Relocation to any foreign country represents a significant change and challenges await those who venture down this path. China is a developing country with a majority of people living a lower standard of living than you might be used to. It is the most populous country in the world containing over 1.33 billion people or 23% of the world’s population. The cities are crowded, and the people are busy.
That is not to say you should not move there. China is rich with culture and history, centered on their ancient civilization. China is the third largest country in the world (by land mass), which means you will never run out of places to visit. There are the tourist attractions, like the Great Wall of China, but since you are going to live there, some of the most rural paths might suit your fancy. The Yangtze River, the ruins of aNeolithic settlement, and ancient trade routes often attract many visitors per year.
The population is vast and varied, with 92% consisting of the Han people. The other 8% represent 55 other nationalities. China has been under communist rule since 1949 but donot let that deter you. The government is pouring massive amounts of money into the infrastructure of the country, making China an attractive location for international settlement and relocation.
Aside from its strong culture and vibrant community, China has a thriving economy. Westerners with unique skills in the labor force like often find internal jobs within international companies. Skills in Information Technology and the financial industries (CPA, accountants) are valued here. The majority of Westerners do well for themselves by teaching English. English is becoming the language of business rather quickly, as it is already an international business language.
Many people who have attempted to relocate to China find the learning curve is higher than expected. It often takes longer to adjust to life in China than they might expect. Some return home, rethinking their decision. Whatever your outcome, your Chinese experience is one that you will not likely forget.
The cost of living in China is dependent on where you live. Chinese cities represent a significant cost increase over some of the rural areas. China is still a developing country, and as such, the average standard of living might be lower than you think. However, most expatriates are offered a higher salary than locals. The low tax rate for foreigners means you can live at a higher standard than you previously enjoyed before you relocated.
Several languages, or dialects, are spoken in China. While English is quickly becoming the language of business, you will be expected to speak Mandarin Chinese, the dialect spoken in and around the Beijing area.
The climate is much like that of the United States. In northern China, expect short summers, and long, cold winters. On the other side of the scale, South China enjoys longer summers and shorter winters. The Yangtze River valley has long, hot, and humid summers, with cold winters that often fall below freezing.
Prepare well for your big move to China. There are guides available written and periodically reviewed by expats who have made the move to China successfully. Remember your manners, and go explore one of the oldest surviving civilizations on the planet.