If you’re moving to Shanghai, prepare to be surprised. The outside world may perceive the city as a smoggy, teeming industrial hub. To most foreign residents however, Shanghai is a dynamic, vibrant, inspiring and cosmopolitan metropolis. Most expats reveal experiencing an overall feeling of ‘this is where things are happening.’ At the same time, Shanghai startles newcomers with its beauty and street-level charm amid alarmingly rapid growth.
The charm lies in the city’s cultural and architectural vestiges that echo its unique colonial past, combined with its unrelenting drive into the future. Although an outsider will always be the laowai (foreigner), the people of Shanghai are welcoming. Look forward to good friendships and respectable business relationships with the local people.
Shanghai has a way of luring people in and keeping them. Be prepared to hear from expats and Chinese alike that they came to Shanghai to work or study years ago and then couldn’t bring themselves to leave.
Living and working in the city of Shanghai means amazing career opportunities, exciting language challenges and cultural immersion. You can enjoy food from all over Asia, mingle in a large and diverse expatriate community and be a part of the fastest growing economy in the world. However, this also comes with frustrations.
Adjusting to a new language, a new culture and a new government can be frustrating. Acclimating to a vastly different environment takes time, patience, flexibility and a good sense of humour.