Arriving in China

What to do after arriving in China

by The Panda Team in Settling in China 14/04/2017

Finding an apartment

So now that you’ve arrived in China, you need to find a place to live. The school you are working for should provide you with an apartment or a stipend. If you are teaching at a college, then they will likely provide you with an apartment. Though not huge, the apartment usually have plenty of room for a single person. If it is not to your liking, you can ask for a stipend instead and move an apartment of your own choosing. You should ask your employer for information when it comes to finding an apartment.

Getting your Residence Permit

You should have gotten your Z visa back in your home country. The Z visa is only good for 30 days and one or two entries so you will need to exchange it at a bureau of foreign affairs to acquire a resident permit. Within a week or two of arriving in China, someone with your employer will assist you in getting your resident permit. You also need to go for a checkup at local International Travel Health Care Center. Once the process is completed, you will have a resident permit that will be good for one year. If you are still with the same employer, it should be easy to renew your permit.

Setting up your Internet and Vpn

The main Internet providers in China are China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom. Just walk into any one of their offices and the people there will assist you. The only document you need is your passport. They are all good providers and decent speed internet should cost you about 70 to 150 RMB per month. If you absolutely need the best available speed, then it might cost you up to 220 RMB per month.

Since the great firewall of China blocked out most western sites like Google, Facebook, and Gmail, you might want to get a VPN. The best one by far is ExpressVpn. I just find them more reliable than the other VPNs when it comes to reliability and speed.


Your internet provider should also offer plans that include the internet plus call minutes and data. If your phone is not supported by their plans, you will need to purchase one at a local cell phone district. Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei should all work in China.

Some people may prefer using pay-as-you-go SIM cards instead of bundling their internet and mobile plan. China Mobile and China Unicom are the main providers of mobile service, so either of them works.


If there is one App you need to use, it is WeChat. They are the most popular social networking app in China and is similar to WhatsApp and Snapchat, but it also has many unique features. There is an English version of the app so you don’t have to know Chinese to use it.

Now you should be all set and ready to start exploring China.

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