If you’re studying at a Chinese university, you can expect a tiny dormitory room, sometimes shared, sometimes private. If you’re lucky, you will get your own little bathroom, otherwise you’ll have to share with others.
As a teacher, you will be given a small apartment – either to yourself or to share with another teacher. If you need your own flat, you should negotiate this before signing your contract. Housing will be provided free of charge, but you might have to pay a small fee for the utilities you use. Your apartment will be fully furnished including the necessary kitchen appliances.
Shared flats in China
If you want to immerse yourself into Chinese culture and quickly learn Chinese, you should consider renting a room in someone else’s apartment or a shared flat. You can find ads from people looking for flatmates on Chinese housing websites or in English magazines (which are more apt to come up with both English-speaking Chinese and foreigners looking for roommates).
You will also sometimes find an ad from a Chinese family or individual who desires to live with a native English-speaker and will provide a free room in exchange for language practice.
One important note: If you intend to live with a Chinese person, make sure you register this with the local PSB (Public Service Bureau). Chinese people, who are housing foreign guests, even for a night, are by law required to report this to the PSB.