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Travel, Teach, Live in China

Packing Essentials for China: What You Need To Know
By:Kane Holding

Leaving your home country for China can be a daunting prospect, but in reality the big cities of China have almost everything you could need, and plenty of stuff you have never thought you would like but soon find you won't want to live without.

However, there are some things you should make sure you bring with you or prepare before you come to China. These items will not only make your life easier, but make settling into your new environment so much less stressful. From our experience of living in China, some of these items are common sense items, but some are more surprising. Make this list part of your packing routine and you will be a step ahead of other students, who might have to take up valuable study time finding what you already have.

First on the agenda are health-related items. Whilst you are unlikely to come into contact with deadly tropical diseases in the Northern metropolis of Beijing, it pays to have a tetanus booster and hepatitis vaccinations. If you are planning to go to Yunnan or Southern China, then malaria tablets are a good idea. Also, make sure you have any prescription drugs in plentiful supply with you, so that you don't have to go straight to a hospital to get your meds. Most of your usual over-the-counter remedies can be found, but it is advisable to have a pack of painkillers and some diarrhea tablets with you at first so you don't have to wrestle with new words if you are unwell.

Personal hygiene is also an area where it pays to be prepared. Almost all beauty products, major brands of make-up, soap and shampoo can found. However, it really makes sense to bring a few cans of your favorite deodorant. Deodorant, especially for men, is extremely hard to find outside of shops selling imported foreign goods, even in big cities like Beijing. With temperatures in summer getting in the high thirties in many areas, it should be no sweat to bring this with you.

Books are another item that it is worth paying for extra baggage fees. If you need specific English-language textbooks, they can be hard to find. Bring your essential books with you to avoid having to ship them over at greater expense later on.

What you might be surprised about is that it is really as simple as that. Of course, everyone has their own special items they might want to bring over, but don't fear that you won't be able to get most of your daily essentials or even luxuries, particularly if you are in the big cities. Preparing these items will save you time and energy when you arrive, even if it means a little more weight in your case.

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