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◊ Relocating to Shanghai

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• Shanghai, here we go

- Climate

Shanghai experiences a wide range of temperatures. Spring temperatures vary between 4'C/40'F and 13'C/55'F. Summer months tend to be extremely hot and muggy. Autumn is usually sunny and dry. Winter months are often cold and rainy, with January being the coldest month of the year.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
'C 3.3 4.3 8.2 13.8 18.9 23.2 27.4 27.5 23.2 17.7 11.7 5.9
'F 37.5 39.7 46.9 56.8 66.0 73.8 81.3 81.4 73.8 63.9 53.1 42.6

- Security

The crime rate in China is low in relation to the US and Europe. Shanghai is a very safe city, and crimes against to foreigners are uncommon, but bag snatching and burglaries are still happened sometimes, you should make sure that your houses or apartment has good security. It is time consuming to replace passports, identity papers, driver's licenses and other important documents, so keep them well protected. Identification should be carried at all times. We encourage you to register at your consulate soon after you move to Shanghai so the consulate will have a copy of your passport on file and can replace it if necessary. The consulate will also assist registered citizens, in case of emergency evacuation.

- Tipping

Although tipping is becoming more common in places frequented by foreigners, small change is usually sufficient. A 15% surcharge is normally added to the bill in expatriate and hotel restaurants. It is not usual to tip in purely Chinese settings.

- Electricity

The standard electrical current is 220 volts and 50 cycles. The configuration of the plugs differs from one location to the next and often even within the apartment or villa. Local stores sell adapters.

- Drinking Water

The water from the tap directly is not drinkable in Shanghai so Landlords generally provide one water fountain (use barreled water).

- Local Time

China has one time zone. Shanghai is 8 hours ahead of GMT (London) and 13 hours of EST (New York).

- Language

Shanghainese generally speak Mandarin (Putonghua) Chinese (the official language of the government) and Shanghai dialect. While there are many different spoken dialects in China, there is only one written language. A beginners course in Mandarin, will certainly be useful.

- Chinese Currency

The Chinese currency is called Renminbi (meaning People's Currency) and it is abbreviated as RMB. It is denominated in yuan, referred as "kuai" in every speech.

- Simple conversions

Convert Fahrenheit to Centigrade: Subtract 32, multiply by 5, divided by 9.
Convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit: multiply by 9, divided by 5, and add 32
25g = 1 OZ, 454g = 16 OZ (1 Pound)

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What to Bring

Visa & Permit

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