Maxxelli
2/11/2024, 7:45:58 AM

Things to Know - Getting Ready to Move

Moving to a new country can be an exciting and life-changing experience. If you're an expat planning to move to China, there are a few important things you should be aware of to ensure a smooth transition. To help you navigate this beautiful country, here are the top 10 things you need to know before moving to China with regards to getting ready.

Language Barrier:
While English is becoming more widely spoken in major cities 1st and 2nd tier cities, most parts of China primarily use Mandarin as their main language. It's wise to learn basic Mandarin phrases to help you with day-to-day interactions and be better equipped when faced with language barriers.  

Think about it this way, just 1 word a day (even 1 word a week) allows you to break down many of the language barriers ahead.  You don't have to become a linguist, but just a little gets you long ways.

Culture Shock:
China has a rich and diverse culture that may differ significantly from what you're accustomed to. Embrace the differences, be open-minded, and do your best to immerse yourself in the local culture. Develop an appreciation for Chinese customs, traditions, and social norms to create a harmonious living experience.

Understanding the cultural differences allows for a more fluid experience both at work and in daily life.

Visa Requirements:
Obtaining the correct visa is crucial for living and working in China. Research and understand the visa process well in advance to ensure a smooth transition. Consult with the local Chinese embassy or consulate and gather all necessary documentation to avoid any last-minute surprises.

For many, the visa process is supported via an external consulting firm, but even then, be sure to do your own research on all the deadlines.

Healthcare System:
China's healthcare system can be quite different from what you might be used to. Make sure you have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical expenses in China. Research and identify reputable hospitals and clinics near your intended location for any future medical needs.

Part of the Maxxelli service support, we will provide local medical info for hospitals and clinics, but if you or your company need support with a local insurance provider, don't hesitate to ask your Maxxelli consultant.

Pollution Levels:
China, especially in major cities, has faced challenges with air pollution. Check the air quality index (AQI) of your intended destination and consider purchasing an air purifier for your home. It's also advisable to carry pollution masks during times of high pollution levels.

Although pollution levels have improved over recent years, it is still important to monitor the unhealthy days and avoid strenuous outdoor activities. 

Communication Apps:
In China, certain popular communication apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google are restricted. To stay connected with friends and family back home, download and familiarize yourself with Chinese equivalents such as WeChat, QQ, and Baidu maps for navigation purposes.

Be sure to ask your Maxxelli consultant which apps are crucial for daily life in China. 

Banking and Currency:
Setting up a local bank account is essential when living in China. Research different banks and choose one that suits your needs. Familiarize yourself with the local currency (Renminbi, RMB) and ensure you have a convenient method for exchanging or transferring money.

Maxxelli offers support establishing bank accounts.  It is a lengthy process (half day), but again, for daily life it is crucial. 

Etiquette and Social Norms:
China has specific social etiquettes and norms that differ from Western cultures. Familiarize yourself with general guidelines, such as offering and receiving business cards with both hands, respecting personal space, and adhering to dining etiquette, which might include trying various traditional dishes.

It's these small little things that as an expat, can build a connection.

Technology and Internet Restrictions:
In China, certain internet platforms and websites are inaccessible due to government restrictions. Access to foreign social media platforms may be limited. Consider using virtual private network (VPN) services to access blocked content reliably and securely.

Ask you colleagues, friends, or Maxxelli consultant which VPNs are the most popular, but more important, the most reliable. 

Expatriate Community:
China has a thriving expat community, particularly in larger cities. Make an effort to connect with other expats through online forums, social media groups, or local events and gatherings. Networking with fellow expats can provide valuable support, advice, and an opportunity to share unique experiences.

Connecting and getting settled in a community is important.  Never hesitate to reach out when support is needed in those first few months.

Moving to China can be a rewarding adventure filled with new discoveries and exciting challenges. Being aware of these top 10 things beforehand will help ensure a smoother and more enjoyable transition. So, embrace the opportunities China has to offer, and make the most of your experience abroad.

Maxxelli is here to support, never hesitate to reach out!!
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