China

Map of China

China is the world’s most populated country with 1.35 billion people and has an immense history spanning back to one of the oldest civilizations ever recorded, which has long intrigued foreigners and travelers alike.

Although the nation is thought of as an emerging superpower by many due to its economic growth, poverty is still a problem in several rural areas. In addition, China is continuously impacted by catastrophic events like earthquakes, floods and drought.

Volunteers can make a strong impact in disaster relief, rural rehabilitation, panda conservation, health care and education.

If you’ve volunteered in China we’d love to hear about your experience. Please let us know which organization you signed up with, what your trip was like and if you’d recommend the program to others.

FACTS ABOUT CHINA

Capital: Beijing

Population: 1,355,692,576
[Source: The World Factbook]

Religion: Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion < .1%, Hindu < .1%, Jewish < .1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%

Note: officially atheist
[Source: The World Factbook]

Language: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

Note: Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uyghur is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uyghur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)
[Source: The World Factbook]

Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
[Source: The World Factbook]

Poverty Level: 4.6%
[Source: The World Bank]

Climate: China has essentially two seasons, winter and summer with a splash of spring and autumn that last a few weeks at a time. Winter is generally from late October to March and can be brutally cold, but if you live in area that has similar temperatures, it won’t appear so bad.

There is a brief period of spring in early April before the rainy season of summer begins.

Pollution: China is known for its hazardous levels of pollution and it tends to get worse in the winter because of the increased amount of coal that is burned to heat homes and heating systems.

The smog can be thick and so hazy that you can’t see the sun, so be prepared and bring facemasks if you are prone to allergies. Pollution is less prevalent in the summer, but by no means disappears, but this is something from which one cannot escape.

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that travelers receive Hepatitis A and Typhoid shots. They also recommend that depending on the area you’re traveling to some should also get Hepatitis B, Marilia, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, Polio and Yellow Fever vaccines

Currency: Yuan