Two different worlds – A family moves from America to China
July 7, 2017
Relocating is, no doubt, a challenge—relocating as a family with children to another continent, a new culture and an entirely different language is another task in itself. We recently caught up with a family who moved from Orlando, Florida to Beijing, China to see how they are adapting to their new life.
What has surprised you the most about Beijing?
I was taken aback at just how large the city is – especially coming from Orlando, it was hard to imagine just how populated Beijing is and how endless it seems. Quite overwhelming but amazing to experience.
There’s also the cultural aspect of living in China to take in to account. It’s very humbling when you realize you can’t read any of the signs while shopping for groceries or ask simple questions—I would say that has been my single biggest challenge. I do have to say, however, that it has been really nice to see my children adapting well with the language and have them teach me in return!
How was your experience relocating with your family?
I was excited about having the opportunity to raise American children in Beijing as they get to experience an entirely different culture and develop a world perspective. It’s been really special to see my children (ages 5 & 8) just as excited about this opportunity and watch them take in all that Beijing has to offer. I just took my daughter to a new market in town that we haven’t been to and it was awesome to be able to share that experience with her.
What are some challenges about living in Beijing?
Of course, the language is definitely a challenge but we have to think of language as a process and it will just take more time to become accustomed to.
A big concern for us was definitely air and water quality. You quickly get an education about in-home filtration systems and a big help for us were these phone apps that help you get up to date about the air quality outside so you can decide how your family’s going to spend their time. For example, if the air is bad today maybe we’ll go to an indoor playground or alternatively, if it’s good, we can run out to the Great Wall or explore a new market in town.
What do you like about living in Beijing?
It was pretty overwhelming when we first arrived in Beijing but after you get past the initial shock of it all, it really is an exciting place to live in. I think it’s important to remember that everyday gets a little easier and you really do learn something new everyday. It’s also been helpful that we live close to the kids’ school so we have that opportunity to socialize with other expat families and have the kids take part in extra-curriculars that the school offers. So far, it’s been a good and exciting challenge for our family to have this opportunity to live in Beijing!
Find out more about relocations to Beijing.
Remember any relocation begins with a Visa, be sure to check out our immigration support for help with your new start.