an initial plan
"If you fail to plan, you are
planning to fail," goes the adage. There are those who want to be spontaneous and to simply let China happen to them,
but this is not advisable. There will be enough surprises and revisions in your plans within a matter of months to
keep the most spontaneous types happy. To keep it simple, your plan might include the following points:
Engaging the Culture
How will you engage the culture? Books, websites, learning the language and talking with people are good
starting points. Plan to get out into the culture and go places where there are no foreigners.
medical facilities and doctors and determine what will you do in an emergency. Obtain evacuation insurance. Investigate
schools (and their enrollment processes) or home schooling resources, and determine supplies you will need to take
Building New Support Networks
What is your plan to develop and build new friendships? Joining expatriate associations
and language study groups can be excellent starting points. International churches in China are excellent places to
find support and develop new networks.
Research banking options in your new location. You can most likely use your home
banking account with the help of direct deposit and ATMs. A budget is important. Anticipate your expenses and have
a plan and back up plans.
Monuments, Milestones and Vacations
Living abroad is an extraordinary experience. Where are some places you want to
go and things you will want to do or experience? What will be memorable and important to you in later years?
Ethics and Morals
If you are a business person, you need a firm understanding of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and access
to an attorney to periodically advise you.
Identify meeting places where family members should go if they get lost, and establish local contacts to call in emergencies.
Collect some local phone contacts of people who speak Chinese and can be called day or night in an emergency. Emergency
Evacuation Insurance is essential. Consider how you would handle evacuation from the country if the need arose.