Community services ramped up for expats in Chengdu

Community services ramped up for expats in Chengdu

Community services ramped up for expats in Chengdu

Chengdu ramps up its services available to the city’s expat community.

As Chengdu’s popularity as a hub for Western expats continues to rise, the local authority is planning an increase in the community services offered to the expanding expat presence in the city. Last year, the Southern Chinese hub saw the biggest ever numbers of foreigners arriving, with 690,000 now resident the city’s international neighbourhoods. As part of their services, local officials are busy ramping up community bases to help make life easier for new arrivals.

Last year, Tongzilin, one of the city’s first international zones, established a ‘Foreigners’ Home’ in order to help with information on policies, provide Chinese language courses and handle entry and exit procedures. In addition, an English Corner has been set up, enabling expats to understand and adapt to local community culture. Long-stayers are also being encouraged to work as volunteers within the expatriate community, helping newly-arrived expats solve the problems of daily life in a totally different environment.

One such is John O’Connell, a four-year resident along with his wifh who teaches physics at a local school. He’s happy about his decision to move to Chengdu, and hopes he can stay as long as possible. One Mexican couple arrived two years ago and are now planning to open their area’s first Mexican restaurant. They’re more than happy with their choice, as there are so many Chinese nationals willing to help and care about the expanding expat community.

In order to cope with the ever-increasing numbers of foreign residents, Chengdu’s local authorities are planning to develop some 45 international neighbourhoods within the city. At present, long-term designs are being examined as to their effects in improving expats’ quality of life and the ease of adjustment to their new home. International schools, commercial centres and international hospitals are in the planning stages, and the new schemes are the latest by Chengdu’s municipality to open up the city and attract a global touch to expat lives.

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