Moving to China can represent a significant challenge for even the most hardened expat. China is the third biggest country in the world by land mass and has the largest population at just over 1.33 billion people (23% of the world’s total population). Because of the large numbers of people living in the cities they are extremely busy and crowded places that are full of the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.
China is a place that is rich with culture and history, both of which centre around their ancient civilization. Because it is such a vast country it is a fascinating place for expats to live in and explore, and there are many places to visit, from the ruins of the Neolithic settlements through to the ancient trade routes.
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 expats 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.
China’s thriving economy and promising future entails that it is becoming increasingly popular for international people. 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 very low. However, the majority of expatriates are offered salaries that are much higher than that provided to the locals and the low tax rates on offer mean that quite often expats who are based here have a higher standard of living than they previously enjoyed in their home country.
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.