1 August 2016

Agnieszka - Expat in Lishui, China

Agnieszka - Expat in Lishui, China

Agnieszka is an English teacher in Lishui, China. She was born and raised in Poland and it has always been her ultimate dream to see Asia. When countless job opportunities in China came knocking at her door, Agnieszka grabbed the opportunity right away. Then her life changed from then on.

Considering that she hails from Poland, Agnieszka had several challenges with the language barrier whenever she needed local services. According to Agnieszka "The most difficult is the language barrier. Even if I have to see a doctor, I need to ask someone from school to go with me and translate." She also experienced difficulty in processing her visa and work permit. She had to rely heavily on her employer to process all the paperwork for her, “I had to obtain visa and work permit before coming to China, and it was my employer that did most of the paperwork. It’s just problematic that procedures take so much time. In my case, I had to wait 2 months for the work permit,” Agnieszka said.

Dealing with a language barrier is a common situation that most expats face, and it can be tough when it comes to handling important documents such as work permits and visa processing. In dealing with this common issue, consider looking for assistance in the form of professional immigration services, as they can help you process all the important paperwork that you need. Additionally, find out more about your host country through international movers. If you want to know about a country’s real estate market, cost of living or even child schooling, the movers can help you out.

For more on Agnieszka’s expat life in China, read her full interview below.

Q: Where are you originally from?

A: I’m from Poland.  

Q: What made you move out of your home country?

A: I’ve always wanted to see the Far East so when the opportunity showed up, I decided to take this chance.

Q: Where are you living now?

A: In China.

Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: Always wanted to see Asia and there were a lot of job offers in China.

Q: How long have you been living in China?

A: 2 years.

Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in China?

A: The most difficult is the language barrier. Even if I have to see a doctor, I need to ask someone from school to go with me and translate.

Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance was particularly difficult in your host country? What was your experience with these?

A: I had to obtain visa and work permit before coming to China, and it was my employer that did most of the paperwork. It’s just problematic that procedures take so much time. In my case, I had to wait 2 months for the work permit. I didn’t buy insurance in China. I bought international health insurance in Poland.

 

Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: I’m living alone. 

Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in China? How did you manage to find a social circle in China?

A: In China, it’s easy to meet new people because everyone here wants to be friends with a foreigner. Many people will come to you asking for your phone number or inviting you for a dinner. I socialize with both Chinese and expats.

Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: I live in Lishui—it’s a small city in Zhejiang province. The best things for me in here are the mountains. I love hiking.

Q: How does the cost of living in China compared to your home?

A: Most things are much cheaper than in Poland. Huge bowl of noodles can be bought for 8 RMB. Even if you go to a more expensive Chinese restaurant, the prices still will be relatively low. Last time for the dinner for 7 people, we paid less than 300 RMB altogether. Imported goods (things like cheese, coffee, chocolate etc.) are much more expensive in China than in Europe.

Q: How do you find the local culture and people in China?

A: Culture is totally different but that’s basically why I came here. People are very nice and curious of foreigners.

Q: What tips can you give other expats living in that country?

A: Be patient and try not to get irritated when everything will be done ‘last minute.’

Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about China?

A: Well I am a blogger and I write about life in China (http://www.goforeign.net). The website that I like to read is Theworldofchinse.com.