How to Choose a City to Work in China
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China is an incredibly vast and diverse country. You can travel across different regions of China and feel like you are staying in a new country every time. Hence, when considering moving to China for work, you have to learn more about the region and city you are planning to choose. In fact, it can be smarter to choose a city first before you even start applying for any job positions. You can research the various opportunities and benefits each region can offer. Meanwhile, you can also see the downfalls of living in certain cities and whether it will be a deal-breaker to you. So, without further ado, here is how to choose a Chinese city to work in.
Cost of living
First and foremost, you should decide whether you can afford the cost of living in the place you want to live in. The difference in cost of living can drastically vary from city to city. For example, big megapolises like Beijing or Shanghai are some of the most expensive cities not only in China but in the world. Finding affordable rent there will turn into a real quest. To live there, you must be sure your work will have you covered. Otherwise, the cost of living there will soon turn into a heavy burden to carry.
On the other hand, cities like Suzhou in the West and Nanjing in the East can be a perfect fit for you. These are highly developed cities in China with a rapidly growing economy. Yet, thus far, they haven’t turned into a crazy metropolis like Beijing. So, the cost of living here still remains within reasonable limits.
Of course, work opportunities should be on your priority list when looking for a city to work in China. Moving can be a nerve-wracking experience. However, at least knowing that there is work waiting for you should calm you down a little bit. However, what if you just want to live in China while you don’t have any job proposals yet? Well, in such a case, you better explore what some of the most developed regions have to offer.
First of all, you can research the demand for specialists like yourself. For example, you should not have any issues with finding a job in a big city when you work in IT or Media. However, some of the smaller cities may not have as many opportunities for you here. Next, think of the jobs that you could possibly do, like being an English teacher or tour guide. Here, you better look for less popular work expat destinations to avoid tough competition.
Environment and climate
Unfortunately, China is suffering from numerous environmental issues. It’s falling behind when it comes to introducing environmental laws and nature protection plans, not to mention its poor performance on the Paris Agreement. As a result, the environmental situation in most Chinese regions is far from perfect. Thus, living in a Chinese metropolis may come with some health issues due to the poor environment.
Sometimes, the situation can get so bad that people need to wear masks outside to filter the air pollution. Hence, if that’s not something you are willing to put up with, research regions with better environments and natural conservation. You may also find some of the best research paper writing services online to educate you more on the environmental issues in China. It’s an important read, especially for those who plan to live in this country for a long period of time.
Also, keep in mind that Northern and Southern China will have different climates, especially during winter. So, if you are not up for a cold, dry winter, you better move closer to the South.
Moving to a foreign country can turn into an isolating and lonely experience. Those who have never lived outside their home country may find themselves lost and confused. Hence, if you worry about getting lonely and depressed on your own, expat-friendly cities are something to research. You may focus your attention on the cities with the largest communities of expats, whether from your state or from international communities.
In fact, your surroundings will make a huge impact on your overall living experience in China. So, think in advance whether you want to immerse yourself in the new culture or find people whose mentality is close to yours. Overall, if you want to really learn and appreciate Chinese culture and lifestyle, you can live in cities like Jinan or Xuzhou. These smaller towns will leave you no choice but to integrate. Of course, it means learning the language and culture, too.
However, if the purpose of your moving to China is work and not precisely cultural enrichment, consider bigger cities like Shanghai and Hangzhou. These are the most internationally diverse cities in China. Hence, you being an expat won’t be such a big issue. You will have an easier time communicating in English or finding friends from all over the world.