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First job abroad

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by squeakyhaggis, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. squeakyhaggis

    squeakyhaggis New commenter

    Thanks for the advice Hippo.
    I've just started trying to learn a bit of Mandarin. Unfortunately I don't know anyone I can practice with, but I think it will help if I can at least understand a few words or phrases. So far it's reminding me why I studied so much science at school!
    I'd best get on with the rest of the list........[​IMG]
  2. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Hello squeaky!

    Congratulations. There are a few of us heading to Beijing and some who are already there. If you PM me your school/area I may be able to give you some tips. I have also been given the email addresses of other people I am half wondering if you are going to my school. Based close to the airport.

    Check out the shipping allowances etc in your package. If you are able to claim back for excess baggage check which airlines give you the best deal. Aeroflot for example have just changed their policy to piece allowance, which makes it cheaper than per kilo. I know I will be taking an extra couple of bags instead of shipping a load of stuff. This also depends on if it is just you or if you have a family in tow.

    Start sorting through all of your stuff. It has taken me since January (although not every weekend etc) to get down to things I am taking with me and things I need before I go. So far I have put 6 boxes into my sisters attic and sent countless big IKEA bags to the charity shop full of stuff. It is amazing what you don't use. I can't even remember what I have got rid of.

    If you do need a new passport I suggest you get it done soon. I was lucky when I replaced mine at new years. It took 2 working days and I had it. As the summer is getting closer this will not be the case.

    If you want to get UK/US TV once there, access the internet freely etc you will need a VPN. Load your DVD's etc onto an external hard drive. Amazon have lots. Make sure it is small and light. China charges huge import fees on DVDs and electrical goods so trim down as much as you can and keep it on memory devices.

    Also, make sure you take adaptors. Lots and lots of adaptors. You will never now have many you might need. ;O)
  3. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    There were paragraphs. I promise. Have just started using Safari.
  4. If you are learning Mandarin, the best advice I can give you is, go through the restaurant section of your Lonely Planet / Rough Guide phrase book and learn as many dishes as you can. Also, learn spoken directions, so you can tell a taxi driver where to go. The third thing you should do is learn to read a bus/train/plane time table. Doing this will help in two ways, one, you'll be able to function on a daily basis and two, it will hopefully prevent you looking like you just got off the boat and thus ripe for a rip off.
    Learning to read isn't that diffcult, it just takes a time and patience.
  5. squeakyhaggis

    squeakyhaggis New commenter

    Thanks for the advice,
  6. Hi City free,
    This might save you some luggage space, you can easily buy adaptors here. EVen at a local supermarket in Shunyi.
    Some of the higher quality electrical items on sale in Beijing come with UK plugs when you buy them, which means many shops sell UK to China plug adaptors. So maybe bring one for when you first arrive, but you probably won't need to bring lots.
    I'm not sure how to send or recieve PMs as I've never done it before, but feel free to send me one if you need to know anything about Shunyi or Beijing before you get here.

  7. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Hi AHAF,

    The adaptor thing was a reference to a joke in a thread in January but you are right I will bring one for my laptop but all other electrical I will buy there.

    Re: Shunyi. How easy is it to get around? Are there local area buses? Are there areas where you can walk around the shops or is it more drive between the different car parks? I shall be tucked by Capital Airport Road, next to the river. Legend Garden. What are the supermarkets like? Not so much the 'expat' ones but the general ones? How easy is it to get into town? Are there many tube stops? I have been trying to keep an eye on maps but I think that I have not seen the most up to date one.

    I hope the weather is good there at the moment.


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