Living in China Living Guide – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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China is a wonderful place to live and work. And for many reasons, its extensive cuisine, deep and alluring history, thriving economy, and unparalleled natural beauty is a great thing to explore. And having lived in the country for many years, we’ve taken our experiences to compile a guide to help you.
If you really care about the country, it’s high time you learn more about its language. Besides, you can be living in China and working in Chins with glee and an easy time. Similarly, if you have a business idea, relocating to China should be among your plan. So, are ready to explore the whole city of China in a day?
Of course, you may find it hard to explore the whole city in one day. However, China tends to be an expensive country for expat services, and you must be ready for it. Moreover, if you can live like a local, traveling to China would seem relatively easy. Guess what! The ability to survive here is fine, unlike other countries in the world.
So, if you’ve been surfing the internet to get the right information about relocating to China as an expat, worry less, as we’ve got you covered. China is a vast and diverse country made up o 26 provinces steeped in local traditions and customs. Explore this page to learn more about the standard of living.
On the other hand, we will walk you through the benefits of living in China as an expat. Not only that, but we have compiled some interesting facts about this country. And with such facts and advantages, you’ll understand what it takes to become a Chinese man. Does that sound interesting? Read further!
Chinese Visa for Expats
There are three main types of visas for expats who want to live long-term in the country. The first one is the work visa, the study visa, and the private visa. Moreover, the study visa is given to those who a Chinese college or university would have admitted for study. It’s also known as the X1/X2 visa type.
To break down this X1/X2, you should understand the fact that the X1 visa is for students who plan to study in China for more than six months, and it can be issued multiple times or entries with a validity of up to five years. Meanwhile, the X2 visa is meant for students who come to China to study for less than six months and is single-entry only.
Furthermore, the work visa is issued to those who have obtained employment in China. However, a private visa is issued to those who intend to go to China to live with an immediate family member working or studying in China. This immediate family member refers to parents, daughters under the age of 18, sons, spouses, and many others, to mention a few.
Also, always know that a visa is required for entry into China. While there are also business and tourist visas, obtaining a visa to visit the country is tricky and time-consuming, and it requires documentation of where you plan to stay and what you plan to do in the country. Again, in order to get a visa in China, you should be ready to appear in person at the visa office.
This way, you’ll need to plan ahead and ensure you have the proper documentation, money for fess, and a plan to get either yourself or a representative to your assigned visa office. Well, that’s just a glimpse of understanding what visa collection or application is likely to be in the Chinese world.
Interesting Facts about Living in China
China is the world’s third-biggest country by territory, and it has the largest population in the world. Aside from this fact, it’s one of the longest-running civilizations on earth with its unique and attractive culture. Not only that, but it has developed at record speed to become the second-largest economy. More so, china holds innumerable attractions for tourists to explore. Below are the interesting facts.
Plenty of Ethnic Groups in China
It’s no doubt that about 56 ethnic groups are living in China today. Most minority groups have their own distinctive culture, and some even have their own language and writing system. Moreover, the largest group, the Han, occupies almost 91 percent of the whole population in the country. Also, among the 55 minority groups, Zhuang, Manchi, Hui, and Miao have the largest population.
China Enjoys Great Language Diversity
Chinese is the origin of the only surviving pictographic writing system in the world. It is often believed to be the world’s most spoken and most difficult-to-learn first language. Meanwhile, Mandarin is the official Chinese and is taught in schools all over the country. But there are many dialects to the language.
This is because; some regions have their own distinct languages. For example, Cantonese is spoken in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Amazing Destination for Expats
China is one of the best countries and expat destinations for individuals that want to experience world trade and its culture. The largest collection of 2,000-year-old life-size figurines, the Terracotta Army, and the world’s largest ancient palace are in the country. Not only that, but there are also beautiful Guilin, the renowned Yellow Mountains, the splendid Yangtze river, the lovely pandas, and the beaches at Sanya.
Chinese Use Sticks (Eating)
Oftentimes, you’ll see that the Chinese use sticks to eat. This system was invented during the Shang Empire times (1600-1046 BC). And at first, Chopsticks were generally kitchen utensils, but they became the common way to eat meals in the Ming Dynasty from 1368 to 1644. Meanwhile, one is the funniest things to do in China is trying all the different kinds of authentic Chinese food, and it’s even more fun when you try to eat like the natives.
Kites were Invented in China
If you’ve wanted to know the origin of kites, look no further! Research made it known that the Chinese have been flying kites for nearly three thousand years. Also, it’s said that two philosophers invented them in the 5th century BC. They have Silk fabric, and it was sewn on bamboo frames. And that’s why you too can enjoy flying kites with Chinese kids and adults.
