Moving to China?

Hello everyone!

I was going to put this in another forum (I thought there was a faith and finance forum, but now I cannot find it), but I decided it belonged here just as well as anywhere else.

My husband has a possible career opportunity that has presented itself and we are unsure how to proceed. He is being pursued, at least at the present, by a global company, which will remain nameless (but is responsible for entertainment and amusement products the world over). They already did a headhunter interview, and want to proceed with the next phone interview. They have already offered to get in touch with me as well, to assuage my concerns about relocation. Problem is, it involves relocation to CHINA, for about 18 months or so. Shanghai, specifically. We would be put up, expenses paid, in an ex-pat community housed in a lovely high-rise apartment community with daily maid service. During that time, we would put our house on the market and immerse ourselves in China, learning about the language and culture. Then, we would move back to the States and relocate in the city of the company’s headquarters.

It sounds like either a tremendous opportunity or a disaster in the making. Since my husband has the curious history of getting every job he has ever interviewed for, and of getting stolen away by one company from another company, there is a good likelihood that by simply saying yes to the phone interview, we are putting things in motion that would be very difficult to stop. On top of that, I am currently pregnant, and with every child I have had, my husband has been stolen away by one company from another and sometimes that required moving across country (I once drove across country in caravan with him and the moving truck when I was 8 months preggo).

Did I mention it would require living in CHINA??? Honestly, my greatest concern is the ability to practice my faith openly, and bring my little gaggle of goslings to a country that is mostly atheistic (with the exception of the presence of the Chinese Christians that are unable to openly practice their faith) and has the abhorrent One-Child Policy. On the other hand, we would be there as guests, living in an ex-pat community.

What do y’all think?

Wow, mommamaree!

Honestly, I don’t think I could do it. It would be totally different to move when my kids were grown, but I couldn’t do it while they were school age. And for 18 months and then move again? Nope. Maybe I have just moved too many times myself. I am waiting to see what everyone else has to say. :popcorn:

The most important thing for your husband is the quality of the company (imo). If they are a good company, I see a lot of benefits.

Financial - save money while you are in Asia
Cultural - especially for your kids, if they are old enough to understand
Professionally for your husband

I have been to the Far East several times, though not mainland China. I believe Shanghai is very modern, though I would love to hear what others think. As an American, the Chinese will take very good care of you and your family.

As far as religion goes, I believe you will be able to practice your faith. It may be through a state approved church. If that bothers you or if you have questions, maybe talk to the Maryknolls (sp?). I think they have a strong presence in that part of the world.

To me, this seems like a great opportunity and I would jump at the chance - especially to give your kids exposure to such a different culture. Just keep in mind that when they say 18 months it could easily be 24 months or more.

Good luck! Very exciting!

Edit: spelling

I should add that I am accustomed to moving rather frequently, so that is not my concern. Also, we homeschool, so school will just come right along with us.

However,

it is CHINA!!! :wink:
and I am pregnant, and not due until October. (I have moved while pregnant before, but just to another state, not out of the country.)

Oh, and, I have never been outside the US before. My husband lived abroad for several years during his childhood.

My main question would be whether or not there is a priest available to provide the sacraments who is a) in communion with the Pope and b) provides the sacraments in English.

I think this is a great opportunity. Did you mention where it was?:slight_smile:

This would certainly be interesting. Chinese is hard to learn, isn’t it? I know when I was in language school the people learning chinese and korean seemed to have the hardest time. Oh, well, if you shout english loud enough anyone can understand it, right?

I would inquire as to what the company would do if you guys had to leave (either your issues or Chinese political situation) early. Could you take the kids home and have the company pay to move you early with your husband staying in China?

Based on your description, it sounds like a great opportunity. You are only going to be there for 18 months. I think it is totally doable. I have been in Shanghai once. It is a very modern city. The air quality is not that good. As far as attending Mass, there is no problem. Just attend one of the government approved churches. The Mass is exactly the same format as here. My best friend lives in that area for the past ten years. She is a devout Catholic.

Shanghai is an international city. I have another friend whose son is living there after graduating from Harvard. He seems like it very much. I would not want to settle in China but 18 months could be a good experience, especially you are home schooling, so school is not of your concern.

Put this thing in your prayer and follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. You will be fine. God bless!

From what I understand, real Christianity is gaining considerable momentum in China. It could be that you are meant to be a positive example of living out that faith for the people there. I wouldn’t say that for sure, but I do think it’s something to consider and pray about.

Exciting but a bunch of stuff to consider. You say that you’ll put your house on the market. Who is going to be responsible for the listing and realtor fees, you or the company? Does the company buy your house if it doesn’t sell after X months? Who is responsible for storing your stuff while you’re away? What currency will you be paid in and does your salary include medical insurance? I’m sure you’ll go over everything carefully, though.

You’ll be in an expat community of dozens of other families in the exact same situation as you’re in, so I wouldn’t worry about fitting in or assimilating to the culture. And after all, it is only for 18 months. I’ve done expat assignments and haven’t really seen much outside of the company base. It’s up to you how much you get out.

One more piece of the puzzle I forgot to mention (sorry!) :smiley:

This company that is pursuing my husband is the kind of company that its name is recognizable for most people in the Western World and in Asia, no matter what one’s native language is.

