Love and Location Dilemma With a Chinese Man | Speaking of China

14 Responses

  1. Jennie
    Jennie July 2, 2010 at 3:36 am | | Reply

    I’m a Swedish woman with a Chinese husband- and we’re in fact in China visiting his family again right now. My husband and I have been talking a lot about where to live in the future and have pretty much decided to stay in Scandinavia for now.
    My husband is currently taking an IT-master in Copenhagen, Denmark, and I have a stable full time job in Copenhagen since 2008. Should we ever want to move to China it would most likely only be for a year or two to have our future child going to Chinese school for a year or so and for the child to get to spend more time with grandparents here in China. I’d like my future child to become fluent in Mandarin and preferably also Suzhou dialect which is my husband’s native language.
    For us, housing is no problem as we have an apartment in China already, the only issue really would be what would I do in China? True I could study Chinese for foreigners, but that would not give an income. Visa wise they DO give out 1-2 year visas to foreigners married to a Chinese national- that’s what I’ve heard anyways. I’m currently here in China on a 3 month visa but that’s only because I saw no reason to apply for longer visa this time (staying in China 3.5 weeks this time). But if you have a marriage certificate, preferably translated to Chinese, the embassy “should” give you a longer visa with multi-entrance if you wish and it can be re-newed by going to Hong Kong or Singapore in many cases.

    Something I’m thinking right now: Is there a possibility to live with his parents in China? Or have they bought an apartment for their son? If either one of those is a yes, there’s one thing less to worry about should you live in China.
    What education does he have? Is there job possibilities or possibility for him to take a master degree in Europe?
    What education do you have? Willing to learn Mandarin? Have you been to China and know what it’s like?

    Maybe a first step would be going to China, meet your possible future in-laws (if you haven’t already) and see how it goes.
    I met my in-laws for the first time in 2006, less than a year after first meeting my husband. My in-laws and I bonded instantly even though we to this day, can’t communicate as I’m too shy to try the little Mandarin I know and they only speak a few words of English. But it works anyways 🙂

    Try looking into every possibility! If you feel like moving across the globe for love, then it sure is true love so don’t let any “issues” get in your way!

    As for work in China. Most bigger cities have many western companies in town. I’m in Suzhou and here’s both Nokia, Glaxo Smith Kline and many other companies from west and there are many westerners who live and work here for long term. You can also be a bit creative and look into starting something yourself, like a restaurant with cuisine from your home country. Chinese like to try exotic things 😉

    OK, now I’ll finish this mini essay 😛

  2. Gerald
    Gerald July 2, 2010 at 6:35 am | | Reply

    Another question: What career do you want, what is your specialization? I mean, still being in school doesn’t help, you’ll have to go for that first job/post-doc/whatever – but you may find that is not so easy either… and, on the other hand, there may be chances (depending on career plans) of wanting/having to do research abroad – such as, possibly, in China? – or working for a company that can make use of a foreigner with specialized skills.
    I’ll be the first to admit to struggling with that issue myself, but even in Europe it’s becoming more and more necessary to think creatively about work you can do – and then you can also be creative about work you may be able to do in/with/from China, just as well.
    Expenses for daily life – absolutely not counting the question of buying a house/apartment, admittedly – are way cheaper in China, at least 😉

  3. George
    George July 2, 2010 at 11:21 am | | Reply

    Both of you can always find a job in Hong Kong or Singapore…

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38051441

  4. Richard
    Richard July 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm | | Reply

    There´s nothing you can do. I´d give up on him or have him move to your country. At your age, a career is tons more important than dating, especially since you´ll probably easily forget him after breaking up, like most people do. There are plenty more people for you to date in the future; hopefully more of them will be compatible in terms of location and language.

  5. Chinamatt
    Chinamatt July 3, 2010 at 9:14 am | | Reply

    Even though she isn’t a native English speaker, there would be a demand for a biology teacher with a master’s at universities around China. It certainly wouldn’t pay as well as a job in her home country, but it would be a decent wage in China.

  6. Crystal
    Crystal July 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm | | Reply

    Richard is giving a rational, but cold-hearted advice with which I disagree. I would follow the heart – even if in the end it would not work. Nobody knows what the future holds, so why limiting your options from the very beginning?
    There is NOTHING impossible if you really want something – the rest is just technical difficulties which both of you will have to solve…
    By the way, the advice of moving to some third country (like Singapore) is a good tip demonstrating that there is ALWAYS a way out.

  7. Jessica
    Jessica July 4, 2010 at 4:49 am | | Reply

    Do you have to decide now? Can you visit him in China, perhaps save up and take an extended visit even (you can get a tourist visa for a month easily, which usually can be extended for up to 3 months), scope out your options, and work on your relationship.

    If you get married your visa options will open up somewhat, and if you have good credentials and experience you might not be limited to teaching. Your boyfriend too, would have more options for working in your home country if he had permanent residence status, which I assume he could get if you were married.

    All of this is to say, you’re young. You don’t have to decide right away where you’ll live or even whether you want to get married or not. You can take a few years, continue visiting when you can, and in the meantime work on the distance issue. If it doesn’t look like it will work out, at least you’ll know that you tried.

  8. Ken
    Ken July 5, 2010 at 6:43 am | | Reply

    I think you should try maintaining this relationship. Options of finding a job in some international cities like Hong Kong or Singapore, can work quite well. Hong Kong pay very high salary and it can be English-speaking too. There is a great demand for biology master graduates there. Good luck!

  9. reloaded
    reloaded July 8, 2010 at 2:02 am | | Reply

    She could get a good job teaching science at the many international schools in the larger cities in China.

  10. Laura
    Laura August 19, 2014 at 6:01 am | | Reply

    First time I read this post.
    All what I can think is , how lucky those of you who can actually choose between your home country and China. For us Spain is not an option, since 2012 the nre Regulation made it semi impossible for mixed couples.
    If the spouse is from a non European country they dont give a visa for spouse or permanent resident anymore, as they did years ago. My husband and I would need to be living in different countries, working, paying 2 rents and missing each other for some years. In average 30 months – or 3 years.
    My aunt has been waiting 34 months already for example.

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