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Same Old New – Welcome To China!

Things To Know Before Moving To China

If you are planning on relocating to China, Same Old New – Welcome to China! A lot of people who have never visited China before get freaked out and overwhelmed in their first days. This is because it is a new environment that is completely different from the one they are used to. People dress different, talk different, the buildings look different, and all this can be quite overwhelming. When you are locating to China, it is important to have an idea of what to expect. This can be done by doing some research and reading about the country. The problem with doing research and reading content about the country is the fact that these will not give you all the information you need to get by in the new country, especially in the first weeks when you will need to settle down. Below are some details of what happens upon arrival in China and how to go about different things.

Relocation Issues

When relocating to China, it is very important to have everything planned before the date you are expected to fly to China. There are several things that you need to do. First and foremost, it is important to have all the necessary documents that show you will be a resident in China. This is to avoid any problems upon arrival or at any other time during your stay in China. The other thing you need to do is communicate with your employer to know when they expect you to start working. The importance of this is that it enables you to know when to leave for China since you have to be settled before you start going to work. This should be done very early since you also have to book your ticket and make other arrangements before you go. The reason why planning is very important when you are relocating is the fact that a lack of planning can really complicate or ruin your first few days in the country. It is important to know what you need for the trip and have it ready in time. Once you have everything ready, make sure you get to the country a few days earlier than when you are expected to start the job so that you can have time to familiarize yourself with the place.

Money

When you arrive in China, one thing you cannot afford to forget is to have your currency changed into Chinese currency, or RMB. Failure to do so means you will not be able to eat, sleep or do anything else that requires currency. The great thing about currency exchange in China is the fact that you can get it done at the airport upon your arrival. The exchange rate is normally about 6RMB for 1 dollar. You should expect to pay a certain fee to have your currency changed. However, this is not to say you cannot use your VISA card in China. You can. However, these are only usable in large areas such as shopping malls where there are a big number of foreigners. You cannot use them in small local businesses. When it comes to money in China,  nobody expects you to tip which means you will save money when eating out.

Food

Food will be a new experience depending on where you are relocating from. If you live in Western countries,  you might find the food quite different from the food you are used to. Many expatriates suffer from traveller’s diarrhea  when they try the local foods for the first time. To prevent this, it is advisable to take medication to help with the problem. It is also advisable to avoid some of the food sold along the streets since you might not be so sure about preparation methods and hygiene. The best thing you can do in the first weeks in China is to visit some of the common western restaurants in the country such as McDonald’s and Starbucks. Here, you will get a number of foods you are familiar with. When you get used to the country (and the different bacteria) you can become more adventurous with trying local food.

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Transportation

The first thing you might need after arriving at the airport is transportation. While at the Pudong Airport, you have a lot of options on transportation to the city. You can take the subway or a taxi. However, the Meglev train is faster and will have you in the city at a speed of about 430 Km/Hr. The price range is usually between 40 RMB and 50 RMB depending on whether or not you provide your flight ticket. Generally in China, public transport is the cheaper alternative compared to countries in Europe and the US. One thing you should not forget however is to keep your ticket until you are out of the subway. This is because you might be required to insert it in a turnstile in order to be able to leave the subway. These subway tickets are normally purchased at vending machines that normally have English UI and are programmed to give you change. A cheaper alternative however, would be to get a multiple pass card which costs slightly higher but saves you a lot of money that would otherwise be used to buy a single subway ticket everytime you need one. The multiple pass cards are also beneficial because you can use it in more than one type of public transport including taxis. Another great tip to remember is to always have your address in Chinese and English. This is important because a good number of the taxi drivers might not be able to read English.

Apartment Search

So how do you look for an apartment in a country you have never been to? Accommodation is one of the biggest problems that expatriates face when they move to China. This is because China is a very large country. It can be tough t know where to start especially if you are looking for an apartment within a certain price range and you have a very short time to spare in the apartment search. When it comes to accommodation, it is important to know what to expect even before you move to China. This is important because it enables you to plan ahead. On the day of arrival, it might be a great idea to stay at a hotel. This is because it would be very tiring to go apartment hunting just after a long flight. When you are well rested, you can start looking for an apartment. There are two places where expatriates tend to stay in China. Century Park is one of them. This is a great place to live especially if you have a family. It is very quiet and clean and has a few spots where you can go jogging. It is also great because there is no traffic there. This means you can get to work in a short time depending on where you work. The other option you have on accommodation is Huangpu and Jing’an. This is perfect for a young person since it is quite loud and there are a lot of people. The only downside to living in this area is the fact that there is a lot of traffic which means you have to wake up very early to make it to work in ontime. Older people and people with families might find this area quite uncomfortable due to the noise.

