please note that this is based on my experience in Chengdu
I wasn’t the first person (and also not the only one) going to study to China, so I had few people to go for an advice to. But (as excepted) I never managed to gather all the info beforehand, most of the things I just had to learn the harder way.
Now when those first impressions and maaany errors are almost forgot and I don’t feel lost I realised that in the future there will be someone who would feel the same as I did and maybe (hopefuly) would find an article like this useful.
In this post I will focus on what to do when you are in China.
- SIM CARD
Maybe you won’t feel like doing anything the first day of your arrival, maybe not even the second, but to set up a new phone account (aka buy a new SIM card) is your first must. Not only you can choose from various tarifs with an insane data limit, but also you need your Chinese phone number for everything, let it be the bank account or Alipay. To buy a new SIM card is super easy, just make sure you have your passport with you, since the company needs to take photo of you holding your passport. The payment is easy as well, you pay some deposit at the beginning (around 100CNY) and then you pay each month via phone.
tip: Chinese don’t usually stress about contracts, they just give you what you want and you give them money in exchange. If you want the contract, you have to ask.
- BANK ACCOUNT
If you are a scholarship student, you will need a Chinese account for the scholarship. Usually your uni tells you which bank you should go to or you can also find it on the notice board. To set up a bank account you need two things – passport and Chinese phone number.
tip: Go to the bank asap, otherwise it will be overcrowded with students and you will be there forever.
- SCHOOL REGISTRATION
Once you have your bank account, you can register to school. Make sure that you have all of the documents required (stated in your acceptance letter or at the notice board) plus 4 passport photos.tip: Do the steps above in this recommended order to avoid neverending queueing. Or at least get rid of queueing twice.
- RESIDENCE PERMIT/visa extention (only if you have an X2 visa)
I think in this case it doesn’t matter when you go to the office, it was always crowded. You will need your passport, papers from your doctor, 400CNY extra fee and anything that will help you survive another day of queueing. The process is actually very easy, you just fill the application and queue. And after aprox. 2 weeks you will have your extended visa! Hooray.
tip: Some cities require health examination from their own doctors (around 500CNY), but you have to check this yourself. In Chengdu it is not necesary if you are not asking for an extention longer than 1 year.