2. Roll-On Deodorant. Here's a culture difference you may not have even considered. Roll-on deodorant is painstakingly difficult to find. Locals either use the spray or none at all. You'll likely run into spray-on deodorant at the supermarket, but if you prefer rollers, again, you're best bet is to bring a few.
3. Comfortable Walking Shoes. Here's a vital tip that everyone should know: most of the clothes you'll find in China are smaller than what they suggest. A size 2XL shirt, for instance, might actually be a Medium by Western Standards. This mis-match typically occurs across all fashionable items, including underwear, pants, shorts, socks, you name it. With that in mind, if you're a tall and 'meaty' individual, don't pack light. Bring enough T-Shirts, Sweaters, Jackets, etc., to last for awhile.
In addition, shoes are also unfortunately very small in China. For men, if your feet are bigger than a size 44, or 10 1/2, you'll need to search long and hard for a pair shoes you can fit. Kunshan does have a Decathlon Store where you can buy shoes up to size 47, but you're better off bringing 1-3 pair of your shoes from back home.
4. Universal Adaptor and Convertor. If you want to use your home country’s products in China, you’ll not only need a universal adaptor for your plugs, but you’ll also need a convertor to change the voltage to higher or lower in accordance to your device. The voltage for China is 220 V / 50 Hz. This means that if you plug in your 120 V American device into an outlet in China without a convertor, for instance, you’ll almost certainly destroy it.
5. Medication. Remember to pack any specific medication that you take from the Doctor. You might also want to pack some medication for travel sickness, just in case it takes a while for your body to adjust to the Chinese environment.
6. Professional Attire. Remember, it’s always good to take a suit and business attire.
7. Your Favorite Snacks and Sandy. China does offer a few well-known Western brands of snacks and candy, such as Reece's Pieces, Hershey's Chocolate, Skippy's Peanut Butter, Doublemint Gum, Skittles, Lay's Potato Chips, Pringles, Oreo Cookies, Mentos, Dove Chocolate, Lipton Tea, Snickers, M&M's, Icebreakers Candy, and more. If an item you love did not make the list, try to bring a year’s supply.
8. Cash. Remember to bring enough cash to last for 1 month or so that will cover your housing, food, supplies, and transportation expenses. Also, you should know that for rent, it's common in China when you move into your new apartment to pay for your rent by:
1. Paying an Agent Fee (1/2 of your monthly rent; they help you find the apartment)
2. Paying a deposit (1 month's rent)
3. Paying 3 months rent UPFRONT
Note*: You may be able to find a landlord that will allow you to pay for 1 months rent at a time, but it's not always the case.
With that in mind, an apartment may cost you between 1,800-2,500RMB a month in Kunshan. If the rent is 1,800rmb a month, you'll need to pay the following when moving in:
1. 900 (Agent fee)
2. 1800 (Deposit)
3. 5400 (3 months) = 8100 RMB UPFRONT
9. Memorabilia & Photos of Family & Friends. This is a no-brainer. Bring plenty of pictures, posters, and memorabilia to remind you of being home.
10. Lastly, bring a Positive Attitude and be prepared to adapt to a new culture!
Note*: Women should also consider bringing Tampons!
Do you have any suggestions for other items people should bring? Please leave a comment below!