The consensus is that there is a big difference between China and European countries, Cultural diversities are still odd and strange for me to understand. Why do people here have to expectorate everywhere in the street? Why is it so difficult for a chef to remove the bones that I can enjoy my meal?
The largest part of my culture shock finally came up after I started living in China. The following tips may help you overcome the cultural shock as soon as possible. The faster you get used to in China, the faster you can get on with your new exciting life and adventure!
Guessing you are looking at this article, it means that you are beginning to do the research. Searching and reading, English as a non-native language, and foreigners' sharing articles on the Internet will start to get you familiar with the expectations for China. Information online is helpful but doesn't provide you with the full picture, yet you can realize that what the largest troubles may be and many important tips you can use to overcome those challenges.
Actually, because you will make the investigation from here, I can offer you one of my experiences: I was just new in China, and I entered into a house of dumplings and the waiter served me with a glass and a pan of boiling water. I was thinking that maybe I should drink the water, that was what I did later.
However, I never knew the water was for cleaning the tableware until after a week I was told by somebody. How awkward I felt! I guess the waiter must be making fun on me all day.
But you don't have to worry too much. Your tableware has been washed previously. It is only a cultural phenomenon when you are eating on the table in China.
2. Study Mandarin
Everything changes if you learn even a few words in mandarin. It will help you feel more at ease here even if you just can say a few simple mandarin phrases like hello or thank you.
Do remember that mandarin focuses on the tone changes. The language has four tones and you have to keep speaking them over and over again. When I was beginning to speak my mandarin in China, Chinese people had no idea about what I was talking about. I realized it was up to the words instead of the tone. I felt so awkward.
What's more, you can also pay more attention to some learning videos to improve your mandarin, like the online celebrity called Mike who is well-known for his extraordinarily fluent Chinese. In addition, installing some language apps about Chinese on your smart phone is also a good way to remember more mandarin in your leisure time.
Keep learning every moment on your way and during your time in China. And you could look for a Chinese study partner to teach each other the native language, or you can pay a tutor to guide you with single or team courses.
3. Spend time with Chinese people
Although you are still uneasy with Chinese culture, you can still do your best to communicate with Chinese friends. Besides that you can also join your co-workers at lunch time and sincerely ask a Chinese girl at work to bring you to buy something when you are off work. You’ll find Chinese people generously impressed by just a few words in mandarin and instant rapport is created easily.
The moment you take actions to acquaint with Chinese by yourself that you will be more familiar with the culture of the country.
Actually I owe my Chinese friends an apology that I ever misunderstood Chinese people by the first impression of the country. Nevertheless, when I made acquaintance with Chinese people, I was encouraged to accept and admire the culture gradually. They also did me a favor by learning more, which makes me change my previous attitude into kindness and respect.
4. Hang out with fellow expats
Of course, it is very important and meaningful to communicate with Chinese friends, yet to go out with another group of foreigners is also a good way for you guys to exchange and share ideas.
You can have a relaxing time from absorbing the Chinese culture when you talk with different overseas educators. Or you can only act as yourself, not to reflect yourself when you totally get into the western world.
In this way can you not only talk with them about mutual thoughts on the work, but everything in this country is another experience for you day by day.
A small warm note:
Don' t worry too much about cultural shock, mutual respect and understanding will help you tremendously. Expect to be a bit dreamy for the first 3-6 weeks of arriving in China.
Also, if you haven't been to China or have a plan to go to China for a job, you can visit this website to know more about this: https://china.findworkabroad.com/jobs