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SYLF Exclusive | Meeting with the President

SYLF Exclusive | Meeting with the President

SYLF Exclusive | Meeting with the President

SYLF Exclusive Interview with the current ICS President, Mr. Jan-David Kukla 

SYLF: What’s going on David? (I mean Mr. President) 

David: Hey SYLF, I’m doing great, taking on more responsibility as a volunteer with a greater workload while promoting ICS’ interests in the International community in Shenyang.

SYLF: What is your goal or mission during your tenure?

David:  My goal is to help foreigners to make Shenyang their home, to assist them during their arrival and transition, and of course help them make the most of their stay in Shenyang.

SYLF: Do you think your members are happy to be in Shenyang?

David: I’m happy to be here and I think there are many more of us who are enjoying Shenyang than you would think. Of course, others might think this is not Shanghai or Guangzhou, which might be more developed as far as modern culture, theatre or art exhibits are concerned, but we still find what we need. Even though events tend to be announced impromptu and it is sometimes hard to find information. Compared to Beijing, it is much easier to become a part of the international community, everything is in close proximity and it is easy to get into the circle.

The President’s List

SYLF: Mr. President, what would you recommend to SYLF readers and expat in Shenyang

David: Here is my list of recommendations:

  1. Coffee hour at Cafe Bene near the MixC is a great way to meet expats informally. It’s open to anyone every Wednesday @10h30 in the morning. This is an expat self-organized meeting, mostly expat spouses. It provides a great start, and the language is English even when there are a lot of German guests.
  2. Lu Xun Art Academy, this is a great way to see local aspiring artists and join an art group to learn more about exhibitions all over town.
  3. Figure out the map, addresses is not the same here, learn the technique and use a digital map – take some time to practice, finding a location on WeChat through location sharing can take you a long way.
  4. Get on the public transits, take the Shenyang subway, invest in a subway card – buses – rental bikes – Didi – Uber – take your learning curve to the next level.
  5. For survival Chinese language skills aren’t strictly necessary, however… most restaurants and venues have photos so you could just use point and gesture, however, remember it’s not just about survival, so go and learn some Chinese. It will make your experience so much richer.
  6. Learn to be spontaneous –  the general problem here is that events are not advertised in advance – so learn to not plan ahead
  7. Health care – there is H’Image Doctors, the international section at Shengjing Hospital, Roicare and Madein Hospital to name just a few, but you may also want to get the Chinese traditional medical experiences. The only worry is how to deal with things like advance payment and communication in English in emergency cases. Some of our members had their children here in Shenyang – best to ask them directly how they experienced it.
  8. Air Quality is a common concern anywhere in China, some members would express that if the air was better Shenyang would be perfect. However, Shenyang is much better to compare to Beijing.
  9. Food choices are impressive, however, the western food here is mostly represented by American high-quality fast food, so hopefully, restaurants will diversify in the future.
  10. International Schools are extremely important for expat families. Foreign consulates always raise the concerns for more choices in education in the city. Currently there is the Yucai School International section that offers German and English Departments, QSI school also has grown a lot in the past year, and of course the Shenyang International School, who has just changed its ownership. Accreditation for overseas students is always a concern here, making sure the students could get their studies recognized back home.
  11. Taobao, learn to use the largest online purchasing platform, very convenient
  12. Follow SYLF, you can find anything you need here! It will take a while for you to fully settle in, meanwhile, find what you are looking for by exchanging information, and be sure to follow SYLF magazine!

Final Comment

The expat community will be substantial in the coming year and in the near future. ICS is open to any foreigner in Shenyang, visit us at website We will facilitate events, organize volunteering opportunities, and while it is all a work in progress, please support us during the improvement process, we are never lacking in enthusiasm or willingness to try and we appreciate all foreign expat exchanges with the local community, so please join us!

Contact ICS:



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