The world has become global. Any person can go anywhere in search of employment and live. People usually refer to the United States of America as the ‘Land of Opportunities’, it is true to a great extent. However, there are many other countries in the world, where you can easily move and work for a living. If I say, China is one of the more accessible places to relocate; many people would frown with distraught. This article attempts to clear all the misconceptions one can have about China.
People are wary of landing up in China for employment due to certain misconceptions. The main problem you could face in China is their food and the fact that you might find it difficult to communicate with the local population. We agree that adapting to Chinese food is difficult, and it might be perceived as bland to American taste buds. Worry not as there are almost as many KFC’s, McDonald’s and Pizza restaurants in Shanghai as there are in South Carolina. As far as language is concerned, Chinese people do their business transactions in English. However, you can always learn a new language. There should be no problem with that.
China, the Land of Mysticism:
China has an age-old culture with excellent values. People in the western part of the world confuse the East as a mystic place full of superstitions and so on. However, it is not so. The Eastern countries such as China and India do not receive much publicity in the different kinds of media in the Western countries forcing people to come to their own conclusions based on certain stray incidents or hearsay. China is a very friendly and comfortable country. Americans living in China can vouch for this fact.
Employment Opportunities in China:
Normally, other than for tourism purposes, people go abroad to study, do business, or take up employment. China is a fine choice as far as all the four aspects are concerned. It is natural for people to search for a job in China and then relocate. Alternatively, their existing employers might be having a representative office in China and post their employees on deputation. China has a tremendous workforce. Hence, the best way to work in China would be for a multinational company as stated above and you should possess certain skills that the Chinese do not have.
Another easy way to gain employment in China is to teach English to the Chinese. There are ample employment opportunities for people to teach English. Thus, moving to China for work should not be a problem in case you take up an English teaching job.
Difficulties for an American Moving to China:
The greatest difficulty an American can face while moving to China is the huge difference in the cultures between the two countries. The Chinese lay great emphasis on family values. They respect the elders in the family a lot. The Chinese people are not argumentative in nature and resent argumentative people. Americans moving to China can face difficulties in their dressing sense and outward appearances. However, these difficulties are not hard enough to overcome. Americans aiming on working in China should have a crash course on the behavioural aspects of living in China, by spending a few days researching the main differences.
Learning how to mingle with the local population. In fact, it is quite easy, as the Chinese are friendly people. However, if you are blond, ginger or slightly tall you will stand out. I am not advising for individuals with these characteristics to dye their hair or walk on their knees, but to address the factor of their appearance that one can control like one’s attire, have plenty of shorts and bring some money to spend on clothes that match the locals and you will blend in quicker than you think.
How to Move to China Without a Job:
The best way to move to China without a job is to take up a course in a Chinese University to study Chinese culture and laws. China welcomes foreign students to such courses. However, you will need financial strength to pay the fees to study and live in China. Primarily for the course price, as residing in China is relatively cheap.
Living in China, Pros and Cons:
We shall look at the pros first; if you push yourself, you will be able to learn a new language, a huge benefit to one’s CV. You can visit different places and learn about the diverse culture of the Chinese people. You will get the opportunity to bond with the other foreigners living in China and make good friends. China can teach you a lot about the value of money that you would otherwise not learn in the US.
Every country will have its negative points. China does not have a medical system as robust as the US. The Chinese usually, do not know what is happening outside their country. The Chinese banking rules make large transfers difficult which is a big obstacle for businesses.
Moving to China, What to Bring:
Today, China has many supermarkets and hence, you get all the things here too. However, if you go to smaller cities, you should have your quota of perfumes, deodorants, cosmetics, shoes, warm clothing, your favourite spices, as well as your medication. China has a different system of electric supply compared to say the US or France. You should be careful with your appliances.
What Will You Learn?
In case you are living in China for a year, you will learn many things. The first thing you would pick up would be the Mandarin language. The Chinese have a great tradition. You can learn a lot about their rich culture and history. The Chinese are experts in making tea. You will pick up this art from them quite quickly. While in China, you may have to use a lot of manners and respect while dealing with people. You can bring home the same traits after your stint there.
Is it tough to Live in China?
Now, if I ask you this question, your answer would be in the negative. China is an intriguing place. There is no doubt about that. However, it is not a dangerous place at all. People leave bikes on the street and bags with complete trust in their fellow citizen, a faith which is justified as the China crime rate is lower than American crime rate on all accounts. Every country has its positives and negatives. You should know the negatives but concentrate on the positive aspects. Working and living in China will truly be a piece of cake.
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