China’s efforts for economic transformation and reforms, which included opening up to foreign investment and encouraging foreign businesses to set up their operations in the country, led to more expats working and living in the country. China’s growth and development as a global economic power continue to attract expats, with jobs including teaching English in China with high salaries and being home to the largest expat community. Expats moving to China should:
- Learn to speak Chinese
Chinese is the predominant language of communication in China despite English being spoken in major cities. Knowing basic Chinese phrases can go a long way in helping you communicate with the locals and make a good impression. Therefore, an expat must take some classes to learn basic Chinese.
Learning the local dialect is ideal for creating confidence in your interactions, especially in rural areas where English is not widely spoken.
- Learn about Chinese Culture, customs, and etiquette
As an expat, China will be your new home. As a result, immersing yourself in the local culture through traveling, experiencing new things, and learning about Chinese traditions and history is essential. Knowledge of Chinese customs is ideal for having positive interactions with the locals you interact with and broadening your cultural horizons. It is also essential for communication purposes to avoid misunderstandings.
Most expats go to China for work purposes, such as those to teach English in Beijing. In a professional setting, understanding and respecting local customs and etiquette can help you build credibility and trust among your colleagues and clients and enrich your experience of living in China.
- Understand the Chinese Healthcare system
Knowledge about how the healthcare system works in China is essential. It helps you to be better equipped to access healthcare services, especially when you need specialized medical care. The understanding of healthcare also offers better preparedness during emergencies and the appropriate measures to be taken due to sudden illness. It also aids you in making informed decisions concerning selecting your healthcare provider and purchasing private medical insurance.
- Comprehension of the area you intend to live in and its geography
It is essential for an expat intending to move to China to know the region they are moving to and where they will be living depending, for example, on its proximity to their workplace. Knowing where you will live helps you prepare adequately for the place’s climate, as some regions may be cold while others are warm. It is also crucial to know the living standards of the area that you will be moving to as it will ensure that you will be able to cater for all your expenses with the work you are going to do. For example, the teach English in China salary should be in tandem with the living standards of where the school is located.
Knowing the layout and geography of your neighborhood also keeps you safe. Knowing where the evacuation routes and emergency shelters are in a city vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes or floods is essential in an emergency.
- Understand the Chinese Education System
Expats relocating to China with their children need to know how education in China is carried out precisely because they will be shifting from another system. It also helps decide which school matches the children’s academic background and social needs.
Moving or relocating to a foreign country can be a challenging experience, but with the proper knowledge and adequate preparation, it can be a rewarding and exciting experience. As China continues to open up its economy and offer opportunities to expats jobs such as those to teach English in Beijing, with an open mind and a positive attitude, the experience of living in China can be a great adventure.