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Living in China

Being one of the very few countries in this world that has resisted western influences for so long, China remains a unique and interesting place. It is beautiful and inspiring and rich with culture and history, but China is also changing on a scale this world has never witnessed. China is in the process of moving from a largely poor agrarian society to a modern bustling urban one and is forecasted to be the most economically important country on the planet within a decade. One cannot understand what is going on here from reading books: this cannot be overemphasized. You must live here to realize its unique ways.

All of these things can also cause China to present some possibly overwhelming challenges. China's unique history causes such deep cultural divides that it penetrates deeply into the way people think. Westerners can find things counterintuitive and confusing at times. People do not appreciate the same courtesies as in the West. Some examples of things that westerners must adjust to are: speaking loud on cellphones, spitting, driving on the wrong side of the road, not holding doors open for those behind them, honking horns and the mere noise level and energy that comes from living in such a populous society. In addition, the pace of development in some places can be challenging. Sometimes it feels like half of the city is under construction. The sidewalk you walk down to get to school could be torn up the next day.

These are the things that can also be what make China so exciting. The pace of change can be exhilarating. It is also becoming an easier place for westerners to live. What is changing? New roads are being built. Old ones are getting wider. New high-rises are being built at a pace that is hard to believe. Old and ugly buildings are being beautified. New malls are opening yearly with stores that make it easier to find the things you need. New rules are being enforced.

"China will never leave one feeling bored. The first eighteen months I was here, not a day went by without being amazed at something that happened, whether it was something someone did or by something that was being built." (Noah Abrams, Founder)

We are not here to dilute or misrepresent the China experience, but rather to find individuals who are open and eager to love both the pleasures and pangs of China. China is not for everyone, but with some patience and a sense of humor, China can be a wonderful place and a great experience.