Most people would be in a position of desiring a job with this company, but my husband, who wasn’t even looking into it, is being “courted” by them. It is an extremely coveted position, that most people in my husband’s field would sell a kidney for. :wink:

When my husband told his best friend about the possible opportunity, but said he wasn’t going to continue with the process, his best friend (godfather to my youngest child) looked at him like he was crazy! I encouraged my husband to explore it and just see where it goes. It is possible they won’t offer him a job in the end. But if they do, we would need to be ready to drop everything and move within a month.

Eh, way back in the day, I was semi-proficient in Japanese. To answer your last question, yes, we would be free to return home. It is not contingent upon the whole family being there, although we are welcome to all come and that is encouraged.

I wouldn’t worry about the availability of English-speaking Masses in Shanghai. The expat community there is quite sizable. Google is your friend, do a search for Catholic Masses in Shanghai.

Of course there are many other concerns that go with a relocation. I’ve gone through a couple of overseas relocations so I know a bit about them and you certainly have my best wishes should he take the job and you and your family go with him.

Regarding your existing house, I realize that selling is the easiest thing to do, but another option may be to put it on the rental market. Find yourself a good property manager and hire him to take care of it. Of course this presupposes that you can get positive cash flow out of it before figuring the taxes. I did this with both of my overseas relocations. In fact, my house stayed rented through the time in between the relocations, I just lived elsewhere. But do consult with a tax professional about the income and tax implications of doing this versus selling before you take that leap.

Disney? Or should we not guess? :smiley:

If it is a reputable company, then I’m sure it will be a good experience for you. Hope y’all get the job.

I think this would be an AMAZING opportunity for your kids too. To live in China for more then a year, to make friends and learn about their culture and language. Wow. That’s a very exciting prospect.

Do you remember any of the “kanji” characters? I think that is what they call the Chinese characters they use in Japanese. Relatedly, there are likely some Chinese words that are used in Japanese and so could be recognizable to you. (At least that happens with Chinese-Korean).

It would likely be very challenging, especially in the beginning. Ideally, after several months, you’d get more comfortable with language/customs/procedures/culture/transportation…

And, the company should have a lot of experience and be able to offer a lot of resources, right?

Yes, we had to learn kanji, too. In fact, Japanese has three “alphabets”. Chinese only had the one, right? But it has upwards of thousands of characters!

So yes, it could be a challenge, but learning Chinese could be an appropriate thing to do, considering our rapidly changing economic influences globally.

At one point, I was very good with learning languages and even thought I wanted to pursue a career as a UN translator.:eek: Funny how things changed.

Mommamaree said:

“Problem is, it involves relocation to CHINA, for about 18 months or so. Shanghai, specifically. We would be put up, expenses paid, in an ex-pat community housed in a lovely high-rise apartment community with daily maid service.”

!!!

“It sounds like either a tremendous opportunity or a disaster in the making. Since my husband has the curious history of getting every job he has ever interviewed for, and of getting stolen away by one company from another company, there is a good likelihood that by simply saying yes to the phone interview, we are putting things in motion that would be very difficult to stop. On top of that, I am currently pregnant, and with every child I have had, my husband has been stolen away by one company from another and sometimes that required moving across country (I once drove across country in caravan with him and the moving truck when I was 8 months preggo).”

If you can have your baby in the US and get the baby settled before this big adventure, it sounds very exciting.

I still kind of wish that our family had managed to do a couple years in a Gulf Arab country (on very similar terms), although in that area of the world, there are far more security issues.

“Did I mention it would require living in CHINA??? Honestly, my greatest concern is the ability to practice my faith openly, and bring my little gaggle of goslings to a country that is mostly atheistic (with the exception of the presence of the Chinese Christians that are unable to openly practice their faith) and has the abhorrent One-Child Policy. On the other hand, we would be there as guests, living in an ex-pat community.”

And you’d be setting one heck of an example.

Hopefully you’ll hear a lot via PM about Catholic life in China. For obvious reasons, a lot of the details are stuff that should not be communicated on open channels.

There’s a book entitled “Jesus in Beijing” that I suggest you have a look at.

I know from my husband’s contacts that there are growing academic ties between the US and China, and there is a surprising number of PRC scholars and graduate students who are Christian. We ourselves have thought about having my husband do a short visit. I think you will be surprised how many local Christians you run into.

Would you be having the baby in China?

I would have a lot of concerns about that, unless there is a hospital that has a good reputation among expats. Among other things, it’s possible that some do forcible sterilizations just as a matter of course. I would research that question very carefully.

Also, in case of family medical emergency, dealing with ER in Chinese might be quite challenging.

Best wishes!

Yes, this is my concern exactly. Either that, or some neglect of the health/life of the baby. If we do move, it would have to be after confirming that a good hospital is close by that is friendly to expats, along with good OBs. And they all would have to speak excellent English, because I will not be able to learn Chinese fast enough.

Honestly, if I were not already pregnant, we would simply employ conservative NFP TTA for the duration, in order to avoid this problem. But, I think it is not a coincidence that this is happening at this time. It might simplify our decision-making process. Lack of OB care and maternity support is not even an option for me.

I thought the one-child policy wasn’t in effect anymore. I thought that ended about 10 years ago. :shrug:

Shanghai is extremely modern and heavily westernized. The medical care there is supposed to be on par with the rest of the world. Since you are not a Chinese citizen even if the one child policy is still in effect they cannot force it on you (that would create a huge international issue).

From the sound of it this is a contract job that only lasts 18 months. So would it be wise to sell your house? It might be worth more to rent, that way you have a home to return to after the contract it up.

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