Things to consider before taking up EXPAT assignment - Shanghai

Hi All,

I am Victor, by nationality from Singapore. However I am settled in Mumbai India currently (my father moved in here as expat on assignment & eventually the tenure extended pretty long).
I am considering to be an expat at Shanghai from Feb-10 onwards (have an interesting assignment on hands).
However, I havent been able to make up my mind fully & I am surveying things about life in Shanghai. I am also trying to consult HR in my organisation, but as it is a start up company not sure how much of an help they will be able to provide me.

I am married, plan to bring along my wife & my 1 year old son with me.
The salary which i am drawing in India currently is equivalent to 14,000 CHINESE YUAN. (My salary figure for China posting shall be defined next year).
My immediate queries are:
1. Considering 14,000 Chinese Yuan, is it good for a decent lifestyle & savings as well. What do you propose as a decent take home? (it helps me to negotiate with my employer).
2. Is it very difficult to settle down for English speaking person. (I shall take up Mandarin course upon arrival).
3. How is the rent for apartments? If stay in the city fringes, is travel to office & home an issue? I mean how good is public transport.
4. How is the availability for play schools/creche or governess? (since I have a 1 year old kid, I was wondering from the English speaking view point).
5. Is there good interaction between Expat & local communities?

Would be really grateful if you could respond to my queries.

God bless,
Victor

Hi Victor,

Good to see a fellow singaporean here. Well it depends on the location u will be staying. I am staying with my Godmum now. The rent she is paying for her apartment is around 7000- 8000 yuan but I believe u can get something cheaper as we are staying in an estate similar to Novena in Singapore.

Food here is not very expensive, but because its a city, similar price to those in Singapore, if not cheaper here. The transport here is def way much cheaper as compared to SG.

language wise, its better if u can speak chinese, but based on my experiences over the past 3 yrs, shanghai generally has a larger english community as compared to the rest of china.

well hope that helps.

cheers

Hi Victor - this post is coming to you a bit late.  I don't know if you have discovered shanghaiexpat.com yet, but that is a very large forum where many of your questions have already been answered - just perform a site search. 

Coming from a small town in the states we find the city prices of Shanghai outrageous for (western-style) food and housing.  We're living in an expat community with very western amenities which translates to overpriced conveniences.  The alternative is to make an effort to acclimate (become more proficient at Mandarin) which would greatly increase our options and reduce our cost of living.  Shanghai is a very versatile city with opportunities for expats at all earning levels.

Best to you and your family.

Victor

i am a Chinese girl,Mandarin teacher.i meet foreigners every

day. i dont wanna discourage u ,but as i know , 14000 RMB is

really hard to live a decent life here for a family.

if u wanna do Mandarin lessons after u come here. u can

contact me.

Hi Elise

May I know why 14,000RMB is difficult to live a decent life in shanghai?



Elise Green :

Victor

i am a Chinese girl,Mandarin teacher.i meet foreigners every

day. i dont wanna discourage u ,but as i know , 14000 RMB is

really hard to live a decent life here for a family.

if u wanna do Mandarin lessons after u come here. u can

contact me.

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