Is China friendly to expats?

What Can an Expat Expect in China?

Moving to a new country causes “culture shock”, and China is no exception. Whether it is the quantity of people, unique cuisine, or even the language barrier, there are a good few things you will need to get accustomed to while coming to China. However, if you know what to anticipate and what to prepare for, your experience of settling in the nation will be less stressful and daunting. And if you start to appreciate and love the quirks of daily living in this great nation, you may find it incredibly hard to leave. So, how is it being a foreigner in China? Let's see!

Locals will fawn over you

Foreigners are typically welcomed in China. This typically leads to special treatment. You may be invited to someone’s home for a dinner, be provided free drinks at a bar, or be given discounts on meals only to frequent their company. As well as the preferential treatment, do not be shocked if you have people coming up to you and wanting to snap a photo with you, particularly in the smaller places where foreigners are more of a rarity. Chinese folks are eager to see outsiders and quite frequently they go the additional mile to exhibit their curiosity and want to interact.

Having said that, although there are many locals who would treat you incredibly nicely, just as many could gaze at you with a bewildered expression on their faces and call you “wai guo ren” or “lao wai” (meaning “foreigner” in Mandarin). You may also have folks wanting to practice their English with you, or communicate with you in Chinese even though you may not speak the language so well. Starting out in the country like this is fun, but becomes old after a while.

The conduct is harmless and merely reflects locals' curiosity in strangers. They will be unforgettable if you are receptive to them. In this way, you may learn about Chinese people's charity and friendliness.

The linguistic barrier will have to be overcome

This leads to the second issue, which is the language barrier. Some situations need it, while others require it. You may find it difficult to order meals, arrange train or airline tickets, or even buy groceries. Most people don't know how to go around a hospital or a bank without a Chinese guide. As such, you may need to depend on friends or nice strangers to assist you out, particularly at the outset when you are still figuring things out.

So, to genuinely feel at ease in China, you must learn Chinese. Even a little helps. Apps and technology may help you overcome the language barrier and feel more self-sufficient even if you don't understand Chinese. Next, you should know about China's currency.

A technological behemoth, China makes living extremely easy

China is a global leader in technological innovation, making life here quite easy. Then utilize WeChat, Meituan and Taobao on your phone. Your everyday life in China will be much easier if you use these tools.

Sending money through WeChat is as easy as sending it to your landlord. Meituan enables you to purchase meals, arrange spa appointments, taxis, cleaning services, and even Shanghai Disneyland tickets. Online shopping on China's largest market, Taobao.

You can buy or pay for almost anything using WeChat, Meituan, or Taobao. WeChat Pay is faster and more widely accepted than Apple Pay in the west, Taobao products are cheaper and faster than Amazon, and Meituan offers more services and cheaper than any western takeout app.

Living expenses are low

Wanted to save some cash? China is the ideal destination! Money in China goes a lot further, especially outside the cities. As an example, a bottle of water costs about 0.30 USD, while fried rice costs about 2. Living costs are low here. Do you work in your home country and commute for hours? Apartments near work are not only convenient but also affordable in China. You can easily rent a big fully furnished apartment on your own for much less than in the West. Besides, transportation is easy, modern, and inexpensive.

China travel is fantastic

China is the ideal destination for travelers. It is possible to travel to almost any city in China by gao tie (high-speed train). Of course, most major cities have airports for those who prefer flying. So you can go anywhere in China or even outside of it with no effort.

A note on travel in China: Discover new fun activities and learn about Chinese culture in many beautiful places. Adventure sports enthusiasts will love China's many cool destinations where they can do everything from hiking to rock climbing to paragliding to surfing. Traveling in China will never bore you.

Your visa will determine your fate

Living in a foreign country has its drawbacks, including dealing with visa issues. Not to mention that having the visa is not a guarantee of success. Because permanent residency visas for foreigners are rare in China, your visa will be your only means of staying in. Your visa will need to be renewed annually (which requires paperwork), you will need to show it at the police station when changing addresses, and moving cities will require re-entering it.

The fact that you only have to do this once a year makes it a little less stressful. Your employer will usually assist with much of the paperwork. The company you work for should be able to help you with the visa process and make sure everything is ready on time.

You will find work easily

Chinese jobs are plentiful for foreigners. As a result of their English proficiency and relative scarcity, foreigners are highly sought after in China. There is less competition for jobs than in the west. If you walk into almost any school in China and ask to work as an English teacher, you'll be asked to leave.

Other job opportunities exist for expats in China besides teaching English. There are many opportunities for non-English teachers who speak Chinese. For those working in non-educational fields, there may be some challenges to overcome. Your options may be limited if your employer cannot obtain a working visa for you. Apart from that, few Chinese companies employ foreign managers, and those that do frequently underutilize them You may gain valuable experience, but not necessarily the desired career advancement.

Nonetheless, teaching English has many advantages. Regular office jobs have rigid schedules that don't allow you to travel or explore China. As a result, you will be more comfortable and less stressed. Most English teaching businesses are licensed to hire expats and apply for legal working visas in China. And you can use your teaching experience to advance your career. To learn more about i2 Education click here.

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