I am a 22-year-old Brit who is arriving in Hangzhou on 12 September on a scholarship to spend two semesters learning Mandarin at Zhejiang Gongshang University in Xiasha. I'm keen to try new things and meet new people so am open to social suggestions - sports, choirs, book clubs...
I've also got some pragmatic questions:
1) How difficult is it to set up a bank account in China, and what would you recommend?
2) How much is a phone contract, and what would you recommend?
3) Despite being based in Xiasha I have to attend a two-day meeting by the West Lake a couple of weeks after arriving. How long would it take to make that journey, and how is best to go about it?
I have a lot of questions (but then again I suppose most people do) so if anybody is willing to support me whilst I settle I would be very grateful! I'd be really keen to engage with the expat community in Hangzhou and learn from your collective wisdom. Who knows - if it all goes smoothly I may stick around for longer than a year!