As a major world superpower, China has been an attractive place for people to move to and settle for quite some time now.
A land rich in opportunity, culture, and human development, China frequently tops the list for places newly minted professionals can venture to in search of gainful employment and a better life. The economy of China has been growing exponentially in recent years, and their investments in Africa have them uniquely poised to command a serious share of the natural resources market worldwide. Although if you are a Westerner, there will be some adjustments you'll have to make if you expect to fit in perfectly in the Far East.
Here's a few things to keep in mind before setting off to the Red Dragon.
Brush Up On Your Mandarin
While international agencies and most areas heavily frequented by tourists will have enough English knowledge to get you everything you need, there's a good chance you'll run into trouble very quickly if you don't understand some key phrases in China's most popular language, Mandarin. The best way to learn Mandarin is often a mixture of online courses, in-person lessons, and immersing yourself in Chinese culture like watching the news or reading Mandarian-language articles in your spare time. Even simple things like how to order and pay for food as well as saying thank you at the end of a transaction can do a lot to endear you to the locals.
Bring Some Creature Comforts From Home
Another thing you'll quickly learn in China is that there isn't the same level of access to many of the products you know and love from back home. Baby formula and western-style tampons are two noteworthy examples. Consider the things you use on a daily basis and do your research on their availability in China. While the supply you bring with you won't last forever, it can seriously cut down on your adjustment time if you help yourself ease into things with a few familiar items from home.
Prepare For The Great Firewall Of China
Many of the online services you're used to using at home, such as anything owned by Google or Facebook, are completely absent in mainland China. They have their own programs such as Baidu, Renren, and WeChat. Unless you have access to a VPN, you'll have to figure out how you're going to restructure your online presence in China before you move. New email addresses for new services are often necessary, and you should pick an email client that isn't blocked in China so you aren't stuck trying in vain to access an old email for a verification code. Skype is an effective option for communicating with home, just know that if you use the same account you do back home, you might get a code sent to an email you can't access since Skype thinks someone is trying to maliciously access your account.
It might seem daunting to pack up all of your things and change countries, but many people returning from China feel that they've gained much from their experiences, and many never return at all in favor of their newfound homeland. Many of the fears and worries concerning China are little more than misunderstandings or outright falsehoods, it is a place with welcoming people and centuries worth of culture to explore. So whether it be for school, work, or play, moving to China may be one of the most gainful experiences you ever undergo.