Is it easy to live in China as a foreigner?

In general, Westerners have just a vague idea of what it's like for Chinese locals, much less foreigners. It might be intimidating to attempt to understand how over 1.4 billion people live here. How can you call a place home if you can't even communicate with the locals?

It may be quite difficult for expats to adjust to their new culture. They may return after a few months if they are unable to easily adjust due to a lack of skilled coaching. Feel more at ease with the relocation by reading this helpful information. It covers the basics you'll need to know whether you're moving to one of the "Big Four" tier one cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Guangzhou, or anywhere else in China. Find out who to call in an emergency and how to get about China safely if you're using a foreign license (note: you cannot do this). The benefits and drawbacks of settling down in China will be discussed first.

Comparison of the Benefits and Drawbacks of Chinese Life

The challenges of daily life in China are too much for some people. Do your homework and weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making a final decision. Benefits of living in this nation include a high standard of life and easy access to the rest of Asia. Nevertheless, being immersed in a society so radically different from one's own, particularly in a place where access to the internet is limited, may lead to confusion and annoyance.


Excellent Living Conditions. In China, foreign workers may expect a comfortable salary. Foreign workers will enjoy a good quality of living and discretionary money, even if the age of comprehensive employment benefits for mid-level workers has ended.

Easy travel across Asia. Cheap flights to other Asian countries are available all year round from major Chinese cities. You may even spend the weekend in faraway places like Thailand or Japan.

The complete submersion into another culture. China has many commonalities with the rest of the globe, but it also has numerous features that set it apart. Expats who want to take risks will enjoy being submerged in Chinese society. Check out our culture and social norms page for further information.

Acquire a second language. Many people in China do not speak English, thus it is important to acquire at least the basics of the language.

A secure residential area. China is a pretty secure location for foreigners to reside, even if you do not know Mandarin. Violent crime against foreigners is well-publicized yet infrequent.


The visa procedure might be complex. It requires at least three months and a huge quantity of papers before your short-term work visa is issued. Plus, everything is handled in Mandarin. If you need help with your Chinese work visa, our Visa and Work Permit specialists give extensive information.

China is challenging to traverse alone. If you do not speak or read Mandarin, you need to find local friends who can assist you settle in. Advice from individuals who have encountered your issues, through organisations such as InterNations, can also valuable.

Feeling like an outsider. Although Chinese society is accepting and Chinese people are nice to outsiders, repeatedly failing to comprehend the culture or language might make you feel alone.

Lackluster online experience due to a sluggish connection. Chinese internet blocks access to Western social media and websites, including Google. While you become accustomed to the internet shutting down without explanation, the limits are a continual irritant.

Sending money home is tricky. It is tough to transmit money to bank accounts outside of China. To receive money from a Chinese friend living abroad, they need just use the Alipay app to send you the funds.

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