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Moving to Shanghai– International Relocation
Moving to Shanghai
If you are thinking of moving to Shanghai you will experience a city driven by the manic obsession to become a leading international centre.
For some time the metropolis has been trying to step out from behind the shadows of Hong Kong and Beijing, which have always seemed to demand more limelight. Yet Shanghai is by no means a well-kept secret.
At face value Shanghai may not seem to offer much in the way of expat attractions. However, once you become more acquainted with the city you’ll find there are certainly a few things for expats to see and do to learn more about the surrounding Chinese culture and history.
It is the gatekeeper to China’s vast economy and the country’s leading financial centre, with more than 400,000 expats already in residence. Shanghai has shown a willingness to attract international business and an ability to adapt by implementing the changes required to support expansion.
Shanghai spent $45 billion for the 2010 World Expo (May to October), mostly improving the city’s infrastructure. Thus, expats can expect an even more accentuated transition from historic city to modern metropolis.
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For expats moving to Shanghai, this means the international companies continuing to open branches in the city will need skilled workers and employees who can commit to keeping a wide range of industries cutting edge.
For several decades the city has ballooned with urban sprawl creating many expat communities and suburbs in Shanghai more akin to western neighbourhoods than Chinese.
While this has provided security and comfort to an international population, life in Shanghai can become almost segregated. Parts of Shanghai have largely become international, and in some cases have struggled to retain even the smallest morsel of Chinese character.
Living in Shanghai
Accommodation in Shanghai is varied, with old and luxurious homes pressing against new high rise developments and suburban neighbourhoods.
Much of the growth surrounding the city was developed within the last 20 years and becomes newer the farther one travels from the city centre.
When choosing accommodation in Shanghai, it is important for expats to consider proximity to work and schools, as heavily congested traffic can make for hellish commutes.
Why not take advantage of our home finding services which can be invaluable.
Cost of living in Shanghai
According to the 2010 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, the cost of living in Shanghai is the second highest in China; the city was rated the 25th most expensive of the 214 polled, preceded by Sydney and closely followed by New York.
In truth, statistics can be misleading. One’s average monthly expenditure in Shanghai is determined by one’s lifestyle choices.
There is wide variation in expat budgets which leads some to opt for a more economic lifestyle while others tend to live more luxuriously than they would back home, taking advantage of the cities luxuries and renowned nightlife.
Working in Shanghai
Shanghai is a city of 20 million people; it comes as no surprise that industry in the metropolis is varied and that expats work in many diverse business sectors.
China has one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world but only ecently, within the last 20 years, has it opened its doors to international companies and foreign investment.
As a result of this relatively new mentality, Shanghai has stepped up as the new financial axis on which China’s burgeoning economy spins.
Yet the international industry in Shanghai is not only rooted in finance but also in physical trade, as illustrated by the city’s bustling harbour – the largest cargo port in the world.
Industry in Shanghai includes steel, oil, chemical, cars, textiles, high-tech equipment, technology, biomedicine and shipbuilding.
A new emphasis is especially being placed on high-tech development and manufacturing, services and other renewable industries.
Shanghai is one of the best places in China to find a job as an expat.
While Chinese companies in cities such as Beijing are increasingly only hiring expats in top-level management or positions that require special skilled workers, there is still a need for a large, and not necessarily highly qualified, expat workforce in Shanghai’s Chinese owned companies.
Lifestyle and Shopping in Shanghai
Shanghai is a vibrant metropolis with a plethora of restaurants and a sprawling shopping scene that has earned the city the nicknames of ‘Shopping Paradise’ and ‘Oriental Paris’.
Healthcare in Shanghai
Healthcare in Shanghai Expats moving to Shanghai should avoid the often inconsistent public healthcare services, and rather opt for the private hospitals and clinics within the city.
Fortunately there are many of these institutions, and they often subscribe to a high quality standard that caters especially for the expats in Shanghai.
Doctors in private hospitals will be able to speak English, many of them are expats themselves. There are also medical clinics that combine both western and eastern medicines.
Schooling in Shanghai
Increasingly though, young foreign children are attending local kindergartens for the added advantage of integrating into the Chinese culture and learning the language.
In some cases schools in Shanghai teach in half Mandarin and half English for young learners. For older children, attending a school in a foreign language can become ostracising and most attend international schools where Mandarin language classes will be taught.
Depending on the international school, students may be able to continue the curricula from their home country.
Often obtaining a place in a well regarded international school is difficult and waiting lists can be quite long.
Some companies that regularly relocate expats hold open positions in these schools for their employee’s families. It is highly advised expats attempt to negotiate a slot in the appropriate school before arriving in Shanghai.
If this is not a possibility, families should arrange for education as soon as possible .Please take advantage of our relocation school search,
International schools can be very expensive, some costing in excess of $30,000 per annum.
There are also a host of Chinese language schools in Shanghai for adults. The best means of finding a well suited school is through word of mouth among other expats.
Remember that teaching styles in China differ than those found in the west, be patient and try to adapt as best as possible.
Interdean Shanghai offices
We have our own offices in Shanghai making sure we are with you every step of the way.