The 5 Things You Should Do Before You Arrive In China

Before I arrived in China, I thought I had all the time in the world. Even when I received my visa from the Chinese consulate, I thought I was in the clear. Time creeps up and the next thing you know, you are partaking in a journey, to a new country, with a completely different culture. To help make your transition a smooth one, here are my top 5 things to do before your arrival in China.


Make a Packing List

I’m not one for making lists, but they certainly help to keep things in perspective. You can clearly see what you need versus what you think you may need. Remember, you can buy a lot of things once you move to China. There are IKEAs to buy home goods, you can purchase groceries from Walmart, and Tesco and even H&M is popular here for your clothing needs (if that’s your style).


Double Check Everything

Take a few days to the night before to double check everything. Sometimes it is the small stuff that we forget — toothbrush, comb, headset, etc. You know, the everyday stuff you take for granted.


Download APPs in Advanced

If you are going to China, download your VPN ahead of time. ExpressVPN and Astrill are amongst the highly rated platforms for your electronic devices. There are good free VPN apps too. Additionally, Wechat and Alipay are extremely popular here in China. WeChat is better than sliced bread. It is similar to WhatsApp, but you can use it to pay for almost anything such as restaurants, groceries, utility bills, and taxis just to name a few. You can use Alipay to pay your rent or transfer money to a friend to split a bill.


Take Time to Visit Friends and Family

You have most likely signed your contract with EF for 12 or 15 months. In that time span, you are allotted a good amount of vacation days, plus national holidays. However, you will probably want to use this time to travel in Asia, while you’re already on this side of the world. Therefore, spending time with family and friends is crucial before you leave.


Charge Everything

Luckily, some airports have places to charge your devices, but some places do not. You don’t want to be caught at your destination with a dead phone. While it is good practice to have an important number or address written down, having it in your charged phone is much more convenient.


Moving to a new country can be daunting, but you are not alone. You have all the support you need starting from the recruiter, the welcome staff, the instructors and lastly, your school and coworkers.




Teach English, travel and work abroad