Chinese Invented Soccer
Research has revealed that the first kind of football was invented in China. According to FIFA (Federation International de Football Association), football, the most popular sport in the world, was invented in China over two thousand years ago during the Han Dynasty in the second and third centuries. The sport was refined during the Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty. Also, professional players entertained the imperial court, and it was called cuju back in those days.
Chinese People Draw Pictures
Another interesting fact about living in China is that the people write by drawing pictures in this country. Moreover, their characters are known as hanzi, and it’s a pictographic writing system. It’s also the oldest continuously used writing system in the world. Again, its history is dated back to as far as the Shang Dynasty when they were inscribing ideographs on oracle bones. Meanwhile, research revealed that Chinese characters are used by more than a billion people.
Home to the Funniest Place
Guilin is the funniest place to visit because you can get out into the striking limestone countryside and enjoy recreational activities such as river rafting, seeing villagers and staying in villages, biking, and many others, to mention a few. Moreover, Yangshuo is especially a favorite town for young people and backpackers, with its exotic countryside resort feel.
Chinese Restore Their Virginity
Have you ever heard of Chinese virginity restoration before? Well, if your answer sounds like a No, we’ve got you covered. Moreover, restoring virginity is possible and quite popular in China. Also, it’s a plastic surgery that has a medical name called hymenorrhaphy. With that being said, Chinese women pay a lot of money for reconstructing their hymens before the wedding night. And they just want their future husbands to find out that they are not virgins anymore.
Weird Table Manner in China
China is one of the countries that you’d likely experience the weirdest table manners. This is because; the behaviors that are considered rude in China are greatly acceptable in the country. Some of these unlikely behaviors include spitting, yawning, burping, and grunting. After spending more time in the country, I didn’t really know how to behave but later understood that they have weird table manners.
Benefits of Living in China Today
If you found yourself on this platform, you’re probably thinking of visiting a country or precisely China. And you want to know the kind of life to expect in a Chinese city. Well, we have compiled the pros and cons of living in China that can give you a sneak peek. Without further ado, let’s quickly take a look.
Cheaper Living Expenses
If you’ve ever been looking for a country with cheap labor and living expenses, China is the first on the list, and this is one of the biggest advantages of living in the country. Even though the housing price in Tier-one cities such as Beijing and Shanghai is notoriously high, the living expense, on average, is relatively low. The train system is as well different from other countries because of the country’s population.
Convenience in China
As we said in our previous point, the high-speed rail system in the country will easily take you from one city to another city in a very short period of time. Meanwhile, the trains can reach the speed of more than 300 km/hr between the major cities. Apart from inter-city traffic, the public transport systems within each city have unique features too. And it’s fun to take a bus tour in Beijing or Chengdu.
Additionally, technology adds another layer of convenience to live in China. In all cities, everything can be done and paid for on the phone through apps or even Wechat built-ins. Moreover, there’s absolutely no cash involved, and you don’t need to take any physical money when you go out o the city or anywhere in the country.
Absolutely Super Safe
China is absolutely super safe compared to any other countries you might think of. During my life in other countries, including London and France, I never stop keeping an eye on my belongings and watch my back. Even with this level of cautiousness, my phone was stolen one night outside a bar in London. However, this kind of scenario would be much rarer to happen in China.
This is due to the fact that there are no robbers in the street at night because a lot of police officers are patrolling the streets to ensure safety. With that being said, there are plenty of street cameras with facial recognition systems. And of course, we won’t guarantee absolutely no crime, but statistically speaking, the crime rate in China is very low compared to other big cities in the world.
More Opportunities and Huge Demands
Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for expat living in China. Apart from being n English teachers, foreigners have tons of options as well. And since more and more expats are needed, the policy regarding visas and working permits is getting more supportive. Moreover, you can come to the country to study, work as a foreigner or help several companies break into the Chinese market.
The financial advantage of living in this country is unquestionable. In fact, English teachers are so in demand right now that schools and institutions are offering sensationally attractive packages, including a tax-free housing stipend, top-notch health insurance, visa-cost reimbursements, and a load of extra perks. More so, for intrepid teachers who want it all, China is quite unbeatable.
High Standard of Living
While there’s a high standard of living in the country, the cost of living is on the low side. And for this fact, it’s a winning combination, coupled with the high salaries that make China such an appealing teaching destination. Besides, life in China is inexpensive, even in megacities. And when compared to most of Europe, North America, and definitely Australia and New Zealand, there’s a ton of options to keep.
