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Old 03-18-2008, 09:00 AM
 
33 posts, read 111,675 times
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We have always had the option to live in Asia for my job. With 2 small children 2 and 5 we felt we weren't ready for such a move. We might relocate in the US to the Carolinas in fact but before we make that move official we are re-opening the idea of living in Asia. My travel takes me to Asia once a month so in reality it might be the best option for us. Versus traveling back and forth to the US.

I'd love to hear from other families who have lived in China or other locations in Asia. Or if you are currently in Asia living please share all of your experiences. All the positives and the negatives. Are we wrong to try to wait until the kids are older? Is it a very sheltered community that foreigners live in?? I am looking to open this discussion and get educated on the idea. Thank you for your help!
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,201,481 times
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Where in China? You need to give more details. Is it Hong Kong/Macau or are we talking about somewhere out in the sticks? Even more metropolitan cities in China like Shanghai/Beijing can end up being a culture shock for foreigners.

The best cities in Asia to live as foreigners, especially English speaking foreigners are Singapore and Hong Kong. Tokyo is probably also up there but the use of English is minimal.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:56 AM
 
33 posts, read 111,675 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mead View Post
Where in China? You need to give more details. Is it Hong Kong/Macau or are we talking about somewhere out in the sticks? Even more metropolitan cities in China like Shanghai/Beijing can end up being a culture shock for foreigners.

The best cities in Asia to live as foreigners, especially English speaking foreigners are Singapore and Hong Kong. Tokyo is probably also up there but the use of English is minimal.

Well...this sounds a bit nuts but it could be any of the following. Shahai, Beijing, Hong Kong......

There also would be the option of South Korea. Living in Asia would make it easier to travel for business and ultimately we could choose the best option for us. If you have input on ideal places for Americans w/ young families to relocate (i.e. Singapore). I'd love to hear feedback and suggestions.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:33 AM
 
1,628 posts, read 5,893,403 times
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My parents lived in Shanghai for several years and I would agree that there could be some "culture shock" if you have not done a lot of traveling (or your family has not), but honestly there is culture shock just moving to Germany if you haven't done a lot of traveling.

Shanghai is a huge, bustling city with many ex-pats and you can be as sheltered or immersed as you choose to be. My family has always traveled a lot, so it was not a "culture shock" but more an adventure. If you go into it with the attitude that this is a great opportunity to learn about another culture--one with incredible history and pride--you will have a wonderful time. If you go in there thinking "this isn't how it's done in the U.S." or "these people are backwards" then you'll probably have a bad time and also give Americans a bad name. Not that you'd do that, I'm just always embarrassed when I hear of Americans calling them "backwards" just b/c things are done differently.

Personally I am hoping to relocate to China (or elsewhere) while my children are still young. They will pick up the language (if you don't isolate them in the ex-pat community, which some people do), they will be much more "worldly" growing up than they would in the U.S. I think when they are young is the perfect time to do it.

My uncle brought all his kids up in Hong Kong, and we went and visited quite a bit. Also my cousin brought her kids up in Malaysia. It's an amazing opportunity in my mind. Hong Kong felt a lot less adventurous than mainland China to me, but it depends what you're looking for. My parents would take weekend trips from Shanghai to Hong Kong quite a bit, and also took some trips all over SE Asia for holidays. Shanghai is very different even now than it was in the early 90s when they first lived there. There were many foods which they considered staples which they couldn't get, so they adjusted--you have to be adaptable. Nowadays, there's almost nothing you cannot get in Shanghai--heck, even Oprah is on every day!!

As for Singapore, that's one place I'd have no interest living whatsoever. It's a giant city, shopping and shopping, and I felt like it just was nowhere near as interesting as some of the places you're considering.

Oh, btw Macau was, in my opinion, awful!! I would not personally live there either. Macau was colonized by the Portuguese (vs the English in Hong Kong) and let me tell you--the Portuguese did not create much in teh way of infrastructure or solid industy there. Very poor and run-down. I am not saying I believe in colonizing anyone--I most certainly do not!!--but I am saying that there is a huge difference in the way the islands turned out by being colonized.

Just editing to add that in Shanghai, my mother did not want to be "sheltered" and she began studying Mandarin and Tai Chi when they arrived. She speaks extremely well now and that has really allowed her to be invited into so many things she otherwise would not have. People do appreciate when you learn their language. And she still does Tai Chi as well. She went out to the local markets every morning to practice her Chinese, etc. My dad was working a lot and all the business was conducted in English, so he was not as immersed in the local culture as my mother was. Even though they lived in the same place, they had very different experiences there. You really can have it either way but things are different, no doubt, and learning about the culture of anywhere you go before going is always a good idea not only so you know what to expect but also to be sure you are not inadvertently insulting people which can be easy to do in another culture (for example, crossing your legs so the soles of your feet show is very insulting where I lived in Africa; looking an elder directly in the eye when they are speaking to you or shaking hands is very insulting there--the opposite of what we do here!; touching a child on the head is very insulting there, etc. So knowing their culture is really important!)

I think it would be GREAT for you to jump on the opportunity!!
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:47 AM
 
Location: When will Hell Freeze Phoenix, AZ
287 posts, read 780,728 times
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My family moved to Beijing in 1985 the year I graduated from high school. My little sister was 5 and did very, very well. While there she became bi-lingual. There are good foreign schools (like the International School of Beijing - sure its still around) for your children. Child care is so much cheaper (at least then) and if you're company is picking up the tab for the living arrangements then all the better. Living in Beijing was a cultural shock to me but it didn't seem to really effect my sister. We lived there for 2 years, I stayed a bit longer on my own since I was in school. I think it would have been even better for her had she been able to spend more time there; I think the language would have stuck with her. Often kids are far more flexiable then we give them credit for. PRC China has come a long way since I lived there - back then it was considered a hardship post. For the most part my family had a great time and learned much. I'd do it again if I could.

Where in Asia are you planning on relocating?
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,031 times
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Asia is best than other. In Asia a good country is pakistan
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Saudi Arabia
376 posts, read 555,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gopats View Post
Well...this sounds a bit nuts but it could be any of the following. Shahai, Beijing, Hong Kong......

There also would be the option of South Korea. Living in Asia would make it easier to travel for business and ultimately we could choose the best option for us. If you have input on ideal places for Americans w/ young families to relocate (i.e. Singapore). I'd love to hear feedback and suggestions.
I've worked in Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul but did not have kids with me. Seoul was the most developed and also the most expensive...my apartment was $6300/mo in the most expensive area of Seoul. From my expereince, I would rate them Beijing 1st, Shanghai a close 2nd and Seoul 3rd with cost, friendlines, and things to do the biggest factors. Korea really has a different culture from China and I didn't like it but I know some Amerians that did enjoy it.

I would highly rate both Bangkok & Kuala Lumpur if those are options. Singapore & Hong Kong are also excellent but more expensive.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:38 PM
 
Location: In the heights
22,119 posts, read 23,634,230 times
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Old topics need to have highlights letting people be aware they are super old topics. Four years, especially in the wake of the global recession which has hit countries in different ways, is a long time for things to change in this world.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:07 AM
 
32,060 posts, read 32,956,580 times
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Hong Kong and Shanghai are good cities for expats with children as there will a large community of similar people there.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:00 PM
 
6,725 posts, read 6,599,126 times
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East Asia has terrible weather. Cold, dry winters and hot, humid summers.
Beijing is the worst among them, like Chicago winter + Atlanta summer, plus sand storms in the spring.

Shanghai is also colder than temperature data suggests, because there is no central heating in most buildings.
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