Expatriate Benefits: Perks of an Expat Job
Transport and Healthcare in Shanghai
In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Shanghai makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!
For business purposes, you should acquire some knowledge of Standard Mandarin. While Mandarin lacks complicated inflection and complex syntax, it does require certain other skills: The tonal properties make good listening comprehension and subtle differences in pronunciation invaluable. Moreover, the many Chinese charactersmake reading and especially writing more difficult than in languages with alphabetic systems.
Visas and Residence Permits for Shanghai
With the foundation of the PRC in 1949, the central government in Beijing declared Standard Mandarin the official language in the entire country. At first, this lead to diglossia (i.e. the coexistent use of two languages) among the inhabitants of Shanghai. Later on, with the influx of both migrants from other Chinese provinces and foreign nationals from overseas, Shanghainese was all but neglected. However, in recent years, there has been renewed interest in preserving and promoting the local Wu dialect, and you might pick up the odd regional colloquialism in the street.
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It is just so easy to find other international people and global minds with InterNations. I didnt know there were so many in Shanghai.
Unless your job requires actual fluency in Mandarin, you shouldnt worry too much about the potential difficulties in studying this language. The honest attempt alone demonstrates open-mindedness, good will, respect of and interest in another culture. Therefore, even speaking Mandarin badly may win your hosts, coworkers or contact persons favor as they will notice your obvious effort to speak their language.
Actually, the Chinese variety spoken in Shanghai is the most common dialect from the Wu Chinese language group. As such, it is not mutually intelligible with other Chinese languages, such as the Cantonese (Guangzhou, Hong Kong), Min Dong (Fujian), or Mandarin (Beijing) dialects.
Judging from this random selection, you can see that its better to have specialized knowledge in technology or business administration and then polish it up with Chinese language skills and cultural competency, rather than the other way round. Hard skills in marketing, sales, finance, consulting, IT, engineering, and new technology, as well as good to excellent professional qualifications, are probably preferable to more academic degrees in Chinese Studies or Intercultural Communications.
Going Back Home: Easier Said Than Done?
Expat Districts and Housing in Shanghai
Working in Shanghai is highly attractive for expats. Interested in becoming one of the many foreign residents employed in the city? Youve picked the right time! The business climate is beneficial for expats interested in working in Shanghai. Read our article to find out what you need to know.
Business in Shanghai: Required Skills
Many foreign-invested enterprises and multi-nationals use English as a lingua franca in the workplace. Thus proficiency in Chinese can be limited to specific job descriptions; however it is best to have at least a basic knowledge of the language.
At the first Shanghai Get-Together I met several American expats. I am very grateful that they shared their experience with me.
Language skills may give you a huge advantage over your competitors even if they arent mentioned in the job ad itself. Although you might not need them to go about your daily business, they will make for smoother dealings with your Chinese colleagues and business contacts. Moreover, the better you speak Chinese, the more jobs you will be able to choose from.
So you are about to join the ranks of the many expats living in Shanghai? While a fascinating time awaits you, expat life in China can be challenging for newcomers to the country and its culture. Let InterNations guide you through what to expect of Shanghai, from transport to health and education!
For example, recent job offers posted on the homepages of the AmCham and the German AHK Shanghai include financial controller; plant operations manager; supply quality engineer, sales manager, and professional interpreter.
There are almost 300 spoken languages in China. Although we dont cover all of them in our Extended Guide article onlearning Chinese, we address the most important ones and give advice on what to look out for when learning the language.
Welcome to Shanghai! You will encounter an extraordinary city with a unique mixture of Western lifestyle and Eastern flair. Our InterNations Guide on moving to Shanghai gives you a general city overview and more specific information on expat life, e.g. expat neighborhoods and visa regulations.
We highly recommend you to start taking classes in business Chinese, which may even be tailored to a certain field of employment, before you leave. The modern technology available to businesspeople can also help you with your language studies: for example, tonal listening and pronunciation exercises and Mandarin podcasts for your MP3 player, Chinese vocabulary trainers or character dictionaries as a smartphone app (e.g.iChinese), orhnzdrawing software for graphic tablets.