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Long Term Housing in China
Housing & Finance

China Housing

More than likely your employer will set you up with an apartment, for which the cost to you should be minimal. You may or may not be in a building with other Westerners; often teachers at a university or a large school will all live in a "Panda House," or "apartments for foreigners."

Opening Bank Accounts in China
Housing & Finance

 Bank Cards
When you come to China, it will be more convenient for you if you open a Chinese bank account. Opening a Chinese bank account is actually an easy process, not a nightmare for you as you might expect.

The only actual needed document for a basic account is your passport. You need neither proof of address nor proof of income. When you enter the bank, don’t bother the counter. You can head for an information desk and express the desire to open an account. They will give you a bilingual form. But it is better for you to ask the information desk staff to fill it out for you – they are more careful than you and probably have neater handwriting.

Sample of House-Leasing Contract
Housing & Finance

A Perfect house-leasing contract is very useful for protecting  your benfits,especially when you are living in a strange country and meet language barriers. The sample of house-leasing contract below would be very helpful when you start to make agreement with householders。In order to protect yourself, detailed information should be listed on the contract, such as location, rental, size, obligations, equpiment.  

Rental Contracts in China
Housing & Finance
Renting in China can be a complicated exercise. As in many places, the process can be complicated and the language barrier can lead to some real misunderstandings. The usual result is that you, as the foreigner, can end up paying more than you expected.

Using an agent to help you through the process can avoid some of the common problems. If not, it may be worth working with a relocation specialist who will help you through the process.
*Bear in mind that even if the Chinese copy of the contract has a translation into English, the Chinese version will be the one used as reference by a court in the event of a dispute.

There are short term (<6 months) and long term (>6 months) leasing contracts in China. Usually to rent an apartment you'll need to rent for a period of at least 6 months but preferably a year. Most owners sign a 1year leasing contract. It is possible to have short term leasing contracts but it depends on the owners and the terms are usually different e.g. rents are usually more expensive.
How to Find a Place to Live in China
Housing & Finance
For many years, Chinese government policy was to separate foreigners from the local population by making them live in specially designated and segregated properties. Today, however, expatriates can live in, rent or even purchase housing in China on the same terms as the Chinese. Housing options in China include apartments, dormitories, villas (houses), serviced apartments and hotels.

Many foreigners in China live on a school campus. English teachers are given apartments on the campus; foreign students normally live in a dormitory.

If you want to immerse yourself into Chinese culture and quickly learn Chinese, you should consider renting a room in someone else’s apartment or a shared flat. You can find ads from people looking for flatmates on Chinese housing websites or in English magazines.You will also sometimes find an ad from a Chinese family or individual who desires to live with a native English-speaker and will provide a free room in exchange for language practice.
Currency and Cost of Living in China
Housing & Finance
Currency in China

The Chinese currency is called Renminbi (RMB), which consists of yuan(元), jiao(角) and fen(分). 10 jiao make up 1 yuan, and 10 fens make up 1 jiao.

Money is issued in notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 yuan, and 1 yuan coins. There are also notes for 1, 2, 5 jiao, and 5 and 1 jiao coins. Fen is issued as coins.

Foreign Currency Exchange

Note that China has established some very strict regulations on foreign currency exchange.
Exchange Places Credentials needed Money limitation
Foreign currency to RMB Bank of China ID/ passport /
RMB to Foreign currency

Bank of China
Exchange office in other banks

Certification from foreign exchange department
A copy of the original exchange memo
  • If you’re working in China and get paid in yuan, you might find it difficult to convert your Chinese currency savings into another currency. You have to keep your proof of payments as this might help.
  • Due to the strict regulations, there is an active black market for currency exchange, but illegal money changers sometimes operate with false currencies so it is definitely preferable to do your currency exchanges at an official institution.
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