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Old 04-24-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Japan is quite uniform culturally. That's one thing that is exciting at first as a westerner, but gets boring after a few years. In Europe and probably even China, you can travel to different cities and get a different feeling each time. In Japan, all the cities look and feel the same as well as the people inhabiting them. That said, mountains are everywhere and nowhere is too far from the sea. In some locations you'll have an easy time enjoying summer sports like surfing and winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. There is less noticeable pollution in Japan than China, and though Japan's poverty rate is actually quite high, it's not something you'll notice walking around as crime is low, people usually try to appear good looking in public, homeless rarely beg for money, etc. As for work, I'd agree that the Japanese are already well educated and skilled and they've reached a peak already, so your odds finding good work outside of teaching is quite low. You'll need to gain fluency, then compete for jobs on the same level (or at a disadvantage assuming some racism can come into play). China may offer more surprise opportunities since their economy is growing rapidly and less of the population is educated or skilled for those jobs. Though this is not from first hand experience, so you'll want feedback from people working in China.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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would i be at a serious disadvantage in china as an anthropology and development studies major? I get the impression that economics, and business students are the most well suited for the Chinese job market
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:44 PM
 
Location: down south
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If you wanna move/work in China immediately after graduation, the best chance you have would be to take a teaching job teaching English, which, of course, isn't much of a long term career with bright future financially speaking.

If you wanna be financially successful, the best route would be to work in a major company, if possible, world-famous, for a years, then to seek a transfer to China, either way, having experience in major companies helps a lot.

As for degree, yeah, a degree from major research universities would be much much more appreciated in China than anything you have from liberal art school, even from top liberal art school. Even among the well-informed Chinese, only colleges like Wellesley College (Madame Chiang's Alma Mater) might manage to ring a bell.

As for cities, if possible, I think it'd be easier to at least first stay in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, or even Hong Kong, all of these cities have large number of expats that could help to ease the transition, in Hong Kong's case, it's essentially a western city.

Xinin is a provincial capital, but not a major city in any sense. So I'd say comparing to Beijing or Shanghai, it'd be much harder for an expat. Sorta like some places in Montana or
Wyoming.


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Old 04-26-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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What attracts me to Xining is both the presence of many ethnic minorities(tibetan, mongolian, etc.) it its more rural(and hopefully more scenic and less polluted) setting.
would this be a fair assessment, or is xining just as polluted as the rest of the prc? and does it still have a good sense of culture, or is it just a boring backwater? i saw some pictures of it, and it seems to have a pretty large and vibrant downtown from what i could tell
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: down south
514 posts, read 1,435,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggspc View Post
What attracts me to Xining is both the presence of many ethnic minorities(tibetan, mongolian, etc.) it its more rural(and hopefully more scenic and less polluted) setting.
would this be a fair assessment, or is xining just as polluted as the rest of the prc? and does it still have a good sense of culture, or is it just a boring backwater? i saw some pictures of it, and it seems to have a pretty large and vibrant downtown from what i could tell
I'm not familiar with xining, though given its population, it must have a fairly big downtown, but it's not close to any of the booming parts as far as I know. Perhaps you can ask some current or former expats in China. Google learn Chinese or something like that, I remember there are a few websites serving as gathering places for expats.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Westwood
213 posts, read 559,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggspc View Post
hey im a college freshman who dreams of one day being able to live and work in Asia(probably china, Japan, or possibly even someplace like mongolia, thailand or singapore). What kind of careers would give me an opportunity to live in one of these countries and be financially successful. It seems almost all american expats majored in economics or something business related, would this be a fair generalization? I love anthropology, but it doesn't seem like the type of field of study that could let literally live in asia as opposed to just spending a year or two there doing research. im currently declared as a double major in anthro and international development studies with a minor in east asian studies.

Also ive these countries are biased in favor of degree holders from large research universities(berkely, michigan, cornell etc.). i attend a small private top 20ish lac with students who are roughly of equal caliber with the previously mentioned universities. does attending a lac hurt my future job prospects in these countries. Im not too attached to my school and wouldnt have a problem transferring to a research university if it would help my job prospects.

anyone have any advice?
I have worked in China for a year and a half in Shanghai and Urumqui. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!

The cities are so much cleaner and safer than American cities. The people are very kind and respectful. The whole environment is superior in my opinion to the United States. You dont see widespread trash on the streets, questionable characters loitering around the streets at all times of the day, worrying about getting jumped, robbed, or hijacked if you make a wrong turn or go down the wrong street. It is a vibrant place at all times of the day and night. It really has become a higher quality of life in my opinion.

My wife and I have seriously been giving thought of re-locating our family there in the near future.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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Montrell, can you tell me about your experiences in shanghai and urumqi and what the culture is like in each of these two places. i know urumqi is in xinjiang and is likely very influenced by central asian culture, where as shanghai is much more of a global metropolis, but im looking for insight into what expat life would be like. Did urumqi still feel like an east asian city or did it seem more like u were in central asia?
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,942,974 times
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The culture in far western China is wildly different from that of the south or the north. For one thing, the Ughyrs look like Europeans or Russians more than your typical image of a Han Chinese.

Montrell, were you in Urumuqui during the riots? We were in Kashi, which was fairly calm, but it looked like things were quite hot where you were.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Westwood
213 posts, read 559,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggspc View Post
Montrell, can you tell me about your experiences in shanghai and urumqi and what the culture is like in each of these two places. i know urumqi is in xinjiang and is likely very influenced by central asian culture, where as shanghai is much more of a global metropolis, but im looking for insight into what expat life would be like. Did urumqi still feel like an east asian city or did it seem more like u were in central asia?
Urumqi had a much more "Turkic" feel about it compared to Shanghai. Yes, it was very much influenced by Central Asian culture. As the other poster said the majority of people I saw did not look like your traditional Han Chinese, although there were definitely some. As a whole they looked more Russian / Turkic / Mongol in my opinion. There were quite a few Mosques in Urumqi as well.

I will say this though, the expansion is going on at a rapid pace. It is starting to look much more like a traditional East Asian metropolis. Tall building, sky-scrapers, etc.. I really liked the place as a whole. The pace was definitely slower than Shanghai and less commercialized. I thought overall it had a good balance between your typical idea of what a large East Asian metropolis is like and the slower pace of Central Asia.

Shanghai was just a booming metropolis. Big city-life. Has everything you want in a big city. Also a lot more scenic than I expected. I loved some of the architecture and being right there on the water added to its beauty. I did find it to be quite a bit cleaner and safer than most other big cities, especially those in the U.S. I thought the people were extremely kind and I personally didn't have any trouble getting by in most cases with English.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Westwood
213 posts, read 559,472 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
The culture in far western China is wildly different from that of the south or the north. For one thing, the Ughyrs look like Europeans or Russians more than your typical image of a Han Chinese.

Montrell, were you in Urumuqui during the riots? We were in Kashi, which was fairly calm, but it looked like things were quite hot where you were.
I left there about a month and a half before the riots. I was surprised when I heard about them. When I was there I really saw no indication of any kind of turmoil or underlying anger among the general populace. Some of the people I know that were there during the riots seemed quite surprised by the uprising as well.

And you are absolutely correct about western China being far different from pretty much the rest of the country. It definitely has more of a Central Asian feel to it than a Han Chinese feel.
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