Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province in eastern China, has some 72 artesian springs within the city. It is said that the “City of Springs” has springs and willows in every courtyard. Situated on a plain, Jinan is surrounded by beautiful scenery which also contains remnants of the oldest Great Wall in China which date back to 500 BCE, and colored sculptures from the Song Dynasty, dating from the eleventh century. The climate of Shandong Province is humid and subtropical, with mild winters and very hot, humid summers. As an expatriate living in Jinan, unless you speak Mandarin, you will need an interpreter, and the local Jinan dialect of Mandarin is not readily understood, even within the city. Taxis drivers rarely speak English, so having destinations written in Mandarin beforehand will be necessary! Very little Western food is available in Jinan, although Jinan has a Walmart and even a Tesco. The city has its own culinary taste, that of the Jinan style of Lu cuisine. For expats living in Jinan, there are one or two western style cafés in which expatriates tend to meet. Making contact with other expats in Jinan may also be done online via the InterNations website, where a friendly community of global expatriates network for business and pleasure. Registering as a member of InterNations should help you find other expats living in Jinan and Shandong Province.
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The Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport is located 21 miles northeast of the city and connected to Jinan by an expressway. Two railway lines intersect Jinan, the Qingdao-Jinan railway, and the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, which arrives at the Jinan West station outside the metropolitan center of Jinan. As a transport hub, Jinan links with several expressways, and long distance coaches arrive in Jinan from all over China. Local buses are plentiful and most carry Western numbering alongside Mandarin. Expatriates moving to Jinan often take rented apartments through their employer, with privately rented properties having up to twelve-month tenancy agreements, paid for in advance. Without the aid of a friend or work colleague, your relocation to Jinan could be problematic. China has many laws and customs regarding property and employment, and international driving licenses are not valid, so to find advice on moving to Jinan, you should turn to other InterNations members, many of whom will have lived and worked in China, or are currently doing so. They will know best what you will have to look out for. For general advice on relocation and expatriation, the InterNations’ Expat Magazine also offers useful advice and tips and is a good guide to the moving process.
Jinan has modelled itself as a major national administration and economic hub, concentrating on high tech industries, including information technology, bio-engineering and research. The city has some eighteen universities and higher education establishments, with over two hundred research institutes and ten national laboratories. Many global companies have a presence in Jinan, including LG, Panasonic, Volvo and Sanyo. Unless you are company sponsored, your job search in Jinan will be greatly improved if you speak fluent Mandarin, and have a good understanding of Chinese culture. The InterNations portal offers expats working in Jinan the opportunity to locate fellow expatriates in the city for support and friendship. Organizing social gatherings, enjoying the Jinan cuisine, and joint day trips to local places of interest are all possible as a member of InterNations.