China is an amazing country full of wonderful opportunities, breathtaking scenery and incredible food. But living abroad can hold some challenging experiences if you’re unfamiliar with the territory. You can get the most from your experience with the following tips.
1. Do Your Research
Before you depart, research everything you can about the country. Through books, magazines and articles on the Internet you’ll find information about its history. You’ll also learn valuable tips on how to be respect the culture, dress code and traditions. Reading can prove helpful when deciding on a location to live, places to visit and items that may be hard to come by. To help make it an easier transition, try to absorb as much knowledge as you possibly can in advance of your move.
2. Embrace the Culture
A country’s culture can create difficult hurdles for a person when moving. Instead of focusing on the quirks, you want to savor its rich culture. Yoga, Taoism, Taichi, Wushu, Confucianism and Kung Fu are just a few of the many beautiful offerings. You can also integrate by speaking with the locals. Through their wisdom, you may learn valuable customs such as respecting elders and how to accept invitations. What was rude at home may not be poor manners in China, so you need to hone your soup slurping skills.
3. Explore the Country
Although you need to get settled when living abroad in a new country, you want to set aside time to see the amazing sights. You can begin by visiting must-see places such as the Great Wall, Leshan Giant Buddha, The Laojiashan National Forest, Yungang Grottoes, and the Forbidden City. You may also want to get-to-know the country’s complexity by visiting Tibet, Shenyang and Yunnan. To get a better grasp of its history and offerings, enlist the help of a guide. This expert can provide in-depth knowledge about the structures, artifacts and scenery.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Haggle
In certain cultures, haggling is an integral part of the negotiating process. Although a barber, shop owner or food vendor may dictate an amount, you shouldn’t pay full price. The art in haggling is best done by knowing when you should and shouldn’t negotiate. If you’re visiting a small shop, open air market or street vendor, this is a great time to work out a deal. Supermarkets, larger stores and establishments with a fixed price may be firm with the amount. To ensure you get fair value on an item, shop around. You should also be respectful and good humored during negotiations. If the amount is still too high, walk away from the deal. The vendor may have a change of heart as you take your leave.
5. Learn the Language
Learning the language of the country is a sign of respect. It also shows that you are willing to adapt to the country you reside in. While China is home to many languages, Mandarin is the commonly used language. Mandarin is not as difficult to learn as some make it out to be. Even simple phrases at the start can be enough to show the community residents that you are trying. When you need to negotiate, do business, travel or attend to your personal life, you’ll find that speaking the language can prove beneficial in getting ahead. To simplify the process, you want to decide on the simplified or traditional characters. You may pick up the language easier if you adopt an intensive learning program. Although this can take time and money, you’ll be amazed at your progress when you devote the hours. You may also want to enlist the help of non-English speaking residents to assist with your language learning skills.
6. Enjoy the Food
Chinese cuisine is different than the restaurants and carry-out options many have come to know in the United States. But the country has some amazingly delicious fare to try. When living abroad in China, don’t be afraid to try new dishes. Su Dongpo is a tasty dish that is made from pork belly that is braised and pan-fried. If you enjoy spicy food, la zi ji is a flavorful chicken option using peppercorns, chili and sesame. But beware, as it can set your mouth afire. Pork buns, dumplings and ramen soups are other regional foods you may want to start with. If you want to avoid eating foods that you may not find pleasing, it’s best to ask what the item is first.
About the Author: Ella Kim
Ella, Content Manager for trekbible, is a writer and content specialist with a predilection for learning and exploring new places and cultures around the world. With family scattered throughout the U.S. and South Korea, she loves to see cross-cultural influences around the world. Her favorite thing to do on her travels is to taste the local cuisine of each destination.
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