Outpost Beijing has published and updates each year an Inside Guide where all the information are gathered to settle down smoothly in beijing. So please contact us if you like to receive a copy.
You will find below some sections from this guide, linked to the most popular topics amongst the Shel expatriate community.
Beijing offers a variety of schools to suit your needs. Outpost Beijing has an updated document which list some useful details on this topic (contact details, curriculum, learning support, etc.). Send us an email if you would like a copy.
Knowledge of Mandarin is a very useful asset when living in Beijing. Lessons can be on an individual basis or in a group setting dependent on your preferences. There are many private schools in Beijing offering weekday, weekend and evening classes. It is also worth considering some of the local universities if you keen to make a stronger commitment to learning Chinese. Information can be found in the Outpost Guide or ask the Outpost team for recommendations. You can either let the company fix you up with a teacher, or you can ask for a recommendation. Your children can also have Chinese lessons.
Foreigners can study in Beijing universities. Programmes range from a few weeks to two years or more, with subjects varying from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to MBAs. Contact our team for further information.
Online education offers a wide variety of accredited degree programs (i.e. certificates, associate degrees, bachelor's, masters). Most of the online education range from two months to four years in length. If you are keen to take-up online and/or distance learning programme(s), contact us for a list of useful sites.
Western-style medical facilities with international staff are available in Beijing and a few other large cities. Many other hospitals in major Chinese cities have so-called VIP wards (gaogan bingfang).These feature reasonably up-to-date medical technology and both English-speaking and knowledgeable-skilled doctors and nurses.
The international medical facilities have most kinds of medicines available, but it is still recommended you bring your own home pharmacy from your base country if you are used to certain medication and for any accidents or emergencies you may face. Those with a chronic health problem (e.g. diabetes, asthma etc.) should bring along a year’s supply of their usual medication.
Beijing United Family Hospital now has a blood bank in which blood is screened to American standards, but the supply is limited. If a blood transfusion is recommended by a Chinese hospital and time permits, it may be wise to seek a second opinion from one of the international health advisors and/or to seek evacuation to Hong Kong or Singapore.
There are many clinics and hospitals in Beijing. Outpost Beijing has an updated list of Clinics and Hospitals in Beijing (detailing its operating hours, location, telephone numbers, email/website information, type of clinics, support groups, etc). Contact our team if you need a copy of Beijing Medical Care document.
Most companies in Beijing will expect you to speak both Mandarin and English. If possible, have your resume or CV drafted in both languages and be prepared for your interview to be conducted in both languages. Some of these companies want to see and hear proof of your language skills early in the hiring process. You can choose to start finding work before you arrive or while you're in Beijing.
Most spouses employed in Beijing are at schools, embassies or hospitals. There are also many outlets for doing things independently and for undertaking voluntary work.
Opportunities for voluntary work are increasing. Refer to the local listings magazines (i.e. China Daily, That's Beijing, City Weekend) for details of groups seeking volunteers and charity work. There are plenty of freelance opportunities, in areas such as teaching, journalism, translating/editing or Information Technology.
Contact our team for further details. Our Career & Development (C&D) Guide has some useful information on head hunting companies, recruitment agencies, online job links, other useful websites and more to ease your search.
Beijing’s geographical setting and climatic conditions provide a ready backdrop for degraded air quality. Recent industrial development has served to make matters worse.
Beijing is shielded on three sides by mountain ranges of over 1000 metres. In addition, the climate is frequently influenced by stable high-pressure air masses, with little precipitation or wind, and a tendency to temperature inversions.
Dust storms are common in the spring. Most rain (70%) falls in the summer, when otherwise heat and humidity levels are high. The best air quality is in the autumn, while in the winter are cold and low humidity are common.
The air quality in Beijing rapidly becomes a matter of considerable concern for anybody who stays here for more than a few days. Talk to any resident, and they all have their anecdotal evidence: ‘we had family visiting for over a month in the summer, and had one ‘blue-sky day’ in all that time’; ‘at school today we were not allowed out during recess because of the pollution’; ‘our schools’ soccer exchange was cancelled because of the pollution level’; ‘last night’s thunderstorm hardy cleared any of the pollution, it is just as bad today’.
You can see and smell the air pollution, but how do we know how bad it is, what is causing it, and how should it influence our actions?
Please contact us for comprehensive briefing notes on the Beijing Air Quality.