with. By producing the guidebook, we hoped to answer many of the questions that families have when they realize that they are moving to the city."

The book has three sections: "Preparing To Go," "When You Arrive" and "Living In Shanghai."

The first section contains practical information about packing, moving, shipping, customs and other issues.

The arrival section is about adjusting to a new life and contains information about making a smooth transition - finding housing and schools, getting settled and connected, dealing with culture shock, and arranging health care.

The third section, "Living in Shanghai," explains that Shanghai is a thriving metropolis of varied choices for entertainment and shopping. Various districts and areas are described so families can make use of the city's facilities.

"We have been working on the project for about six months now, and have had countless discussions with expats of all types. Many of our teachers have families that have gone through the process, so they were a valuable source of information," Murray says.

"We were careful to draw on the experiences of many segments of the expat population so that our guide would be as broadly appealing as possible."

The school's admissions team works closely with families during their transition, pooling the knowledge and tips they have gained over the years.

A printed version is in the works and will include maps of the subway system and districts, with listings of all kinds of services.

Around 5,000 copies will be made available to community organizations and relocation agents.

"We'd love to hear from anyone who has suggestions about content and wants to participate," Murray says. "We hope this guide will be a legacy for the community in Shanghai and a resource that can be drawn upon for many years to come."

Every year the information will be updatedand expanded.

Contributions from local communities are welcome.

The guide also contains a few pages about World Expo 2010 Shanghai China.

For more information, please visit


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