Moving to Greater China as a graduate

Moving to Greater China as a graduate

What are the steps it’ll take to get you settled on the other side of the world?

China is considered one of the most popular emigration destinations in Asia. People from around the world have arrived in China in the last few years, usually with the intent to ascend professionally by starting with an internships abroad. China’s emerging economy is an excellent foundation for an emigrant. But moving to China can represent a significant challenge for even the most hardened graduates, as the large numbers of people living in the cities means that China can be extremely busy and crowded, and is full of the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.

China is full of career opportunities, high earnings and great opportunities, which is perfect for summer internships for young adults. Especially in the big cities of the east coast, the demand for skilled workers is high. Other advantages of cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai are good quality lifestyle, a stable health system and major advances in science and research. Furthermore they are rich with culture and history. It is a fascinating place for graduates to live in and explore, and there are many places to visit around China.

Immigration should be planned carefully, as those who go head over heels to China run the risk of not being happy about the move. They should try to learn the local language, research about the country, local people and culture. In addition, some start-up capital is essential so that the emigrant is financially secure and can live comfortably.

It is also important to consider the reasons for emigrating. What draws me to China? Why China? Why an internship abroad? Why work in China? Usually people leave their home country because they are not satisfied with their current situation or they want to explore a new opportunity. Potential emigrants should be aware that in China has a completely different culture and language. Many leave their home country and do not feel comfortable in China, and then they become homesick. To avoid this, research, preparation is essential and emigrants should move when they are ready to live in China.

Moving to Greater China as a graduate

Moving to China can be both exciting and frustrating. Having an opportunity to live side by side with people from this strong and vivid culture provides graduates with a vibrant experience that is enriched with an opportunity to learn from people who have a very different perspective on the world. However, it is also a place of significant challenges that are impeded by language barriers and differences in cultural behaviors. There are, however, a large number of expatriate groups that can help foreigners to fit in and find new like-minded friends.

A large number of Westerns work in China by teaching English, whilst others are working in  multinational companies. Almost all of them find that it can take a significant period of time to adjust to life here. Regardless the outcome, spending time in this unique and different culture will almost certainly provide you with an experience that you will never forget.

The cost of living

The cost of living in China is something that is often misunderstood. It is worth remembering that China is still a developing country and the living standard for the majority of the population is lower than other countries. The cost of living in the major cities in China did increase recently, as in the 2012 Mercer Cost of Living survey, which showed that cities in China can be expensive to live in. Shanghai was named as the most expensive city in China at position 16, following by Beijing at 17.


China has a varied climate because of its vast size. The north has short summers and can get extremely cold in the winter. The central area, along the Yangtze River valley, has a long and humid summer, which has very high temperatures. Here too the winters are very cold and it not uncommon for temperatures to fall below freezing. Southern China has hot summers and short winters.

LanguageChinese Language

Language: Several different Chinese languages are in existence throughout China; 70% of the population speaks Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect) whilst the remaining people speak Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese) and other minority languages. English is becoming increasingly important as a business language.

Note: Key facts

  • Any contracts you are required to sign in China will always have an English and a Chinese version. In the event of a dispute the Chinese version of the contract will take precedence so you should always get contracts checked before you sign them.
  • Whilst healthcare in the cities is readily available, some rural clinics may refuse to provide foreigners with treatment. You should check with the local hospitals in advance and always make sure you have identified a suitable clinic in the event of any emergencies.
  • Many of China’s public hospitals will not accept medical insurance from abroad; you will therefore need to find suitable insurance within China itself.
  • Checks are not generally accepted as a valid form of payment in China.
  • Foreigners living in China are encouraged to take photographs of their furniture and belongings as proof or ownership in the event they are lost or stolen.

After you’ve done your research. You’ve learned about the Chinese culture and the lay of the land, you’ve discovered the work you want to do or the program you plan to study. You may have even picked up a little Chinese and fancy yourself ready for the lingual challenge. Now what? What are the steps it’ll take to get you settled on the other side of the world? 

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