My wife has just been given the opportunity to spend 2 years in Shenzen helping a newly acquired company assimilate to its American buyer (no jokes!). We've never been to China before but are really on the fence about it. The pay should be really good (enough so I shouldn't have to work if I don't want to). Living expenses will be paid as well as a couple of trips back to the States per year. How is Shenzen (compared to other Chinese cities)? Is it terribly expensive? Would we want to lease a car while there? Could I get an IT job there not speaking a lick of Chinese? Are we crazy for not doing this? One cool thing I see is that it looks to be fairly close to Vietnam and Laos which were fairly high on my countries to see list (of course China is on that list as well!)
Good for you. Life expense in China won't be expensive but in shenzhen might be a little bit higher as it is a young and vigorous city. No need to worry. Shenzhen used to be a little fishing village (28years ago) but currently become very modernized metropolis. It is consisted of citizens migrated from different places of China (a little bit similar with the US. Shenzhen is so close to HK, many international flights are available if you like traveling. IT industry of Shenzhen is at the top range in China. There might be some chance for job hunting.
I was told buy my Chinese guide in 2002 that foreigners were not allowed to drive in China. Better clarify this with some locally based members.
Well, can't speak as a (temporary) resident, but for travellers this is probably one of the worst cities in China. Totally artificial, nothing authentic etc.
If it is possible, just try to get a house/appartment across the border in HK New Territories, maybe cheaper and just a short trainride away.
For clarity, if you have a driving licence in your "home country" then you can drive in China! All you have to do is complete a simple written test and you are issued with a permit to drive.
I have just come back from 2 weeks in ShenZen and it's a beautiful place with many foreigners, the language barrier is not so much of a problem in ShenZen as in other cities as they speak alot of English. Their "mother language" is Mandarin and Cantoneese so you could decide which one you wanted to learn depending on how you feel when you get there, I would suggest Mandarin though.
Don't worry about the costs of living, although people say it is expensive, it is still alot cheaper that the US and the UK.
PM me if you would like any more info. I would say go for it though !!!!