As China's economy keeps growing, an increasing number of foreigners are planning a relocation to Beijing. China is the second largest economy in the world, and there are many job opportunities for expats. Beijing is the political center in China, but it is also the center for culture and for business.
Many foreigners in Beijing work for the international corporations that are moving to China to take advantage of its opening economy. There are job opportunities in IT, foreign banking, finances, accounting and other fields in foreign-owned companies. However many foreigners also come to China to teach English.
If you have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) diploma there are many opportunities to teach English in China; if you do not have one, consider getting one to help you find work. If you are planning to work in Beijing, you will need a Chinese work permit.
Over 22 million people live in Beijing and the city is huge in size, too. As the economy keeps growing, livings costs are rising. Beijing is developing fast, but there are historical landmarks, such as The Forbidden City almost at your doorstep. It is best to get used to the idea of living in a crowded city. The crowds, the traffic and the pollution levels are typical concerns for foreigners trying to adjust to living in Beijing. It can take some time to get used to the level of smog.
It is a good idea to learn as much as you can about Beijing and China before you move. Plan to start language lessons as soon as you arrive. Joining a language course helps you to meet people. Learn about appropriate behavior and business etiquette before going; this will make adjusting to a new culture much easier.
There is a wide variety of accommodation available in Beijing, but most expatriates live in apartment buildings. Many expats live in expat-oriented suburbs and foreigner communities, where there are services that are specifically designed for foreigners. It is a good idea to research the market carefully before committing to an apartment, as prices and standards vary wildly. Some expats live in serviced apartments especially when on a short-term contract.
Most foreigners use local real estate agents, and sometimes also translators, when looking for accommodation. If you are coming on a relocation package, your company will probably pay for at least a part of your accommodation costs or will help to arrange accommodation. Your company should also help you with other practicalities related to relocating to Beijing.
Canadians seeking to relocate to Beijing can take advantage of the resources at Canuck Abroad. We at Canuck Abroad have everything you need to go abroad.