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The Just Student Jobs Country guide for gap year travel in the Far East - China

Where to Go - Far East

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China | South Korea | Taiwan| Thailand | Japan


Population : 1,261,832,482

Literacy rate : 81.5%

Life expectancy at birth : male – 69.6 yrs, female – 73.33 yrs

Infant mortality rate : 28.92 deaths/1,000 live births

Population growth rate : 0.9%

GDP growth rate : 7%

GDP per capita : £2,500

Unemployment : urban; roughly 10% - substantial under- and unemployment in rural areas.

Inflation : -1.3%

TI index: 3.1

Climate : extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north.

Time : GMT + 8. Despite the vast size of the country, Beijing time is standard throughout China.

Electricity : 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin sockets and some three-pin sockets are in use.

Websites :

Current events and news can be found at

Country Guide

Most people who visit here view the experience as valuable and enriching, but are somewhat reluctant to repeat it. Culture shock plays a large part in it. Living and working in China is a bit like being on another planet. There are highs and lows. If you can find the book “Iron and Silk” (Mark Salzman) it will give you a great deal of information. The author was an English teacher in China and writes of his experiences. The book is a little out of date now, but still enlightening.

Progress in the economy has been great in the years since Hong Kong and Macau were returned to China. The change from the old centralisation policies to a more market-oriented economy and stricter control led to a sharp fall in inflation and an overall healthier economic climate. However, the progress has led to problems with pollution and rural to urban migration. Unfortunately the new economic system seems to periodically suffer from the worst of both the communist and the capitalist systems.

People are hungry for information and sometimes overwhelmingly curious about western foreigners. You will find many things that may appear strange – smoking is widespread, pollution is as well.

Food and drink may not be quite what you expect (your local take-away provides luxury food, not a peasant’s normal diet) but you won’t starve. Watch out for Mao Tai, a fiery liquor reputed to be too strong to intoxicate – however, it does. There is good local beer, Tsingtao which is recommended.

Entry requirements

Try to sort out as many details before arriving.


Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid and Yellow Fever.

Tax and Insurance

Get health insurance. No tax.

Gap Year Programmes

Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in China

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China | South Korea | Taiwan| Thailand | Japan

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