TOPICS

Moving

Making the move from a Western country to Chi a huge change, even if you have moved to other countries and experienced different cultures before, like. Find out what you should know to get ready.

preparationhousing
preparation

How to Prepare Yourself for an International Move

No matter if you plan to come here with just two suitcases or with your entire household, there are some specific things to consider for moving to China.

Some items that you may take for granted at home are difficult to buy here. Some things you were planning on bringing with you may be of little use here due to different standards.  

Knowing what to bring and what not to bring will free up space in your moving bags for items that count.

Everyone also has their own comfort level when it comes to their health and well-being. Personal safety is a common concern in any big city. Especially in China, the potential impact of air pollution is also a hot topic. Understanding the new environment you are moving to beforehand can give you some peace of mind and the right tools to protect yourself.

housing

Where to Live and What to Expect

To find the best housing for your needs, you first need to make sure you and anyone moving with you is clear on their needs and expectations. Prepare yourself and learn about your new country and culture. Be honest with yourself how much culture shock you might experience, and how much you are willing and able to handle.

Focus on 5 key things when looking for a place: commute, access to western amenities, price, required language skills, and level of immersion. You may not find everything you are looking for in one place. Understanding your options helps to determine your very own priorities and thereby narrow down the area to search in for housing.  (I wish some of that had been clearer to me when we first came. We may not have made a different choice but I would have been better prepared to handle it.)

Exploring different neighborhoods is the next step to get a feel for the specific areas and how they fit you and your family. You will likely need the help of agents to find an apartment to rent in Beijing in an area you like. Depending on the area and your budget, there are compounds with Western amenities and more Chinese style houses.