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Q: Deciding to move to Wuhan. Trying to find out a bit more about life in Wuhan

 

Hello to all !I'm so glad to have found you, this is a great site.My name is Cristina, I am from Spain, 35 years old, and probably next year I moved with my husband and one-year-old daughter  in Wuhan since his company has offered him a expatriation there for several yearsI write you to try to learn a little more in depth the life in wuhan and the opportunities that the city can provide. It’s a difficult decision for us and I wanted to ask you some questions and if you have a little time and you can answer me it would be nice!!!-Life in China and particularly in Wuhan is safe? Great care must be taken?-From what I see there are many European and American companies installed in the area, so I imagine there will be services for expats and international schools, etc ...-I imagine also for the same reason that there will be a large expat life, isn`t it?-In terms of health, there is a good quality medical care there? We are thinking of having another child and probably will be born there .... -With regard to the character of the Chinese people, are they open? They speack english?, it's easy to begin a friendship with them? Are they  usually mixed with foreigners?-About places to live, there is a specific area for expats? or it may be interesting to live in another area to integrate with Chinese culture? ...-On the other hand I left a very good job in Spain (a kind  key account manager) and although I would not mind an expat life without working for a while ... after some time I would like to work in a local or foreign company to have some experience there. You know of any woman who has done this? Is it easy to get the visa for it? Is easy to find a job in a multinational company?-Another option may be to do a post graduate at a local university. You know if there are universities with programs in English?-With regard to connections to other cities in China and nearby countries (to visit on weekends or holidays), Wuhan is well connected? And with Europe is easy to get? Well, there are many many questions, thanks for all the answers and other recommendations that can help us to know life in Wuhan a little more! Cristina 

9 years 47 weeks ago in  General  - Wuhan

 
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Hello Cristina,

 

  You are in for a big adventure.  China is very different from what you are used to.  I lived in Wuhan for about 2 years, so I will try to give you some answers that you are looking for.

 

First, Wuhan is a huge city.  It is actually 3 cities that have grown and merged over time.  There aren't that many foreigners in Wuhan as compared to other cities.  Of the nationalities in Wuhan, there are a large number of French expats since Peugeot and Citron have major factories there.

 

International schools are more a marketing name than anything else.  As far as I know there are only 2 schools in Wuhan that are for foreigners.  One is a French school that is only for employees of the French car companies.  The other is an American school that is for foreigners only.  My children went to the American school.  The school was good, small and expensive.

 

Health care: Like most cities in China, it is far below what you are used to.  And the people in the hospitals are unlikely to speak any English at all.

 

The locals:  English speaking is rare.  And finding Chinese friends is difficult since most Chinese people look at people in terms of what they can do for them, rather than someone to just be friends with.  However, I did have several good Chinese friends, so it is possible if you look hard enough.

 

Education:  I don't know of any university in China that offers classes in English that would lead to a degree.

 

Wuhan is as safe as any other city.  Just be aware of your surroundings and you will do good.

 

As far as the people go, well... I lived in several China cities and Wuhan is by far my least favorite.

 

Wuhan is located in the Center of China and is a good hub for China so getting around China is easy. 

 

I hope this gives you a good base of information.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

981977405:

Expat John, really a good, comprehensive answer.  I also heard that the climate in Wuhan is atrocious with cold, unheated winters and hot, hot summers.  True?

9 years 47 weeks ago
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Xpat.John:

It does snow and get cold in Wuhan during winter and there is no central heat.  But winter doesn't last too long.  Wuhan is known as one of the 3 furnaces  of China.  The summers are hot and humid, it is worse than the summers in Guangzhou.  Wuhan is also way more polluted than any other major city I have been in.

9 years 47 weeks ago
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mike695ca:

I couldnt possibly agree more. A perfect answer. I also lived there for more than a year, and it is far and away the worst city I have experienced. Granted it was four years ago.... so it could have changed.... alittle but i doubt it.

One last thing I noticed that John may have missed. Foreign women that I knew there were incredibly uncomfortable around men... ( not rapists or anything, tooo weak) the contant staring and oggling all day long. Wuhan people are considered some of the most rude in China. ( not everyone! relax people.) . Will any foreigners, all eyes will contantly be on you but for women its really amplified.  Do not even think about wearing anything revealing at all.  Everything else. Xpat John was bang on. Couldnt agree more.

9 years 47 weeks ago
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sergdiez:

Thanks a lot guys for this answers.

I have one more question. Several people talk to me about how much pollution there is. I'm not sure if it is really so, or if it is normal for a big city. Perhaps combined with high humidity there seems that air is very thick and it appears that there is more pollution than there really is. I would like to know this especially for my one year old daughter. Thank you very much!

9 years 46 weeks ago
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9 years 47 weeks ago
 
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Wuhan is known for its car manufacturing centers which adds to the pollution levels.  The place I lived in Wuhan was next to a lake and every day I would see 10-20 dead fish floating in the water.  (These fish were constantly scooped up by the locals.  I don't even want to think about what they were doing with them.)

 

The pollution was bad enough where if I didn't dust my home every day, I would have very noticeable piles of dust everywhere.  However, the pollution isn't really, really bad, just worse than probably anything you have experienced before.  I know that is how it was with me and I have lived in many places around the world.

 

But, that being said, I did raise my 2 children there for 3 years from the age of 1 until they turned 4 and they suffered no ill effect other than getting colds more often than normal.

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9 years 45 weeks ago
 
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The Heat and the dirty air is the biggest impression I have about Wuhan.  Wuhan is known in China as one of the "four ovens".  In the summer, the heat is tremendous and what was already mentioned about the dust is very true.  You will spend a good portion of your time cleaning dust from your house because it accumulates very quickly.  Sadly to say, Wuhan is one of my least favorite cities I have visited.

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Wuhan is really huge, quite rough at the edges, spread out all over the place and between two rivers, the climate is really rough too (steaming summers, frigid winters).  Consider it the Chicago or Pittsburgh of China, probably the Chicago I would say.  It's huge, it's terribly prosperous but somehow, somehow, it just doesn't pull it all together.

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You will LOVE a noodle dish there called Re Gan Mian. It tastes like noodles in a peanut sauche with nice hunks of pickled vegetables. It's awesome

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9 years 45 weeks ago
 
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