If you’re an expat living in China wondering what to do in your off time, never fear! Even though you're away from home and living in a different country, you can still continue your hobbies and favorite activities, and also get involved with new groups and organizations here.
From sports teams, language groups and book clubs to game nights, volunteer groups, and trivia nights, most Chinese cities offer all kinds of activities that you can join to meet people and have fun.
Check out your local city guides to see what groups you can join in your city, such as The Beijinger, The Shanghaiist, That's Guangzhou, etc. You can also check out MeetUp.com and Couch Surfing for events and meet ups.
Here’s how some expats in China have gotten involved in their city groups and organizations:
“There is a lot to get involved in here, just like back home! You just have to make an effort to look for things to do. I haven't personally played any sports, but I have friends that have played on soccer teams (or football, depending where you're from). I also have a couple friends in book clubs, but I'm not as interested in those. However, we do have game nights every so often!
A great way to get involved in things is by asking your coworkers and other foreigners you come into contact with. Many western restaurants will have nights specialized for expats including trivia nights and specialized prices, so those are great places to meet more foreigners, too. The more contacts you make, the more you will get exposed to in terms of China life!
Making local friends will also give you lots of opportunities to discover things that other foreigners aren't aware of. This will also give you a better insight into the culture and social life here in China as well."
Check out these Chinese activities you should try while living in China!
"I haven’t joined a team, but I have signed up for kickboxing in my city. They are happy to have a foreigner practice with them and make me feel very welcomed. I am so happy to have joined because I look forward to going to the kickboxing gym on my days off."
"We organize 5 a-side football each Monday afternoon in Pukou area. It's a good way to keep fit and have some fun outside the office."
"I’m getting organized with a language exchange. Hopefully I can better my Chinese and help someone with English! I also hope to get involved with an animal rescue but I’m still trying to find one in Nanjing."
"In Beijing there are lots of sports teams to join - I play for a women's volleyball team that practices a few times a week and has games every weekend. The teams are sponsored by local bars so after games we'll hang out there. It's a great way to meet more people and have fun after work and on weekends!"
"I am not part of any sports teams. But I joined some classes at my gym. Although there is a language barrier, I have made a friend or two just from our sweat and tears! Nanjing has language exchange on Friday nights at Tap Planet bar and it could be a cool way to make friends."
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