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Working Abroad in Beijing

With a population of well over 20 million people, Beijing is the third largest city in the world. As China’s capital, Beijing is a massive metropolis which rapidly continues to gain global influence in a variety of sectors, from business to politics to entertainment. Working abroad in Beijing, while adjusting to the cultural differences and sheer size of the city, will undoubtedly come with its fair share of challenges, but the payoff will be well worth it. When you work in Beijing, you will find yourself at the center of it all in, one of the world’s most important cities.

Jobs in Beijing

Beijing’s economy has more than tripled in size over the course of the last decade, and continues to grow at an outstanding rate. It is also one of the wealthiest administrative units in the country, and has more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other city in the world. Consequently, many economists believe that China, as a nation, will become the most powerful economy in the world within the next few years.

As you might imagine, international business is one of the most promising fields for jobs in Beijing. Jobs in marketing and advertising, communications, and accounting have the potential to pay big in Beijing, and local companies are always looking to attract English speaking foreign employees. That being said, you do not necessarily need to speak Mandarin to be considered for jobs in Beijing; however, being adept in the local language will open up a completely different realm of professional opportunities.

If you are looking for a temporary job in Beijing, then teaching English is a very popular option for foreign workers as well. You can find positions through a wide variety of work abroad or teaching placement programs, which typically allow you to live and teach in Beijing for up to two years with the option to extend your stay. Becoming an au pair and working in the tourism or hospitality industries are also popular options for jobs in Beijing too.

Life in Beijing

For those who have never been to China, adapting to life in Beijing will undeniably come with a fare dosage of culture shock; it is a huge city that moves at a fast pace and all the stimulation can be overwhelming at first. However, soon enough you will feel out your surroundings and come to see why Beijing, the long standing the cultural and political center of China, is one of the most exciting and enriching cities to work abroad on the planet. 

At the very center of Beijing is the Forbidden City, a massive complex that served as the center of Imperial China for centuries. Since the fall of the Chinese empire, Beijing has expanded greatly, and now the old and new coexist throughout the surrounding metropolitan grid. Beautiful ancient structures, such as the Temple of Heaven, stand within walking distance of modern architectural wonders, such as the National Center for the Performing Arts.

Furthermore, it is cheap and easy to get around. The Beijing subway is the third longest subway system in the world, boasting over 225 stops across the cityscape. While working in Beijing you should explore as many different facets of the city as possible, in order to experience its immense architectural and cultural diversity.

Salary & Affordability

One great benefit of jobs in Beijing is the affordable cost of living the city maintains. China has made great leaps and strides in economic development over the past few decades, but many costs of living still remain quite low. A subway ride, for example, will only run you pennies, and you can usually eat meals out for just a few dollars; not bad for one of the most highly regarded cities in the world.

Compensation is also usually good for jobs in Beijing. The city’s economy is booming, and speaking fluent English is a highly marketable skill in china. Obviously your salary will vary depending on what type of work your find yourself in, but you can generally expect to make enough to live quite comfortably working in Beijing.

Accommodation & Visas

Most foreign workers choose to either live in their own apartment or rent out a single room in a larger flat. Living toward the city center will be considerably more expensive than the outskirts, but real estate prices remain reasonably affordable throughout the city. A one bedroom apartment downtown will likely cost around $1,000 per month, while an apartment further away might cost half of that.

Since China has a closed government, the visa policy is fairly strict. However, Chinese bureaucracy works quite efficiently, and you shouldn’t have a problem obtaining the proper visa documentation if you find work in Beijing with a viable employer or through a work abroad program. For more information about what specific visa you will need to work in Beijing, you can check out GoAbroad’s Chinese Embassy Directory.

Benefits & Challenges

Cultural Stimulation. China is the most populous country on the planet, and one of the largest by land area as well. It is one of the oldest continuously flourishing civilizations on Earth, and therefore China boasts an infinitely deep culture worth experiencing and exploring. 

Gainful Employment. Beijing is in elite company as a global city, often considered one of the top ten internationally connected hubs on the planet. Jobs in Beijing will afford you with huge career opportunities, no matter what aspirations you may have.

Language Lessons. If you are proficient in Mandarin, currently learning the language, or do not know a single word, it doesn’t matter. Living and working in Beijing will be a crash course in the world’s most spoken language.

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