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Old 03-05-2014, 04:46 PM
 
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Hello,

I am planning on moving to Chengdu in August of this year. It is for a teaching job, and i am fairly excited about it. But I have been researching things like cost of living and average salaries and places to live and crime and things to do, and I am getting very mixed information.

For instance, several websites list the cost of living as higher than most, and harder to live in/adjust to. However, others say it is fairly cheap to live. Some places have crazy expensive rent, others are within the allotted amount.

Is there anyone who has recently made this change and can help me figure some things out??
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:01 PM
 
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I thought teaching jobs in China provided accommodation.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:08 PM
 
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I would say anywhere in China if you live like a local then it isn't super expensive. If you plan on living like an expat who needs to eat non-Chinese food and buy imported products into China, then it will be expensive for you.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:51 PM
 
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I lived in Chengdu for 4 years. It is much less expensive than Beijing or Shanghai, but prices on housing, food, taxi's, etc., have gone up quite a bit over the past several years.

Depending on where you live in the city, average rent ranges from 1400-2200rmb for a decent place. Within the first ring road it's at least 1800+ for a somewhat modern place. Between the 2nd and 1st ring road, at least 1500. Outside the 3rd ring road, you can probably find a place for 1200. The majority of foreigners live in the South part of the city, which is nicer, and a bit more expensive than other areas.

Where are you planning on teaching? The range of salaries for teachers in Chengdu is typically anywhere from 6000-9000/month.

There are lots of things to do and see in Chengdu. It is a large, vibrant city with awesome food and laid-back people. But be warned, there are much fewer expats in this city than other larger cities on the coast. As a result, locals have far less exposure to westerners. If you are put off by constant stares and people that can be very uncivilized, you might be in for a nasty shock. Have you been to China before? Being able to speak some basic Chinese is useful as most locals will not be able to communicate in English. And unless you constantly live in the expat bubble, it also helps to "fit in" a bit more and make Chinese friends. I find the expats in Chengdu to be a bit more open-minded and adventurous than people that go to the large coastal cities.

There is barely any crime. Like most of China, pick-pockets at worse and the occasional bar brawl. You'll probably have something stolen (or lost) off your body if you stay long enough, especially if you look like a tourist.

Ask me about any specifics, I'll probably be able to answer.
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoutboy View Post
I thought teaching jobs in China provided accommodation.
Some do. Some don't. Lots of places will just give you a housing stipend and temporary housing until you find a place on your own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
I would say anywhere in China if you live like a local then it isn't super expensive. If you plan on living like an expat who needs to eat non-Chinese food and buy imported products into China, then it will be expensive for you.
Yes, there are supermarkets that sell western goods, but are (relatively) expensive. If you stick to mostly Chinese food with the occasional western restaurant for a taste of home, you'll be fine on a teachers salary.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:38 PM
 
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Thanks everyone,

I will be working for Disney English, and the pay seems reasonable, but I've never been there before, so I don't really know. I will have a housing allowance, but it will have to be furnished because I certainly can't buy furniture. How do I find the approximate locations of the businesses so I can look at the areas and get to know about tings before I get there?

I will be in Chengdu, and I hope I can find non-spicy foods. I worry about things like being able to cook for myself and finding a place close to work so I can get there. I am working on learning the language, but I don't have anyone to practice with.

I'm big on planning and researching. I figure the more I know, the better prepared I will be. It is a big change, but change can be well or poorly managed.

Is it difficult to get things shipped to China? I want to purchase a few "necessities" and have them shipped, but I know so little about any of it. I have been reading here and at Dave's ESL cafe (thank you for the link!). I have read a little about banking considerations, and getting a VPN so I don't have internet problems.

Thanks again for all the help. It is appreciated!
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:10 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,526 posts, read 70,430,585 times
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What are the health concerns in Chengdu? In Taiwan, hepatitis is common, and restaurant workers sometimes continue to work even though they have the disease. This was a serious risk for foreigners, and a certain percentage of students studying there would end up in the hospital with hepatitis. And how are the hospitals in Chengdu? Are there good doctors?

How easy is it to make friends in China?
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:42 AM
 
268 posts, read 324,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whimsy4u View Post
How do I find the approximate locations of the businesses so I can look at the areas and get to know about tings before I get there?
Check this website GoChengdoo: Chengdu & Sichuan living, business, travel

It's the official website for foreigners in Chengdu, and you can post in the forums as well. You'll find a lot of useful information including classifieds, listings, events, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whimsy4u View Post
I will be in Chengdu, and I hope I can find non-spicy foods. I worry about things like being able to cook for myself and finding a place close to work so I can get there. I am working on learning the language, but I don't have anyone to practice with.
It is possible to eat non-spicy foods if you're eating by yourself. If going to a restaurant, you just have to ask them for something without spice. I pretty much never cooked for myself as I love Sichuan food. I hope you at least like Chinese food though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whimsy4u View Post
Is it difficult to get things shipped to China?
Not too difficult, but you have to write the address in English and Chinese, otherwise no one will know where to send it when the package hits China. Be warned though, shipping standard can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on a lot of random variables. Most things you will be able to buy there. Chengdu has become a lot more westernized, so a lot of necessities you'll be able to get in just about any random supermarket. A couple things that are difficult to find is deodorant, and ironically, a lot of spices for food if you plan to cook.

If you have a particular VPN in mind, make you set it up before you get in to China. The government actively tries to block access to VPN websites so you can't even download and install them.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:56 AM
 
268 posts, read 324,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
What are the health concerns in Chengdu? In Taiwan, hepatitis is common, and restaurant workers sometimes continue to work even though they have the disease. This was a serious risk for foreigners, and a certain percentage of students studying there would end up in the hospital with hepatitis. And how are the hospitals in Chengdu? Are there good doctors?
Health concerns are mostly with the pollution and food. The pollution isn't nearly as bad as Beijing, but some days certainly feel like it. You won't get sick or anything. Sometimes the food can be quite unsanitary depending on where and what you eat. I haven't heard of anything like hepatitis affecting people when I was there. Hospitals are so-so. There is one pretty good western hospital, and probably a couple other decent Chinese hospitals. Good enough to trust with minor illnesses, but I wouldn't want to get a major surgery done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
How easy is it to make friends in China?
Pretty easy for foreign and Chinese alike. It's obviously better if you're more out-going and can speak some Chinese.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:42 AM
 
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Thanks so much for the website and information. I go back and forth between nervous and excited, but I guess that's normal for someone going to China for the first time.
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