10 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job in China

Image 1We’ve all heard the predictions: between the rapidly growing economies of China and India, the United States will be overshadowed by the year 2015.  While this is a dire way of looking at things, it is true that the Chinese economy is expanding at rate of 8%, making business relations between China and the United States of particularly high importance. Plenty of people are making the move to China, eager to get in on the ground floor, whether to start a business or to teach English and travel.  If you’re considering emigrating to China, keep in mind that the culture and environment there are entirely different from what you are probably used to, and there are a few key things you should take into account:

Type of Visa:  There are as many different types of Chinese visa as there are reasons to visit China, and the Chinese bureaucracy can be obtuse at times.  In the case of getting a job, there are Business Visas, Work Visas, and Permanent Residence Permits you may be applicable for.  Make sure you have all that squared away before your trip.

Get Your Vaccinations:  For long-term travel in China, be sure you have shots for Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B.  If traveling in the south of China, it is advisable that you take malaria medication as well.

Drink Bottled Water:  The tap water in China isn’t potable, and even boiled water can still have chemicals that you don’t want to drink.  It is safest to stick to bottled water if you don’t want to undergo stomach problems!

Hospitals:  Depending on where you live in China, quality of healthcare can vary.  You will find better hospitals in the big coastal cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, while inland you may find yourself paying exorbitant amounts for decent healthcare.  Also, stock up on aspirin before your trip, because you may have trouble finding it in Chinese pharmacies.

Food:  If you have an adventurous palate, you will love the variety of cheap and delicious cuisine you’ll find. Try the street food –it’s some of the best in the world.  Otherwise, it may be difficult to find western-style food, especially in rural areas.  And dairy products such as milk and cheese are even rarer, so be warned!

ImageGovernment:  As a foreigner, you should have no problem from police or other authority figures, but keep in mind that in China certain things are not spoken about, such as Tibet or the government’s censoring of the internet.  To break these rules can result in repercussions.

Pollution:  China doesn’t have much in the way of environmental regulations, so you will come across a lot of trash and air pollution.  This can lead to respiratory problems for those planning to live here.

Noise:  Similarly, there is no notion of noise pollution, so you will find yourself dealing with a lot of loudspeakers, screeching traffic, and pop music at all hours of the day.  Invest in a good pair of earplugs!

Curiosity:  As a foreigner, you will attract a lot of attention from passersby.  Most people who approach you are only being friendly, but some can be pickpockets or insistent vendors, in which case you can say, “bu xie xie,” (pronounced boo shye shye) and walk away.

Language:  Especially in rural areas, English-speakers will be rare, so you will have to learn some level of Chinese to get around.  Take our online Chinese level test to see what your Chinese skill level is, or send us an enquiry so you can get started!