What Can You Expect as an Expat Living in China
Numerous locals will want to speak with you.
The Chinese people are famous for their friendliness and openness to strangers. As a result, there is typically a great deal of favoritism. In return for your patronage, you may get an invitation to a home for dinner, complimentary drinks at a bar, or special prices at a restaurant. In the smaller towns, where foreigners are more of a rarity, you may also expect to be approached by individuals who want to take pictures with you because of the particular reception you will get. Chinese people go to great lengths to show their interest in and eagerness to talk to visitors from other countries.
However, although some people may go out of their way to make you feel welcome, others may regard you like a mystery and label you a "wai guo ren" (meaning "foreigner" in Mandarin) or "lao wai" (meaning "foreigner" in Mandarin). If you're not fluent in Chinese, don't be surprised if locals still approach you to practice their English or strike up a conversation. It's funny when you first arrive, but after a while it becomes old.
However, keep in mind that this kind of conduct is only indicative of the curiosity with which people see visitors from other countries, and it is never malicious. When you're receptive to new experiences, you'll have remarkable conversations with interesting people. This is how many foreigners discover the warmth and generosity of the Chinese people, and it may lead to some awesome and unexpected events.
There will be a linguistic barrier that you must overcome.
The mention of "wai guo ren" leads us naturally to our next topic: communication difficulties. Not knowing Chinese may be a disadvantage in certain situations, but there are also many where it can be a benefit. You may first find it very inconvenient to order meals, arrange train or airplane tickets, or even go grocery shopping. It is quite improbable that you will be able to find your way around a hospital or a bank for the first time without the assistance of a native Chinese speaker. That's why it's important to have a support system of friends and even random acts of kindness to fall back on when you're just starting out and trying to figure things out.
Therefore, if you want to feel at home in China, you need study the language. A little amount may have a significant impact. But don't worry if you don't know any Chinese and have no intention of learning it; there are a variety of applications and technological tools available to help you feel more at ease and autonomous in your new environment. Now we may go on to the next essential fact about China.
Because China is such a technological powerhouse, everyday living in the country is remarkably hassle-free.
Because China is a global leader in technological innovation, its citizens enjoy a high standard of life and a wide range of modern conveniences. You need simply open WeChat, Meituan, and Taobao on your mobile device to experience this for yourself. You will be able to go about China with ease and confidence even if you don't know any Chinese using these resources.
You can pay your rent, top up your phone bill, purchase an airline ticket, shop, and even schedule medical appointments all using WeChat! You may use Meituan to order meals to your home or office, schedule a spa treatment, hail a cab, arrange for housekeeping, and even purchase tickets to Shanghai Disneyland. Taobao is China's largest online marketplace, where you can buy almost anything.
All of your shopping and payment needs may be met with only three apps: WeChat, Meituan, and Taobao. In addition, they are superior to their western counterparts in every way imaginable: payments made through WeChat Pay are processed more quickly and are more widely accepted than Apple Pay in the west; goods purchased on Taobao are less expensive and arrive more quickly than those purchased through Amazon; and meals delivered through Meituan are both more affordable and more convenient than those delivered through any western takeout app.
In this area, living expenses are low.
Attempting to save costs lately? You'll fit in well in China. In China, particularly in the countryside, your dollar will go a lot farther. A bottle of water will cost you around $0.30 USD, while a dish of fried rice would run you about $2 USD. As far as living expenses go, this place is cheap. Do you spend a lot of time traveling to and from work each day? In China, it's easy to find cheap and convenient apartments close to your place of employment. You may easily afford a large, fully furnished apartment, despite the fact that rents are significantly cheaper than in the West. Plus, the public transit is quite accessible, cutting-edge, and affordable, so it won't eat too deeply into your paycheck.
To see China is a wonderful experience.
China is an excellent destination if you like traveling. Cheap tickets on the gao tie (high-speed railway) connect you to almost every major city in China. If you'd rather take a plane, you'll find airports in most major cities as well. Therefore, traveling anywhere within or outside of China requires zero effort.
Traveling in China is highly recommended because of all the opportunities it presents. You'll be able to get out into nature, see a variety of landscapes, explore China's rich history, marvel at its unique architecture, feast on delectable cuisine, partake in fascinating rituals, meet friendly locals, and try your hand at all sorts of exciting pursuits at any one of the many exciting destinations. There are several amazing places to go in China to engage in a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, kayaking, skiing, scuba diving, snowboarding, paragliding, rock climbing, and more! China is a destination where you may easily avoid boredom.
