Archive for the ‘Getting prepared’ Category

At home as a guest

Sonntag, März 2nd, 2014

Last Friday I moved out of my apartment and before I finally move to Korea I will stay in a hotel for the last couple of days.

It felt strange leaving the building that I had lived in for the last three years. There will be no more wake up call with a familiar voice, no more small talk with the staff and no more view on the CCTV building.


(mehr …)

Until the very last second

Mittwoch, Februar 26th, 2014

The last week of February has started and despite focusing on my relocation to Korea work is bothering me more than ever.

It seems to me as if everyone knows that I will be leaving soon and so they want me to help them with this, show them that and support them as much as possible until the very end of my contract.


(mehr …)

It is getting closer

Dienstag, Februar 18th, 2014

The end of February is coming closer and much faster than I had expected. There are only ten days left and then my new assignment for Korea will begin.


The contract has been signed and the order for my relocation has been forwarded to the moving agency. Within the next days I will discuss with them all the details about when they will come to pick up my stuff and where to ship it.

(mehr …)

The last four weeks

Montag, Februar 10th, 2014

Time is flying and today I realized that there are just four weeks left for me until I have to leave Beijing.


Until then there will be lots of work. First of all the projects I am working on are ongoing and one of them is in a critical phase at the moment. Therefore we will have a workshop with different suppliers this week. The attention from management side is quite high and everyone expects good news at the end of the week.


(mehr …)

Goodbye and hello

Freitag, Januar 17th, 2014

A week full of impressions, discoveries and new experiences is coming to an end. Seoul has been treating me very well during the past five days.


What happened during my stay here? I was introduced to new places like Insa-dong, Itaewon and Namsan Park. I had heard of the places before or read about them in a magazine, but a hands on experience is much different. Most of all the small streets and old houses in Insa-dong showed me an entirely new side of the modern and bustling capital of South Korea.

(mehr …)

A new challenge has started

Sonntag, Januar 12th, 2014

You might have guessed from one of the last blog posts that there is something going on that leads to a bigger change for me.


Indeed, there is. From March 1st I will be starting my new assignment in another country. I am neither going back to Germany nor heading somewhere on the western hemisphere. On the contrary, I will move a little bit more eastern to the city of Seoul.


(mehr …)

The visa arrived – finally

Freitag, Januar 28th, 2011

Tuesday was the big day – the visa arrived. What started in November last year came to an end after several weeks. Getting a working visa for China is not one of the most complicated things but takes a while. Before you can apply for it you need to collect several documents. First of all, there is a check up whether your physical constitution can handle the living conditions in China. In other words, are you strong enough for China? Chinese authorities request an official document that says the applicant’s health is in good condition. Furthermore, you get several vaccination injections against lots of things you might never have heard of. Last bus not least you need X-ray photographs of your lungs. That’s it for the medical check-up. In addition to that, the applicant should provide ten biometric passport pictures, an invitation letter, a filled out visa application form and a letter. This letter shall proof that the applicant has at least two years of experience in doing business in an English speaking background. When all of the named documents have been collected, they will be sent to China. After about six weeks you will receive an alien employment license for China as well as a Z-visa. After entering the country with this visa you have 30 days to change it into a working visa at the Chinese authorities. After passing this last step, you are allowed to work in China – finally.

The point of no return has been passed

Samstag, Januar 22nd, 2011

Yes, that’s right. Since last Thursday there is no way back any more. This day I signed the contract for going abroad. Even though I knew this date long before it felt a little bit strange as I was sitting at the table the contract in front of ready to be signed. A colleague from the relocation department was sitting across the table. Before I grabbed the pen I made up my mind and wondered whether there are any open issues or questions I want to clarify before making it official.After it was done I was driving back to the office. As time passed by I more and more realized that really has come true what had started months ago. I pretty much remembered the situation when I was sitting in the office of my boss and he offered me the chance to go to China. My instant reaction was a clear „No“. However, I have never managed to get rid of this thought and thought about this offer many times. A few weeks later I was sitting at the same table with the same person telling him that I changed my mind at might turn my „No“ into a „Yes“. We decided that I will go there on a business trip to get an impression of the working conditions, the people and the city itself before making a final decision. While staying there it became more and more clear that Beijing will become my new home because I liked the city from the very first moment. Five and a half months passed in the meantime and now I am just two weeks away from moving there.

Finding a new home

Dienstag, Januar 18th, 2011

After making the decision to moving to China I spend a week in Beijing to find a new home, see the most important places and facilities as well as to confirm my decision.


My employer hired a company that helped me to find a suitable new place to live. Up front I had to fill in a questionnaire to give them some information about myself: Do I go on my own or is somebody joining me? Do I bring pets with me? Where do I want to live? Near the city centre or on the suburbs? Whether I prefer an apartment or a house? …

A few days later they send me a proposal with several apartments that might suit my desires. Basically there are two types of housing for expats: serviced and  non-serviced apartments. First ones include house keeping, change of linens and towels and a 24/7 front desk service. All of the apartments are fully equipped meaning you just have to bring your luggage and buy some food. The other ones are mostly unfurnished and without house keeping. However, you get much more space when you decide to take a non-serviced one. I was shown one of them and felt like in a big warehouse. The apartment had 200 square meters!

After weighing the pros and cons I decided to take a service apartment. The relocator told me that most single persons take such a kind of apartment because it’s the easiest way of living. You just have to do the washing and cooking, nothing else.

The first three days of the week in Beijing we checked fourteen apartments in total. After making a preselection five were left. The last two days we checked them once again but this time in more detail. Additionally I was shown the area around these possible new homes to get an impression what kind of people live in that place and whether shops or supermarkets can be reached by foot or not.

In the end I chose an apartment in CBD area. Here, lots of foreign companies are located and it is populated by locals as well as foreigners from all over the world. Moreover, shops and supermarkets are pretty close and Beijing’s most famous gym is just across the street. My bedroom has a nice view on the headquarter of CCTV, China’s main television program. If my coffee machine should be out of order one day, I can go to Starbucks in a nearby mall. You see, nothing can go wrong.

Next step towards working in China

Montag, Januar 17th, 2011

Last week I received the news that the documents for applying for a visa arrived in Germany. At the beginning of November I had to hand in an application form, a copy of my passport, a letter that I have more than two years of experience in English speaking business and my university certificate.Today I handed in my passport and was told that I should receive the visa latest by the end of next week.With this visa I am allowed to immigrate once. I have to apply at the government for a working visa within 30 days after my immigration. When this application is accepted, I will get the working visa finally, Then I will be allowed to enter and leave the country as often as I like and – most important – to work there.Lots of steps have to be passed before working in China comes true Lots of steps have to be taken until working in China becomes reality.