China might seem like a daunting place for people looking to move abroad and there are certainly a lot of misconceptions about life in China.
To set things straight, here are 11 excellent reasons to consider working in China.
Read on and keep an open mind… Looking for a life-changing move? This could be just the thing!
1. Amazing Economic Opportunities
Undoubtedly you've heard about China's incredible economic development in the news. It's all true. The Chinese are getting richer by the minute with huge skyscrapers shooting up all over the place and Chinese citizens proudly walking the streets with their Gucci handbags.
This is great news for expats with more jobs and more demand for anyone ambitious enough to give it go.
2. Upward Mobility in the Workplace
Your foreign expertise and ability to help Chinese companies compete internationally will bring with it the opportunity to become a key player in the company.
This means there is a higher chance you'll be promoted quicker in China than back home, which also means a higher wage!
3. A Luxurious Lifestyle for Less
A great apartment in the centre of Beijing can cost as little as $550 /GBP450 per month. Though wages are lower, you can live very comfortably for less than $1,500 a month.
A huge, delicious and filling Chinese meal for example, can cost as little as $1.50, so saving cash is easy and eating out every night is a normal part of living in China.
4. Learning the Language is Easier than You Think
Learning basic Mandarin is actually pretty easy! The grammar is much easier than English, French or German.
No doubt it will take several years until you can hold a philosophical conversation about Confucius but if you can get some basic vocab under your belt, you'll be chatting away in no time.
As for reading and writing…well that's another matter!
5. Overwhelming Kindness
At first, you might get the impression that the Chinese seem a little indifferent. On the contrary, once you've been introduced, you'll meet some of the kindest and most gracious people in the world.
Your Chinese friends will do everything possible to ensure you feel welcome and happy whilst in China. (This can get a bit awkward, however, when they demonstrate their friendship through some very interesting culinary dishes!)
6. Great Social Life
The big cities offer a 24 hour lifestyle with a huge choice of restaurants, bars and clubs if you're looking for a good night out.
You'll also find a vibrant cultural scene: great theater, rock concerts, art exhibitions, opera, ballet… In the last month alone there's been everything from a Turner exhibition, a Beyonce concert, Irish dancing and Mixed Martial Arts! Your biggest problem will be finding the time to fit it all in.
7. Familiarity from the West
Everything western and familiar to you is there if you want it. On arrival in China people are often shocked by how western it is, given their preconceptions.
In certain areas you'll find yourself surrounded by western shops, burger joints, Italian restaurants and cinemas; you could be in any cosmopolitan city in the world….except it's all a bit cheaper!
8. Outstanding Beauty
China is staggeringly beautiful. Just some of the incredible travel destinations in China include: hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunan, floating down the Li River in Guilin, horse-riding on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, camel racing in the Gobi Desert, visiting Buddhist monasteries on snow tipped mountains in Tibet… Truly incredible!
Whatever you say about the Chinese government, one thing is for sure – you'll feel safe walking the streets. Crime is rare and it's unlikely that you'll see any fights, muggings or theft….unless it is amongst the expats!
10. Phenomenal Food
There are eight different regional cuisines in China. Whether you're an adventurous diner thrilled at the sound of 1000-year eggs and pickled duck feet, or a bit more conservative, you're guaranteed to find a huge range of dishes to suit your palate.
The Chinese take immense pride in their food, and it shows.
11. Accessible Asia
China is an excellent base for your Asian hopping adventures. From Beijing travel north-west for just one hour to Seoul, three hours west to Tokyo, four hours south to Manila or Bangkok and five hours to Singapore. Asia awaits!
Got experience of working in China? What are the downsides? Post up your comments below, we want to hear from you!