Obtaining a visa is crucial.
Problems with your visa are an unavoidable part of living in any foreign country. Even if you manage to secure a visa, which isn't often easy, once you're there you still won't be completely set for life. Your visa is the key item that will keep you in China, since permanent resident permits are seldom issued to foreigners. It's great that you can get a visa to stay in China, but there are a few caveats: you have to renew it every year (which involves paperwork), you have to show it at the police station when you change your address, and since your visa is tied to a specific city, moving cities also means moving your visa.
The fact that you usually only have to deal with this once a year is the only silver lining to what may otherwise be a really unpleasant experience. In most cases, your employer will walk you through the necessary hoops. However, if you're set on making the trip to China for employment, choose an employer that can help you through the visa procedure and see that you arrive on time.
You won't have any trouble finding employment.
Foreigners may find a wide variety of employment possibilities in China. Foreigners, especially those who can speak English, are in great demand in China because of the country's linguistic barrier. Because of this, getting a job in East Asia is considerably simpler than in the West. In the West, obtaining a job may be challenging and entail a lengthy and tedious interview process that frequently leads nowhere. In China, however, you can go into practically any school in the nation and be asked if you can work for them as an English teacher.
A comprehensive search of the employment market will reveal several alternatives to teaching English, which is the most prevalent profession for foreigners in China. There are plenty of opportunities in China for bilinguals with non-English teaching experience and degrees who also speak Chinese. You may run into challenges, though, if your place of employment is unrelated to the field of English language instruction. The number of viable possibilities may decrease since not every organization can get a work visa for overseas nationals. In addition, foreign management is uncommon in Chinese businesses, and even when it is there, it is generally underutilized. This means that although it may be beneficial for you personally, it may not lead to the professional advancement you were hoping for.
While there are challenges, working as an English teacher may be rewarding. When compared to a typical office job, the working hours in China's service industry tend to be more relaxed, leaving more time for vacation and sight-seeing. The compensation is often better than in other fields, allowing you to live a stress-free and pleasant life. Most businesses that provide English language instruction have the proper licensing to legally sponsor foreign nationals for work visas in China. Furthermore, you may leverage your teaching expertise and establish a career in the sector. All of these things are possible with i2 Education, making it a strong candidate for anybody searching for a fantastic work opportunity in China.
Many novel situations will present themselves in China.
At first, your options for leisure activities may be more restricted than they are in your native country, depending on your interests. Some workshops (yoga, dance) and performances (concerts, theater) will be conducted only in Chinese.
The situation may seem discouraging at first, but it will really lead you to discover exciting new opportunities. China is plenty with one-of-a-kind activities that won't break the budget, such as KTV (private karaoke), martial arts, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese massage, and tea culture. Furthermore, since the number of foreigners living in Chinese cities grows each, more and more events are being offered in English, making it easy to discover an English-speaking yoga instructor, foreign cycling club, Chinese cooking class, or stand-up comedy performance. Additionally, you may experiment with Chinese culture by trying out archery, tennis, fencing, etc., all of which are growing sports in the country. If you have a passion for football, basketball, or rugby, you may easily join a team in your area or elsewhere and compete in games and tournaments.
Eventually, your time in China will come to an end.
The ease with which one may get by in modern China is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Foreigners have a hard time establishing permanent residency in China, even via marriage, thus most end up either leaving China or going back home. This might get more challenging the longer you are in China. The next stage in your life may become clearer after a gap year or two spent in this country. However, if you end up staying in China for four or five years and then decide to leave, you may find it difficult to know what to do with yourself.
However, this shouldn't deter you from trying new things and experiencing life in another country. You can't map out your whole life in advance, and there will always be twists and turns along the way. Nonetheless, your time in China has the potential to transform you into a better person and introduce you to new and exciting prospects.
Starting off as a foreigner in China may be challenging. You'll need to be flexible, creative, and independent. But if you have an open mind and are willing to try new things, you will enjoy your trip immensely. In China, you may live lavishly without breaking the bank, and use your gap year to develop professionally and personally. Friendships with individuals from all over the globe will have a profound impact on your life. The majority of expats in China report feeling like they've improved as people since arriving. If any of these things interest you, maybe a move to China is in order.