Preparing For China


Coming to China will be an exciting time for you and we have created a list of things you may like to bring in order to make you feel comfortable in the new environment.

1. Clothing


Be sure to bring most things you need, as it is difficult to find things in a bigger make here. If you are over 5’11 with a larger build, you may find it hard to shop here, but not impossible! The climate here is tropical, it feels like summer almost all year round so packing light clothes over heavy coats is advised. 

For work: Most schools have a dress code. Business casual will usually be required. Polo’s and collared shirts are great. Best to avoid any clothing that is too revealing.


If you are under 5/6 feet with a smaller build, you will probably be able to shop well here. If you are not, bring what you think you might need for the year. The weather here is beautiful and hot all year round so take that into consideration when packing. 

For work: Most schools have a dress code. Business casual will usually be the standard. Best to avoid any clothing that is too revealing. If a tattoo is very noticable, don’t be surprised if the school asks you to cover it.

2. Medicine

*Note: Most medicines can be found in China (or something similar)

•Prepo Bismal/GasX/Tums
•Cold and Flu Remedy
•Cough Syrup
•Antihistamine (some countries don’t allow these through customs, so double check your flight path before packing)
•Anti-itch/fungal cream
•Eye drops
•Top up on prescriptions before you come and bring the pads with you

3. Technology

•Laptop or tablet
•External battery for phone
•An unlocked smartphone (must be unlocked if you want to use a Chinese sim card)
•Surge protected electrical converter
•USB and portable hard drive (can get them here, however, it’s good to come prepared for lesson sharing, etc. during orientation)
Choosing a VPN:
China restricts access to sites such as Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, some news sources, etc. To be able to view these sites,  you need to download and open a VPN. It is best to do this before you arrive because VPN websites are blocked in China. Many expats in China recommend ExpressVPN and Astrill.

4. Visa

NOTE: Please double comfirm with your recruiter and visa handler what documents to bring with you to China.

You must bring with you ALL the documents you have used in your visa process with you to China.

This includes:

2.Previous passport (if any)
3.Original degree (notarized, legalized, authenticated)
4.Original background check (notarized, legalized, authenticated)
5.Original TEFL/TESOL/CELTA (notarized, authenticated (if teaching outside of Shenzhen))
6.Medical check Reference letters
7.Passport style photos (2×2 inch)


1.Watch the online orientation videos (link provided by your recruiter)
2.Ensure vaccines are up-to-date and check if you need any others (best done during health checkup for visa)
3.Dental and optometrist check-up
4.Tax information – find out what you will need to claim before it’s time to file
5.Set a travel alert on your bank
6.Unlock your smart phone

Take care of any online account such as changing passwords, taking off SMS protection (most accounts will lock you out due to you logging in from a new location)