When you turn on the news, log onto Social Media or simply go shopping: it’s all about China. From “Made in China” to a world “mega power,” the country has become an attractive destination for many professionals, and people who want to become professionals, from all over the globe.
Even I packed my bags and moved to China in 2012, went back to the US to finish my Bachelor’s degree, and returned in early 2014 to pursue my luck.
China is among the top destinations for expats, and this certainly has its reasons. First of all, and the most attractive reason for lots of people, China’s cost of living is considerably lower than in the West. I live in a cozy 2 bedroom apartment in the city center and only pay 2200 RMB (US$350, €280). If I wanted to, I could eat out every day, and I don’t worry about if I have enough money to go to the movies, karaoke, or a nightclub. Utilities and cellphone plans are dirt cheap compared to home so that I’m not worried about using too much data on my phone or keeping the A/C on for too long.
Second, foreigners in China have it much easier than foreigners in the West.
Chinese people treat foreigners very well and are welcoming, and it sometimes even seems like they put you on a golden throne. Now, I’m not saying that foreigners aren’t treated with respect back home, but they certainly do face more problems in my opinion, and what I heard from friends. People are impressed when they hear me talk Chinese and don’t “expect” me to.
Another reason why I can recommend living in China is the variety of travel destinations in and outside the country. Since China is the third largest country on Earth, it offers something for everybody: topical beaches, mountains, forests, jungles and deserts. And the food is just as varied. Other attractive locations, such as South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam or Malaysia, are only a few hours by plane away, and the high-speed train makes it possible to travel thousands of miles within only a few hours for a fraction of the price overseas.
Last but not least, experience overseas, especially in a country with a culture so different from your own, is valuable. In today’s business world, you need to be unique, and having China on your résumé opens hundreds of doors for future career opportunities back home, in China, or somewhere completely new.
Don’t be afraid. You can make it in China. Take the next step, apply for internships or jobs in this wonderful country, and broaden your horizons! You won’t regret it!
Find more about working in China here.
About the writer: Linda is a German/American professional who currently lives in the city of Changsha, in China’s Hunan Province. She works in Marketing and writes passionately about life in China & Korea, language learning (Chinese and Korean), travel in Asia, and her relationship with a Korean man on her blog.