What's it Like to Live in China

It doesn't matter whether you're going to China for a weeklong vacation or if you're going to be living there for a lengthy amount of time to work, study, or travel; you're going to be in for some surprises either way.

The ability to communicate in Chinese is helpful in many aspects of daily life.

One of the most difficult elements of living in China is adjusting to the loss of familiarity that comes with not being able to interact as smoothly as you once could. If Chinese is not your first language, this might be one of the most difficult aspects of living in China. This is due to the fact that most Chinese people are unable to speak English, especially those who live outside of large cities and farther inland.

When traveling to a new location, it might be helpful to familiarize yourself with the language spoken there so that you can speak with people and navigate the area more simply. There are a great number of spoken languages in China. Utilizing body language or a translation software are two possibilities that are not perfect but are practical alternatives (like Pleco or Learn Chinese Mandarin, both of which are mentioned as some of our picks for applications for China tourists). If you are coming to China to work or study, or if you are going to be there for a significant amount of time, then it is in your best interest to learn some basic Chinese so that you can communicate with locals. If nothing else, learning even just a few words of Chinese will help you start conversations with locals and overall enhance your time spent in China as a foreigner.

Coming to Terms with a Dramatic Alteration in Culture

When you come to China from a different country, you will be shocked! There will be substantial cultural differences between the nation you come from and China, and these differences may cause you to have the impression that you do not belong in China. For instance, you might not be accustomed to the fact that Chinese people are accustomed to public displays of affection, that it is normal to call a waitress in a restaurant by shouting loudly, or that they are very honest and direct with the things that they say. All of these things might be new to you.


Non-Asians, particularly outside of the bigger cities, will get a great deal of attention due to the people's innate curiosity. This is especially the case. Because blonde hair and blue eyes are so uncommon in China, people will be highly intrigued about them when they see you. As a result, they will most likely approach you closer to have a better look at them. You may discover that people are talking about you or staring at you depending on where you go in China, and they may also ask to take photographs with you (or they may just take photos of you) Depending on where you go in China, people may ask to take photos with you (or they may just take photos of you). Keep in mind that there are many different cultural norms and that no one's interests are intentionally harmful or designed to cause offense.

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