What do we do before moving to China

Jan 11, 2019

I have recruited foreign teachers (FTs) for over 6 years in China. I wrote these articles in order to provide a quick guide to everything you need to know to prepare before moving to China.                                                                                          ——Noted by the writer

Finding a job
Even though there are many job opportunities in China, I suggest you can contact a reliable agent to help. The word “reliable” indicates that the agent should know the latest visa policy and provide the detailed information of the schools they recommend. 
You can do some research about the cities before you move to China. If you like big cities, you can choose Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, etc. If you like relaxed life with lower living cost, you can consider those second class cities, such as Suzhou, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu, etc. I will write an article specifically for finding a job in China. 

If, on the other hand, you want to go to China to study, finding a vacancy is relatively easy both in private schools and universities. The only thing you will have to do is choose the school or university among the large educational offering that exists in China.


It is easier to find a teaching job than non-teaching job in China. Here we take teaching jobs for example. Obtaining a work visa in China is getting more complicated all the time. The process to obtain the necessary documents can take you between one and two months. Therefore, plan ahead of time.

Normally, the school will take care of your visa. However, not every foreign affair specialist or visa specialist is professional. We need to know the basic requires that allow us to find a teaching job. Please remeber the following requirements:

1) at least two years of work experience (normally after obtaining a university degree)

2) BA degree or above (need to be autherised by Chinese Embassy)

3) Police check  (need to be autherised by Chinese Embassy)

Bank card and Money

The Chinese Yuan is not an international currency and because of that, it will be very difficult to obtain it in your country of origin. However, once you are in China, changing any international currency into Yuan is relatively easy, whether in cash or via a bank transfer to your Chinese bank account.

International cards such as Visa or MasterCard are accepted by the majority of ATMs from the main Chinese banks. However, you should keep in mind that China has its own network called UnionPay and because of this, the majority of businesses won’t accept foreign Visa or MasterCard credit cards.

As I explain later in my other article, when you arrive in China it is advisable to open a bank account even if you are staying for a short period of time. Having an account with a Chinese bank will make your life much easier and will greatly reduce bank commission expenses.

Plane Tickects

I recommend that you buy your plane tickets at least one month in advance. Even if you just want to buy a one-way ticket, I recommend that you check the prices for round-trip tickets because there are many companies whose one-way tickets are much more expensive than their round-trip ones.

In addition, I imagine that if you are moving to China, you will take along a lot of luggage. So, it’s a good idea to check out the baggage policies of the different companies.

While I don’t recommend one particular company, considering that the deals can vary from one place to another, Air China could be a good option. With Air China, the flight prices are added up separately (you don’t get a discount for a round-trip ticket) and in addition, on the majority of inter-continental flights, they allow you to check two 25kg bags.

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