You probably already know that half the internet is basically blocked off in China (the Great Firewall is alive and kicking) so you’ll need a paid VPN installed on all your devices (the free versions are horribly slow) to access everything from Facebook to your online banking. The latter is a particularly important topic to discuss. Once you arrive in China, you’ll need to open a local bank account so your teaching wages can be deposited directly by your employer. You’ll be able to access funds from your home bank account at any ATM but you’re going to have issues transferring your savings from your Chinese bank account to your home bank, if you’re not well set-up.Unless you still have bills to pay regularly back home (which is never a good idea), you can just wait until you go home for a visit – you’re allowed to take USD 5,000 in cash out of the country when you travel. Whilst at it, have a read of this handy guide to taking your hard-earned money out of China, paying attention to the Chinese banks that are affiliated with Western Union. Since, to you, all Chinese banks are created equal, you may as well opt for one that facilitates overseas transfers.
Now that we have a few logistical titbits of advice out of the way, we thought we’d concentrate on more intangible topics. These are, in fact, the ones that matter most.