10 Things You Should Know Before Moving to China

10 Things You Should Know Before Moving to China

Are you planning a trip to travel, live or work in China? Thousands of people move to China every year and this experience is not as daunting as it sounds. if you are currently thinking about it, or in the process of moving, check out our list of 10 things you will find useful to know before arriving in China...


1. It Is Easier Than You Think

Moving to China a few decades ago was not possible but now the whole process is getting a lot easier. There are now several options for foreigners, the main one a lot of internationals choose is to teach English in China - this is popular with students, graduates and also older people looking for a way to work in China and live in the country for a long period. If you are looking to gain experience there are lots of paid internships in China for foreigners which can lead to full time employment. Some international companies hire staff from all around the world and help with visas, relocation and accommodation - some foreigners choose to stay and you can find thousands of expats in places like Shanghai and Hong Kong.


2. It is Hard to Learn the Language

You can't just turn up in China and pick up Mandarin or Cantonese, these languages are extremely difficult to learn. We highly recommend booking a Chinese language course in China, buying a phrases book or learning online before departing. Even if you can't master the whole language straight away practise helps.


3. It is More Beautiful than You Think

Although usually you get images in the media is of industrial cities there are so many stunning places you can live or see. Highlights include walking the Great Wall of China, seeing pandas in Chengdu, exploring the Tiger Leaping Gorge or seeing the spectacular West Lake. Whether you are visiting for a short period, or looking to call China your home, a tour if a great way to see more of the country especially if you are not fluent in Mandarin. Tour companies in China employ local staff who speak English and will take you to the very best locations in the country hassle free.


4. China is VERY Safe

This might be surprising but crime against tourists is very rare! Tourism is becoming a big industry in China and they country are keen to attract more visitors especially since the 2008 Olympics put China on the global map. 


5. Chinese Food in China is Different to What You Might be Used to

If you live in the Western world Chinese food will be different to what you actually eat in China. Different options will be available and it will taste a bit different - we recommend you be open to the cuisine because you can get amazing dishes and local specialities throughout the country. You will also get to sample all the local tea.


6. Local People are Friendly

Although there is a very obvious language barrier, local people will generally greet you with smiles and try to converse in you, or at tourist sights want to have photos with you.


7. The Cities Are Bustling

China has some of the largest cities in the world population wise, and there is so much to see and do when living in one. Top cities include Beijing, Shanghai, X'ian, Hong Hong, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Taipei, Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Shenyang, Chongqing and Shenzhen. You will find lots of museums, restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs and history/cultural locations to visit.


8. Public Transport is Excellent

China has an incredible public transport network with busses and trains connecting the whole country. The trains are very quick, modern and also great value for money when you consider the distances involved.


9. You Can Live in China Without Breaking the Bank

China is a great value destination compared to other countries in Asia like Japan, Thailand and South Korea. You can take a gap year in China or live on a budget as rents, food and going out are not too expensive. Of course this can depend on where you choose to live, like some places including Hong Kong and Shanghai can be double than other areas of the country, but compared to other worldwide cities living costs are not too high.


10. There are Beaches

Finally, a lot of foreigners do not realise there are lots of beaches in China even in built up locations like Hong Kong! If you do move to China, you should take time to go and find your favourite.


Related Opportunities

Backpacking Tour of China

Want to head to China? Choose either the epic 25-day full tour of China or go for the shorter 16-day option. This tour is affordable and packed with amazing stops, jaw-dropping sites and exciting activities.

Internship in China Program

Go Abroad China welcomes young, hardworking, highly motivated university graduates and students to place them into internship companies in China for further career development. 

Hong Kong 25 Day Loop

This is a full circuit of China that hits all the top destinations!

Hong Kong to Beijing on a Shoestring

Soak in the vibrant pulse of Hong Kong, float down the Yangtze on a Chinese-style riverboat and walk the Great Wall with other others that share your appetite for adventure. 

Learn Chinese and Gain Business Experience with Gi2C

Countries around the world have vowed to have more Mandarin speakers by 2020 to encourage a closer relationship with China.

Au Pair in China

Earn money in China as an Au Pair for 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 months. Live wit ha welcoming, fully-checked family and work with children to help them improve their English. While you are in China, you will receive 1 to 1 Mandarin lessons.

Teach English ANYWHERE in China! Positions available in 60+ cities.

Now hiring for limited positions in over 60 cities across, China. Warm locations filling up fast!

Volunteer with Pandas in China

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to work with these adorable animals, helping with the feeding of adults and caring for the cubs at a beautiful breeding and rehabilitation centre.

China Family Adventure

Travel as part of a group with other families and explore China on this 14 day overland trip.

Teaching English in China from US$240

Volunteer English teaching in China focuses on developing conversational English skills with Chinese students.

TEFL Paid Teaching and Paid Internships

Paid to teach abroad, sounds great! Get involved in our paid teaching opportunities in China. If you do not have a degree do not worry, we also have something for you. 

University Mandarin Language Program

Sign up with Go Abroad China to get enrolled at some of China's most prestigious universities to study Chinese with other international students! 

Free English teaching placement in China

Gain fantastic teaching experience and behold the marvels of Yangshuo while on your FREE teaching placement.

Gain a TEFL and Teach in China

Gain a TEFL, teach and earn in China for 6 months. This is the perfect way to see at least three locations!





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