How to Be a Part of Your Community When Living in China

How to Be a Part of Your Community When Living in China
May 09, 2018 By Degen Hill ,

Living in China can be challenging, especially when you first arrive. The language, culture, food, people and customs are all likely to be very different to what you’re used to. However, living in China can be a very fulfilling and enriching experience if you make an effort to get involved in your community. Sure, you might be working or going to school here, but there are tons of other ways to be an active member of your community and make your China experience the best it can be.

Breakdancing in China

Sports Teams

Sports and keeping fit are a big part of life in China, so no matter which city you live in there’s guaranteed to be a sports team looking for new people. Some will be more serious than others, but for the most part the level of competitiveness can be compared to intramural teams in Western universities.

Being part of a sports team is a great way to stay healthy, surround yourself with like-minded people and expand your social circle. Check city websites, magazines or simply ask around to find the right team for you. Chances are pretty high that friends or colleagues will know of a league, a pick-up game or an organisation that’s on the hunt for new members.


Internship / Volunteer

If you’re working a full-time job while living in China, an internship might be out of the question. But for students or those will a little more free-time, internships and working as a volunteer are both superb ways to learn something and give back to your community. Plus, they both look excellent on a resume

On the jobs section of you can search specifically for internships and volunteer opportunities in your city. No excuses now!


Bands / Music

Perhaps you played an instrument in high-school or college but ever since then it’s been sitting in your closet. Well now’s the time to dust it off and get back to playing. 

China has a thriving music scene, ranging from jazz, punk-rock, classical and acoustic, to experimental EDM. No matter what style interests you, joining a band or playing at open mic events will allow you to hone your skills and meet people who like the type of music you like. Who knows, maybe someone will like your music so much they’ll start paying you to perform!


Random Events

There’s always a ton of things happening in China. Guest lecturers, presentations, events, galas, parties, you name it. Attending these functions as a guest is the definition of being part of your community. You’re engaging with what’s happening and interacting with other people who have similar interests.

Although many of these events are interesting, the biggest benefit is the social enhancement they bring. You’ll be meeting people, exchanging ideas and perhaps even collaborating together down the road.

Professional networking events are a great resource for those job hunting in China, but even going to a trivia night at your local bar is a good way to meet people and actively serve as a participant in your community. The best aspect of being part of your community in China is meeting and getting to know other people. If you put yourself out there, people will respond and you’ll make friends, best friends and maybe even find yourself some romance.

Yes, we all have schedules, and relaxing is just as important as work, but don’t forget that there is a whole world happening around you in China. Don’t be afraid to jump right in!

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Keywords: living in China


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There's an extra space in your title (not to mention an extra 'o'). Plus a few letters are missing. Here, I'll help you out. "How to be apart from your community in China" is how it should go. That is of course if you want to get the most out of your Chinese experience. After all you NEVER will be a part of your community in China no matter what you do. This was bought home rather clearly the other day. I've been living and working in the same town for a few years now. Then some random guy wandered up to take a picture of me. I noticed that he wasn't taking pictures of other Chinese people walking down the why me? Of course this is a minor issue in and of itself, but it illustrates the fact that for many will not matter how long you have been will still only be "the foreigner."

Oct 01, 2018 00:24 Report Abuse



if you like being stared at, subject of conversation in, referred to as a lawai etc etc cool. Me I do not bother doing what this article suggests for these kind of reasons. There is nothing that makes my blood boil more than some Chinese guy looking at me and making some kind of comment to his mate / gf. To give some perspective as to why I feel like this, in 2008 this country was awarded the Olympics in a hope it would encourage more openness, but 10 years on this has been completely forgotten and the country is still as racist and xenophobic as it always has been. Articles like this are just a writer's idealized vision of what it should be like.

Jun 21, 2018 17:08 Report Abuse



China's "thriving" music scene? Pfffft. Not sure if we're in the same China.

May 14, 2018 14:38 Report Abuse