China is a country that is very different from every other country in the world. From the food, culture, people, and technology, this country is truly incomparable. As a foreigner, we are privileged to have many different aspects of life in China that we can take advantage of and use to benefit us now and in the future!
Chinese Holidays and Traveling To Asian Countries
If you are moving to China, you are in a perfect position to see even more of the world! China is placed ideally in the Asian continent for traveling and has government holidays almost every month. Amazing countries such as South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines are less than 4 hours away by plane! In addition, China’s strong economy makes the RMB very strong in surrounding countries, allowing you to have more while spending less! In Thailand, I was able to do a full-day, 4-island tour for less than $25 USD! I have been living in China for 6 months and I have already had the opportunity to visit several cities in China as well as Thailand and South Korea for only a small fraction of what I would typically pay if I was living in America. The best part of this is, many of these trips are taken during the Chinese holidays so using my annual leave in my contract wasn’t required! Even if you are only here for a year, you can visit several countries and indulge in various cultures if timed correctly and budgeted properly.
Before I moved to China I had heard that you have the opportunity to save money living abroad, but I truly did not understand until I moved and got settled in Shanghai. China has one of the most efficient and cheapest forms of traveling. My current job is almost an hour away from work and the cost of my transit is only 80 cents! Taxis to get around the city can be as cheap as $2 and there are bikes on every corner that cost less than $1 to operate! Meals at my job are dropped off by delivery drivers range from $4-$7 USD including the delivery charge! I even have a maid (it’s called ayi in China) that cleans my apartment for less than $7 a week! And on top of all of that, I pay less than $10 for my phone bill monthly! As a recent college graduate, this is great for my student loan payments and savings plan. China’s lifestyle allows you to handle your adult responsibilities and still have money for social/extracurricular activities.
Opportunity to Learn Mandarin
Mandarin is one of the most spoken languages in the world and China has one of the most powerful and growing economies in the world. The opportunity to learn a language while being immersed in the culture is one that few have, and that even less take advantage of. There is no guarantee, but it’s hard to believe that having the ability to communicate with over 1 billion people will not lead to a standout job application, new friendships, or new job opportunities! China’s economy is still growing at a steady rate and does not look like it will stop anytime soon meaning the opportunities will only continue to grow with this language.
Networking In A Foreign Country
When I moved to China, I knew that I was going to be around a lot of Chinese people. What I did not expect is to be around so many foreigners from all around the world. Whether I am at work, my favorite restaurant, or the gym, I am constantly surrounded with people from various countries around the world. With these differences comes great networking potential! I know financial accounts, engineers, teachers, public relation managers, football & basketball players, and many more professions that work in China and throughout the world. The professional network I currently have would be impossible if I still lived in the United States. The opportunity to network globally is one that very few have so make sure you take advantage of it! You never know where it may lead you.
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Wesley Hammonds is a native of Atlanta, Georgia who loves to travel, experience, and share his culture with others. In his free time, he enjoys exercising, watching movies, and exploring new places. Wesley has been with EF kids and teens since May 2018.