If you're new to China and can't live in Qingdao, then you're probably not long for the international experience."
For educators new to China, Qingdao is an excellent first destination. It's a big city that feels small, an international city with an underlying traditional Shandong culture, and a developing city with mountains to climb and beaches to lie on.
Food: Seafood and street grills are ever-present. Shandong stir-fry and other Chinese cuisine are common-place, and international food is not hard to find. Starbucks, MacDonalds, Pizza chains and Italian restaurants are sprinkled throughout the downtown district.
Water: Teachers either boil tap water or have water jugs delivered.
Entertainment: During the warm months, there are a variety of festivals. Qingdao also has museums, theaters, and sports teams. For those who like outdoor activities, there are plenty of places to bike, climb, and jog along the waterfront.
Getting around town: Buses are 1 to 2RMB, taxis can be found on the street or by cellphone app, and a new subway is being built.
Air Pollution: Air quality varies in Qingdao, but it is generally good. As an example, in the past we've even had instructors train for marathon running.
Traveling around China: Qingdao is connected to the national railway and there are "fast" trains that connect to Beijing and Shanghai. Qingdao also has an international airport and a fairy terminal.
Safety: As with all cities, there are places with greater crime. Overall the city center is safe, but pickpocketing and other minor crimes targeting foreigners pick up during the tourist season.
Language: Most Qingdao people speak either formal Chinese (Putong hua) or the Qingdao variant (Qing pu). Many people in the city center also speak functional English. For foreigners planning on living in Qingdao, we recommend learning at least functional Chinese. We can of course assist with finding a tutor or language center.
Links: The following are links to local websites for foreigners. If you are considering working in Qingdao, take a look and feel free to discuss any specific concerns with our teaching staff.