Independence and Freedom
The irony of expat living in China is that, despite what you have read, you’ll have a lot of freedom living in the country. Also, parents, in particular, find it liberating to be in a culture that doesn’t judge parenting styles. Yet, for every foreigner, it can be as simple as not having family and friends around expecting you to work and live a certain way. Besides, this is one of the most revered benefits of living in the country.
Cons of Living in China as an Expat
China Cultural Shock
While moving to china can relatively be easy, you may find it hard to adapt to cultures and traditions. From spitting out chicken bones on the floor of a fancy restaurant to the morning throat clearing practice, the toddler toilet-training in public, the smoking everywhere and the yelling at the top of one’s voice, to get a waiter attention, and many others, China could be very tiring for the first time.
Also, it certainly takes a while to get used to seeing certain things. But, in China, their house is their rule. Plus, add to that the language barrier, and it’s a whole new level of culture shock indeed.
Social Isolation and Loneliness
Traveling to those idyllic rural areas is very wonderful, but living here could somewhat be boring and very isolating. In fact, even a new life started in a big city can be lonely if you don’t have family or friends living around. But thankfully, there are many ways to combat loneliness as an expat in the country.
Homesickness and internet Restrictions
Homesickness could be a natural consequence of all the above pros and cons of living in China. Inexpensive international flights notwithstanding, it’s not like you can o home whenever you choose to. But your teaching commitments will likely not leave you with a lot of free time to head back to the country for a visit. And this is where those comforting expat social networks become your lifeline.
On the flip side, internet restriction is prominent in China. Of course, it’s a bummer, but there’s nothing that a hardy VPN can’t fix. In the long run, you can refer to this platform to know more about China and its internet restriction policies.
Tough Language to Learn
If you’re planning to live in China, always prepare for a tough language. A big part of being an expat in a foreign land includes the frustrations, trials, and joys of learning a new language. However, understanding the Chinese (Mandarin) dialect spoken in most large cities is known to be a challenge to emigrants.
Primarily, the entirely different and unreadable alphabet will be the first barrier to a native English speaker. Also, multiple uses of the very similar sounding syllabus will be the next, and these two together can often be enough for people to throw in the towel. Yet, simple grammar and verb conjunctions make life easier, as does the fact that many Chinese people speak very good English.
Pollution and Rising Cost
Although improving each, pollution in China can be quite bad. And this is because; there are tons of manufacturing companies in the cities. Thankfully, the pollution is not as bad out in the country or some less populated cities. However, as with everywhere, China is experiencing rising costs, and no one could predict those rising costs wills top.
Cost Of Living in China
The cost of living in China is such a broad and subjective concept that it is hard to know where to start. This is because; a suitable home for one person is an impossible shoebox for someone else. And in China, the variations of expats and incomes are so broad, and your location will largely determine where to stay. This also determines how much rent you’ll need to pay in the long run.
Now, the actual paperwork of visa will cost you nothing less than 3,000 RMB, transportation cost on average could be 25 RMB, health and fitness can vary. In comparison, education costs more than 6,000 RMB depending on your choice of schools and other educational facilities. You can check our blog post for a more detailed description of China’s living costs for expats.
Frequently Asked Questions about China
Is it worth learning the Mandarin language?
The main language in China is Standard Chinese or Standard Mandarin, which is based on central Mandarin. So, the decision is yours to take advantage of the opportunity to learn the language. Moreover, Cantonese is mostly spoken in Hong Kong, Macau, and the Guangdong Province.
How’s life in China for expats?
There’s more to explore in China, but there can be a strong gender stereotype in the country. And often, it’s difficult for women in a managerial positions to mend with the rules and regulations. More so, a bad dating scene for women is usually a popular topic of discussion on expat different expat forums.
Is China safe for foreigners?
Of course, yes! As mentioned earlier, China is a safe expat destination. Meanwhile, one of the largest dangers to expats is food safety, as many people suffer from disease and bacteria resulting from unclean or improperly cooked foods. Besides, pollution is another safety hazard that can affect expats, especially those with underlying respiratory issues.
Can foreigners live in China?
Yes, foreigners can definitely stay in china only if they can adapt to the cons mentioned above. Also, expats living and working in China are mostly found in cosmopolitan cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. All this, coupled with the vivacity of regular life, boosts one to stay in the country for long.
Where can I move to in China?
There are many places suitable for expat to live in china. People often get nervous at the thought of living in china but worry less. Some of the best places for expat include Shenzhen, Beijing, Chongqing, and many others, to mention a few.
To live and work in China, you need to obtain a valid Visa card. Because of the large number of people living in this country, we advise you to make excellent research before relocating. And that’s why we’ve compiled this article. Refer to this guide for more information about moving to China today.