The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China

Rachel Weiss
Career China Digital Marketing Manager
Oct 13, 2019

Career China's Ultimate Guide to Moving to China to Teach English

We know there is a lot of information to learn about China! Here is the ultimate guide that will help you learn everything you need to know about moving to China - from the visa process, packing, and useful APPS, to the cost of living, renting an apartment, and what expat life is like.


1. Visa Documents

2. Costs

3. Money

4. Housing

5. Packing

6. Safety

7. Travel

8. Technology

9. Food

10. Family

11. Expat life

12. Expat Q&A

13. Work

14. Online Teaching

15. Chinese Culture

16. Chinese Language


1. Visa

Preparation at home

Everything you need to know to prepare for your Work Permit Notification - this includes information about all the documents needed to submit before you can apply for your entry Visa in China. All the documents at this stage are important. If you have any questions talk to your Visa Case Manager!


Entry Visa to China

This is your Visa into China. You will have 30 days to extend this entry visa into to your Residence permit. Check out more information to find the differences between each stage.


Medical Exams

Here is more information about getting your medical exam completed in China and all you should know about the hospitals in China.


Residence Permit (1 year Visa)

This is the final step of your Visa Process, which occurs when you are in China. Once you receive this, you will have a legal Work Permit and Residence Permit. 

2. The Cost of Living in China

Before You Arrive in China Costs

Learn more about the fees involved with the visa process, moving to China, and fees you'll pay before your first paycheck.


Daily Costs

Learn more about daily costs of living in China - anything from cost of food, transportation, and entertainment.


Monthly Costs

What costs do you need to budget for every month in China? Rent is a big cost that you should consider - find out what else you need to think about. 

3. Money in China


Preparing Money

What money does China use? How much should you bring in cash? Can you use your card from your home country? Read up about preparing your money before you arrive in China. Make sure you budget correctly!


Calculating Salary Tax

Paying For Things

Did you know you can use cash, card and your phone? In China you can, find out how through our useful guides on paying for different things.


Saving Money

The cost of living in China is very affordable! If you want to learn more about saving money, check out how you can pay off loans and budget your salary.

4. Housing in China


Differences in Chinese Apartments

There are many differences between apartments in China compared to what you will find at home - take a look at some of the main differences.


How To Rent An Apartment in China

Renting an apartment anywhere in the world is stressful. Learn more about the process of renting in China, how to find an apartment, and some tips for signing a contract.

 Apartment Tours

Want to see how current expats live? Take a look into many different apartments around China, from Beijing to Nanjing to Chongqing.


5. Packing For China


Packing Checklist

Before you head of to China, make sure you’ve arranged everything back home; tell your bank you will be moving abroad, unlock your phone, and have all your documents in order. Also don’t forget to only pack what you need - don’t forget your socks and adapter!


Know what products you can or can’t find in China…spoiler, most things you can find here in China! But, if you are particular in your products, whether it be clothing, shoes or cosmetics, you may want to stock up! Be careful not to overpack your suitcase though!

6. Safety in China



Want to know how to keep your passport safe while travelling and when living in China? Make sure to read up about what happens if you lose your passport in China!


China Truths

People have misconceptions about safety in China, but is it all true? Learn about the reality of it and how you can keep yourself safe!



Keep up with our safety tips in China, and make sure you don’t fall into one of the tea traps!

7. Travel



What vaccinations should you get before arriving in China?



Whether you are taking a long flight to China or traveling around by high speed train, be aware of your travel arrangements and know your baggage allowance!



China has multiple public holidays throughout the year, so find out what places are the best to see and when is the best time to travel.



There are plenty of places to visit in and around China - find out the best time to go from current expats who have traveled. There’s so much to see in Asia, so you should make the most of each trip!



Travelling in and around Asia is like nothing you will ever experience. Make sure you know how to stay safe, but also have fun and travel like a local!


Expat Experiences

Check out some of our current expats experiences when travelling, steal their travel tips and see if you can top our #AmazingChinaChallenges.

8. Technology in China


How To Unlock Your Phone/Chinese SIM Card

Having a working phone is very important before you arrive in China, make sure your phone is unlocked to use a Chinese sim card.


Top APPs Used in China

Technology is huge in China, so it is best to get a smartphone and keep up with what’s going on through different APP’s! WeChat is China’s leading APP, which allows allowing you to do almost everything you need to in China! See what else to download.

Paying With Apps



If you want to have access to everything online, make sure to download a VPN before you arrive in China. If you do not understand why, then find out through our blog posts!


9. Food


Types of Food

China has a variety of food, so check out our tips on what to try!


Vegetarian Options

Being a vegetarian is easier than you think! Follow our current expat’s tips on how to find food suitable in your city.


Chinese Dining Habits and Traditions

You may notice different habits or manners at the dinner table in China! Learn more about dining etiquette and traditions in China.


Food APP’s

Food is popular in China, and there is no better place for someone who likes to order in. You can even order McDonald’s to your door! 

10. Family


Bringing Your Children

Want to bring your children to China but worried about childcare? Let us help you understand how it works in China by guiding you through the different options available.


Bringing Your Pet

You can bring your pet to China, but be warned it can be a process! Make sure you know the rules and regulations before making the big move.


Parents Concern

Do your parents have worries about you traveling to China? Don’t fret - so do many others! Find out what other expat parents have experienced and share with your family! 

11. Expat life


City Life

Every city in China is different. Be guided through what life is like in one of them with our blogs and video’s with current expats in China!



There are many new things to do and find in a city! There are lots of groups to join and new people to meet. We’ll help guide you around what you will usually find in a city.



Moving to a new country and city is daunting and can take its toll on your health, not to mention there are also different weather conditions. Make sure you are looking after yourself with our health guides and learn what medicines you can find.



Being able to get around your city is important! Read more about the different types of transportation in China. China is a vast growing country when it comes to technology!

12. Expat Q&A


Expat Experiences

Read and listen to the stories of all types of expats living and traveling through different cities of China. Some have years of experience, and some just arrived. See if they can answer some questions you may have or clarify thoughts you are worried about!

Day To Day Life

Check out our Instagram Story Takeovers and other day to day experiences in China! Real expats take you through their daily life in China.

13. Work

Teaching Tips and Demos

Need some help with preparing a demo or interview? Check out our tips!


Types of Schools

What are the different types of schools you can find in China? There are so many kinds of schools – the education industry in China is huge!


Salary and Taxes in China

How much does an ESL teacher make? And how do your tax work exactly? Use our guide to help understand the Chinese tax system! Trust us, it can get confusing.


Expats Experiences Working

Want to hear about other Expat working experience in China? Learn about the differences between working in the West compared to the East of the world. 

14. Online Teaching

There are many opportunities to teach online in China! Here are some tips and resources for teaching online.

15. Chinese Culture



China has multiple holidays and celebrations to enjoy all year round! Find out more about what happens during these times and how you can join the fun!



Like every country, China has its own stereotypes and common assumptions. But what is true and what isn’t? Find out and explore the traditions of China by immersing yourself in its quirks!

16. Chinese Language


Survival Chinese

Learn how to survive your first few weeks with just a little Chinese! We share our tips here.


Elementary Chinese

Meet [QUĀ] the creator of Elementary Chinese and learn some Chinese phrases before you arrive that will be useful in everyday life!

Recommended for you
Latest Posts