5 Tips for Living a Comfortable Expat Life in China

China has become an ideal place to live and work in for expats, and it’s no mystery why. China is home to many of the world’s up-and-coming cities, the cost of living in a typical Chinese city is a fraction of the cost compared to many other countries, and job opportunities from technology to language teaching are increasing in cities all across the mainland.

If you plan to live and work in China, here are a few tips to make your transition and life there an experience of a lifetime.

Practice speaking Mandarin

Learning basic Mandarin Chinese can greatly enhance your expat experience in China. Chinese locals are often very hospitable and eager to talk to foreigners, even more so if they see that foreigners are also eager to learn about their language and culture. If you know basic Chinese you can easily try out new things, visit new places and learn more about the culture without needing help at every turn.

Don’t be afraid to try out the food

Chinese food has long been tabloid fodder for international news outlets due to questionable food preparation practices. The reality is that cases like these are few and far between, especially in a country where billions of people live. Chinese cuisine is exciting and varies from region to region, which means that you’ll have a good time sampling a wide array of gustatory offerings if you live and work in China, especially if you are a foodie. To make sure that you are going to a trusted restaurant, look at restaurant reviews online, look for sanitary ratings that are provided by government health inspectors, and ask around. Your local friends are some of the best people to ask for tips on about where to eat.

Seek out expat groups

More and more cities in China are becoming home to many expats living, working, and studying there, which means you are bound to find a group or two. Expat groups are great places to get the best recommendations about where to go for food, drinks, travel tips, work tips, medical care, insurance, and the like.

Get a good quality air filter

Sadly, many places in China tend to become polluted, especially during the summer and winter months, when home indoor air conditioners run non-stop. Investing in a quality air filter is one way to ensure that you are breathing clean air indoors, especially since you also do not know what other toxic materials in your apartment are adding to the air pollution in your home.

Know where the good toilets are.

Squat toilets are everywhere in China, especially in public places like bus stops, train stations, and parks. And while squat toilets are perhaps better for you healthwise, many expats often take time to adjust to this kind of toilet situation, especially if this is their first time coming to and living in China. If you are just getting used to squat toilets and you prefer Western toilets in the meantime, knowing where to find them can help. Western-style toilets are often easy to find in the bigger malls and Western-style hotels. If you are in a public place such as a park, you can often find a single Western toilet in the restroom inside the very last stall.

Expat life in China is exciting and colorful, especially if you know the language and you are not afraid to get to know the culture and interact with friendly locals. Keep these tips in mind if you are new to China and you want to make the most out of your time in the country.

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business, chinese, customs

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