China

Visas, Vaccines, and Outlets:

To travel to China a valid visa is required [1]. Travelers must also have a passport with at least 2 blank pages and a validity of at least a six months. For more information on traveling to China and the visa application procedure visit the website of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

No vaccines required. However, since the standards of medical care in China are not equivalent to those in the U.S. some travelers have reported difficulty passing through customs inspection when arriving with large quantities of prescription[2].

Electrical sockets (outlets) in China are Type I and voltage is 220-240 volts, as opposed to the 110-120 volts in the U.S.[3]. Since the outlets are different an adaptor is recommended.

Social Customs:

It is important to know that China is diverse and this article does not try to generalize the social custom. These elements have a direct impact on some of the Chinese ethics, it is important to know that they constitute of just a little part of the culture in China[4][5][6].

    • When referring to an individual the last name comes first and the first name is said last.
    • It is normal for people to push, shove and jump queues
    • Maintaining a good “face”, roughly translates to maintain honor, good reputation or respect
    • Shoes should be removed before entering a house
    • Meals and social events are usually not the place for business discussions.
    • Relationships between people are important. Relationships are broken into ranks and each rank comes with obligations. A system consists where the lower level gives obedience to the higher level and the higher level is in charge of protecting the lower level[7]. In modern China this relationship structure is loosely followed.
Upper Level Lower Level
Ruler Subject
Husband Wife
Parent Child
Elder Brother Younger Brother
Friend Friend

Teachers fall into the upper level category and that is why some consider them more respected than teachers in the U.S.[8][9]. Because of these relationships elders are always greeted first. Also it is important to know that gender bias are nonexistent in business.


Education System:

School/Level Equivalent Notes
Primary School 1-6 Grade Primary education is required
Junior (Lower) Secondary School 7-9 Grade Mandatory for all children. Chinese schools do not separate high achieving students from lower achieving students because they belief that all students can succeed if they put in the effort[10].
Senior (Upper) Secondary/ Vocational Senior (Upper) Secondary 10-12 Grade After completing junior (lower) -compulsory education, students can choose to enter either a general (academic) senior secondary or a vocational senior. Vocational senior programs last 3 or 4 years
Higher Education N/A Similar to the U.S. undergraduates are awarded Bachelor’s Degree and Graduate Level are awarded a Master’s Degree

References:
1. China embassy
2. Country Reports China Medical Travel Information
3. China Spree Plugs and Outlets
4. Travel China Guide
5. Go Overseas An Introduction to Social Customs in China
6. Kwintessential China-Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette
7. Teachers in China
8. Oriental Philosophy Main Concepts of Confucianism
9. BBC News Education & Family
10. Classbase Education System in China