We're furiously packing our bags for a Monday departure to Beijing. We're pretty excited and just about keeping our heads together. I think.
I wondered if anybody had any advice about phones and so on when you hit the ground in China. I've been looking into the Skypes and Magic Jacks of the world with little fruit to show for my labours. And forget about phone cards and sim cards, it's tough getting comprehensible information.
Has anybody found a cheap, reliable VoIP company that works from China? Is there such a thing as Top-Up phones in China for a mobile? Who are the good phone companies?
As ever, the sage advice of the Global TESOL graduates would be soothing stuff indeed for these weary suitcase packers...
Once you settle down at your dorm in the city you will teach at you can go to the nearest China Mobile shop with a Chinese speaking person. You should buy a Chinese cell phone with a chinese card. This is arguably the cheapest way unless your stay in China is less than a year. Make sure the person who speaks Chinese understands what you actually want or you will get charged for things you never heard of or don't use. China's phone system is Provincial rather than national when it comes to contracts and usage fees. Make sure you fill out and pay a deposit for the application to phone overseas. The cost to phone overseas is comparible to what you pay for long distance fees in North America. But a whole lot cheaper for other services. Skype is okay if you want to call a cell in the US or Australia but can only call a land line in Canada. There are 3 Mobile companies in China. All are the same. China Unicom has deals with many Foreign companies (Rogers in Canada) but higher LD charges.