Journey to China – Brent’s Story

What’s it like to arrive in China now?  We’ve asked this question of a number of arrivals because the process changes so often and we’re never sure what it’s going to look like next.  Getting there is not for the impatient or disorganized – it takes a lot of hard work, a ton of waiting, and then being able to act quickly.  Our most recent arrival just finished quarantine and is getting settled still.  I asked him to tell me a little about his experience and this is what he said:

“It goes without saying that it has been a whirlwind of new things since arriving.  I am realizing that no matter how good at planning you think you are you will never have everything planned that can and will happen to you.  I would also love to share this experience with others.
The weeks (months) leading up to the trip over hear were, in retrospect, the easiest part.  They were almost the most frustrating part.  Waiting is tedious and not being able to control any of the elements it takes to get here is difficult.  Through  these events I learned to have a lot of patience.  The longest portion to be prepared for(although probably not anymore) was waiting on the documents you need to be authenticated.  It took around 22 weeks to have my FBI background check authenticated.  The rest was much quicker when compared to that piece of the puzzle.  I would say during the waiting process(no matter what you are waiting on) find something to keep your mind busy and learn as much language as you can ahead of time.
I wish I had not slacked off on my Mandarin lessons because it could have helped greatly when arriving in the airport in Shanghai.  The people of China, in my opinion so far, are direct but EXTREMELY helpful.  You trying to speak to them in Mandarin is usually rewarded with a smile and more help than you might receive otherwise.  The process to get here is an important one, especially with a world going through the global pandemic.  You quickly see how seriously other countries take it and it makes you appreciate the process that is in place.  Also it is easy to underestimate the amount of things it can take to get what you need done.  I made many trips to Kinkos for scanning, I corrected my photo no less than three times, and there were more forms and doctors visits than I thought it would take.
Another important thing is to overly communicate with everyone that is involved in the process.  My primary care physician was not prepared for how many times I would visit to make sure the paperwork was correct.  Trust the recruiters to give you the correct information of what is needed.  Also I would be lost if it weren’t for my recruiter helping to figure out problems I did not know were going to even BE problems.  She navigated the handling of documents, and what I needed amazingly.  She also helped to change who I got my visa from and even the difficult task of what type of visa was needed to get here.  Jessica helped me to prepare more than most for what was ahead and it was one of the most helpful things I truly needed at the time.
The entire company has been right on the money over what it would take to not only get here but what it would take to survive, and thrive here.  My experience with quarantine, was really good, albeit a bit boring, but it also allowed me to prepare for what was to come next.  You have time sitting in a hotel room to get a lot done, especially when it comes to making sure you have receipts recorded and ready, and language lessons.  It is actually helpful to help ease you into Chinese culture as best you can be also.”
We are so glad Brent is in China now!  Be sure to ask questions when in doubt, and just prepare for the wild ride that will end in the beginning of a new chapter of your life.