Internet

Today, we live in a world where the majority of the people are on the internet for many hours of the day. The internet has become an important tool for research, connecting people, and it is an important tool for business. It is therefore very important to know how to get internet connection when you have relocated to a new country. There are several things you should expect when in China. The internet is quite different from other parts of the world and you might therefore not get access to some internet services unless you know how to go about it. It is advisable to see an expert once you have settled. They will be able to direct you on how to go about VPN services and will give you tips on when to utilize the internet since it gets crowded in certain times of the day when a lot of people are using the internet. Remember that China is the third largest country in the world. This means many people will be on the internet trying to get things done. However, the internet in China is pretty good and can be used for work and research among other things.

Phone

When you decide to move to China, it is important to know that you might need a SIM card or new phone to be able to communicate in the new county. The problem however, is that the service providers in the country do not have English content on their website. This makes it very hard for individuals who do not speak Chinese to understand the rates for each service provider. It is however, important to visit any of these service providers in order to get assistance. When you decide to get a SIM card in China, it is required that you to have a passport in order to purchase it. You will also be charged a certain amount of money for the SIM card. It is important to ensure you have the passport and enough money in order to avoid making a second trip to the service provider. Once you have your SIM card. There will be charges depending on how you often and for what you use your SIM card for. With the SIM card you will not have a hard time communicating. If you are in need of a new phone, China is the best place to be in such a situation because you will have a wide variety of affordable phones to choose from.

Healthcare

When in a new country, one thing that is likely to happen is falling sick. This is because you are in a new environment where temperatures are different, the water and food are different and your body is trying to adjust to the changes. The same thing might happen when you relocate to China. If this happens, you need not be alarmed since there are numerous treatment options in China. If you are the kind of person that likes to get herbal treatment, China has a good number of herbal treatment options. You can also try some of their famous treatments such as acupuncture which is believed to be able to heal different kinds of ailments. If you do not trust these treatments or have never tried them, you also have the option to get western treatment from the many hospitals that are available in the country. When it comes to price, you have an option of going to a cheap hospital. These in most cases have very long queues which could take a long time before you are catered for. You also have an option of going to the expensive hospitals. These have fewer patients and are cleaner compared to the cheaper options. There are also hospitals meant for foreigners. Here, they have a good number of English speaking doctor’s and the service is great. This is usually a great choice for many foreigners because they are better able to explain how they are feeling.

Conclusion

In conclusion, these are all the things you should expect to do when you relocate to China. The first few weeks might be a bit tough because you are getting used to the new environment but it gets better as you become more adjusted to the new environment. Same Old New-Welcome to China!

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6 Comments
  • Avatar
    Stephanie
    Reply

    Relocating to China is a huge step for someone to take. This article is great for one considering it. I would have never thought about some of these things, like differences in the Internet and phone services. Very informational read, and very helpful for someone thinking of making a move to China.

  • Avatar
    Raymond Hall
    Reply

    Very informative article that covers all bases of moving to China. As someone who would be interested in doing this, I read this article with interest. The challenges of assimilating and getting on your feet in China would be no doubt rewarded by living in such an exciting place. If I could live anywhere, I think I would love to live in Shanghai. This article will certainly come in useful if I ever decide to make the leap.

  • Avatar
    Habeeb
    Reply

    What an informative article. I really appreciate the writer for computing such a nice and educative article for the convenient of people coming to china.

  • Avatar
    Sayeed Hussain
    Reply

    Thanks for the article. Are there any guest houses in china? For example, if I wish to share accommodation with any localite?, this will help get going easily?

  • Avatar
    Hamfriendy
    Reply

    Complete information for a person who is planning to relocating in China. Its like getting help from a local friend, about tradition, food, money and residential ares of the country. I wish, I could get this information before.

  • Avatar
    Hassan S
    Reply

    Thanks for the article. These tips are helpful especially as i was worried of how i could settle and fit in China pending my relocation there. it has been an educative one.