Thinking About Coming to Chengdu

HomeForumsGeneral DiscussionThinking About Coming to Chengdu

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #32335
    Avatar photoAndrewD

    Hey guys,

    Firstly, I just want to say a sincere thank you, since I’ve been lurking on the forum for a while and I feel I’ve learned a lot through it. I’ve just graduated from University here in Canada and am coming to China in August to look for ESL work. I’ve been researching my move for months and have been strongly considering coming to Chengdu – it seems like a very comfortable city for my tastes, not as hectic as Beijing or Shanghai but with a strong expat community, and great food from what I hear. Just thought I’d introduce myself here on the forum.

    I’m also encouraged by the notion that there seem to be a couple of guys on here who are into training martial arts, mma and bjj. I’ve done bjj for the past five or six years. It’s been a really big part of my life, so I’m happy that if I do come to Chengdu there should be some guys to roll with. I’m a four-stripe blue belt with a bunch of competition experience so I should have something to contribute to the martial arts community.

    I’ve contacted a few schools in Chengdu so far but I’m wondering, would you advise one to arrange for work before coming over or to look for a job on the ground? If I come over on a tourist visa, will it be easy enough to convert it to a z-visa with a border run?

    Thanks for your time, and thanks for maintaining an awesome site/forum. Looking forward to learning more about Chengdu life.

    Best regards,


    Avatar photoBrendan

    I’ve been researching my move for months and have been strongly considering coming to Chengdu

    Don’t do it!!

    Ha Ha! Kidding, and hello. When are you thinking of making the jump?

    Short answers before I escape for my morning coffee… If you can afford not to, I’d personally leave looking for teaching work until you arrive. If you have any personal connections to any particular schools that’s a different matter, otherwise you’re more likely to land a better gig once here. I’ve heard enough stories of people coming on prearranged jobs who’ve regretted it.

    Changing visas is simple, especially if you’re prepared to do a border/visa run. There are some changes happening to visa regulations and classifications in the next couple of months, but that shouldn’t deter you.

    If you have a reasonable amount of money set aside for your move you’ll be fine. The biggest thing is making the decision to just get on a plane and get out here. After that it’s usually plain sailing, unless your brain cells are running on empty.

    Good luck with the move!

    EDIT: When I say ‘plain sailing…’ 😉

    Avatar photoAndrewD

    Hey Brendan,

    I’ll be flying into Shanghai Aug 13th. I’m meeting up with a buddy of mine and we’re going to travel a couple weeks before I settle down somewhere. I was hoping to start work in September. Is September a good time of year to be looking for teaching work in Chengdu?

    I do have a decent amount of money saved up, enough to last at least three months and to have enough for a deposit on an apartment and all that. I don’t mind doing a visa run, though from all I’ve heard visa issues in China seem to be…complex. So the comfort of having visa issues sorted out by my employer if I were to prearrange a job is tempting. But I would hate to sign a contract and show up only to find out there were better jobs available for me.

    Avatar photoCharlie

    Hi Andrew,

    Welcome to the forum, Chengdu is becoming a better and better place to live and as you say, remains much more laid back and friendly compared to Beijing and Shanghai. I frequently have friends visit from other cities in China and want to move here (and some of them have moved here, others have plans to move this year). To answer your questions:

    • I agree with Brendan, it’s easier to find work on the ground here rather than arrange it in advance. The cost of living is still pretty cheap, so with your money saved you should have plenty of time to find the kind of job you want.
    • The main BJJ guy in Chengdu is JerryS, who was a forum regular until recently. He has lost internet apparently, and is preparing to go to the States very soon, but he still trains weekly. You would be a great asset to the BJJ scene here, which is definitely in its early stages.
    • As long as you find a job, visas are no real issue. You might have to take a trip to Hong Kong, but employers will normally pay for that, or help you resolve the issue from Chengdu.
    • I’m not sure about what season is best to find a job teaching English. The demand for English teachers is endless though, so I don’t think you’ll have much trouble.


    Avatar photoAndrewD

    Awesome. Well thanks for the warm welcome and all the info. It’s nice to hear that finding a job on the ground shouldn’t be too difficult. I’d really like to take a look around in person before committing to living somewhere in the long term.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • The forum ‘General Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.