Where to start? In a country as rich in history as it is in cultural traditions, food and landscape, the reasons to come to China are endless. If you ever ask any of us here at Mandarintern you’ll get the same response: “The best decision I ever made!”. Living in China is an incredibly enriching experience. While there’s a certain level of culture shock when you first arrive (athough metropolis’s like Beijing and Shanghai will leave you feeling as though you could’ve been placed anywhere on the planet!), you’ll quickly discover that Chinese people will not only treat with you a warm curiosity, fascinated by you, your background and your reasons for coming to China, but also with incredible hospitality, greeting you with you a smile and making you feel immediately at home.
Whatever your interests, China’s sure to have it in abundance. Enjoy fast-paced city-life? China’s modern day mega-cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen have it all, with all the international amenities that you could expect to find in London and New York. Prefer a slower pace of life? Perhaps Chengdu or Suzhou are more your thing, offering a blend of modern-day China and traditional Chinese culture. If travel’s your thing there are also limitless opportunities to get around and see the best that China has to offer. As most Chinese have never been outside of China, transport infrastructure within China is incredibly well developed, making covering the long distances within China’s vast terrain both convenient and enjoyable. Buses, sleeper trains and high speed rail all offer cost-effective mediums to get you wherever you need to go. While air travel is not necessarily cheap, it’s possible to get reasonably priced tickets if booked in advance. Top tourist destinations within China include places like Guilin, the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. That said, China’s huge landmass contains hidden gems that means life in China is never dull. It’s worth mentioning that living in China also means that you’re in the perfect location to explore the best that Southeast Asia has to offer, with relatively cheap flights available to places like Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Of course we couldn’t talk about China without mentioning its food. Needless to say the breadth of culinary options and variety of flavours you’ll find in real China go far beyond those you’ll find at your local Chinese takeaway! From the sweetness of Shanghai cuisine to the spiciness of Sichuan and everything in between, China is a foodie’s heaven. What’s more, while living in China is a fantastic way to learn how to cook Chinese food yourself, eating out in China is also comparatively cheap. This means that you can truly experience the best of what China has to offer, and on a budget!
While the food, landscape and the people are all fantastic reasons coming to China in their own right, perhaps the most compelling argument is that by coming China you’re making a strategic decision about your future. Its economic prowess and huge population means that China will be leading the world in the 21st Century. Gaining experience of life here, seeing first-hand how Chinese people live, work and think as well as hopefully trying to pick up Mandarin on the way, you’re investing in your future. And who knows? There’s a good chance what happened to us will happen to you. When we came here as wide-eyed, curious graduates a few years ago, we never expected that we’d still be here now and, for all the right reasons, have no plans to leave!