WIS is located in Hangzhou, the capital and largest city in Zhejiang Province. Despite its population of 7 million, Hangzhou retains a delightful small city feel. Its US sister city is Boston, with whom it shares the distinction of a long, significant history and rich cultural life. In the 13th century Marco Polo recognized Hangzhou’s exceptional beauty, naming it the City of Heaven, the most magnificent city on earth. It remains one of China’s most picturesque cities and one of its most culturally rich. Dotted with beautifully landscaped gardens, parks, and countless museums and historical sites, it is home to beautiful West Lake, one of China’s most scenic landmarks. Unlike other large cities, Hangzhou embraces its natural environment and incorporates it throughout its urban design. Lushly green in all four seasons, Hangzhou is surrounded by mountains making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. The starting point of the historic Grand Canal, Hangzhou is situated on China’s third longest river, Qiantang Jiang, and is crisscrossed by a system of ancient canals and bridges, adding further distinction to its landscape.
In contrast to its lengthy history, Hangzhou is the home of China’s high tech and e-commerce industry, providing a modern vibe to a historical city. The absence of heavy industry has allowed the city to maintain its pristine environment. Combining historical landmarks and modern convenience, Hangzhou was chosen to host the 2016 G20 Summit. An eclectic blend of old and new, Hangzhou is world headquarters to some of China’s largest and most successful companies, such as e-commerce giant Alibaba (China’s Amazon and more), and China’s largest food and beverage company, Wahaha Group.
Hangzhou is easily reached by air, ground transportation, or train and is located only a quick one-hour ride from Shanghai by high-speed railway. Its international airport offers regular flights to destinations throughout China and Asia. The timely, clean, state-of-the-art metro system allows easy travel throughout the city and the Metro Line 4 features a stop within footsteps of the WIS campus, making travel to and from school quick and convenient.
Hangzhou has a rapidly growing international community. All major international hotel groups, retailers, and restaurants such as Carrefour, Ikea, Starbucks, H&M, Element Fresh, Outback Steakhouse and Baskin & Robbins have stores in the city. A diverse food culture thrives in Hangzhou, with restaurants featuring not only every type of regional Chinese food but also international cuisines from Mexican to Thai to Indian to Middle Eastern – shellfish enthusiasts can even find an excellent lobster roll. The Shang Cheng district of Hangzhou is home to many high caliber retail malls and online shopping either for goods or meals with home delivery is both quick and convenient.