During my last year living in China, I had the opportunity to visit Macau a few times, and I grew to love the city — the old city, away from the casinos. It’s in the old city where you can see the legacy of Portuguese rule, such as St. Dominic’s Church.
Since writing with joy about obtaining a 10-year tourist visa to China last November, I’ve fielded a steady stream of question from friends (and strangers) about the new visa and how to get it. So I decided to put a post together about some things you need to know about the visa. They are in no particular order.
1. It’s real. I admit that when it was announced that China would be issuing a 10-year tourist visa last fall, I was skeptical. But I applied for it and got it, so I know first hand that it is real.
2. This new validity period is the result of a bilateral agreement between the United States and China that was announced in November and designed to encourage more travel between the nations. Visa requirements for Chinese tourists and students coming to the US have been relaxed as well.
And in the interest of full disclosure, I have signed on to their affiliate program. When you apply for a visa through Allied, you can write my name (or the name of this blog) on your order form to get a $5.00 discount. In addition, I’ll get a referral fee.
When I was growing up in Karachi, Pakistan in the 1960’s we (surprisingly) had quite a few visitors come through and stay with us. In fact, it often felt like our place was a guest house (something we loved, by the way). If the visitors were from out of the country, we would all pile into our green and white Volkswagen Microbus and my dad would take us on a grand tour of the city.
Our old VW may not be plying the streets of Karachi anymore, but apparently there is a new tour company that organizes bus tours of the city. Here’s the story, as told by Robin Show on a YouTube video:
The Pakistan city of Karachi, infamous for targeted killings and carjackings, ranks in the top 10 of the most violent cities in the world. But one man has decided to show that there is more to Karachi than crime and terror and has started the first ever guided bus tour of the city. It involves armed guards, an itinerary that changes all the time and highly negotiated access to sites where people are worried about coming under attack if they attract too much attention.
If you’ve spent anytime in Karachi, I think you’ll really enjoy this video! And if you haven’t, it’s interesting as well!
(If you receive this post by email, please go here to see the video.)
Last November the Institute of International Education published a report on international students in the United States and American students going abroad. According to the report, there were more than 880,000 international students enrolled in American institutes of higher education during the 2013-2014 academic year.
274,000 of those students (both graduate and undergraduate) were from China, meaning that Chinese students now make up 30% of all international students in American schools.
As you can imagine navigating the cultural differences can be challenging for both the American and international students.