It's not easy living in a foreign country. In some cases, the challenges are so great, people just pack up and leave. Some places in China; however, are easier for foreigners to adapt to and live in than others.



The city of Shenzhen in southern China, in particular its Sub-District of Shekou, is one of those places. In fact, this week marks the one year anniversary of a valuable resource for foreign residents of Shekou and last Sunday a ceremony was held to celebrate the occasion.



With 8,564 expats registered with the Shekou Police Station and Shenzhen Bay Police Station, the sub-district of Shekou, Shenzhen’s largest expat community, was chosen as the location of the very first Management and Service Center for Expats (MSCE).



Established on June 28, 2017, this first-of-its-kind service center, operated by the Shekou Sub-district Office and authorized by the Exit-Entry Administration of the Nanshan District Public Security Sub-bureau, helps expats living in the area (demarcated in the map above) with registration services, advice on marriage or disputes with landlords and employers, guidelines on leases, traveling, currency exchange and more.


From left to right: Ryan, Rita, Amber, Norman, Candice, Helen, Tongtong, Nini, Angel, Meagan, Leo, Isaac. Along with Isaac, those wearing white shirts work regularly at MSCE in Shekou.


The helpful and courteous staff, hired from the non-profit organization Southwind Social Work Service Center, go out of their way to help everyone they meet get the information they need to feel at ease and at home here in Shenzhen. If you need any assistance, feel free to stop by and ask them for help.



According to Helen, General Director of the Southwind Social Work Service Center, Shekou is pioneering a new way of managing and supporting foreigners. 



Through a special team to coordinate different departments, referred to as 1+N, they have not only provided the services mentioned above, they also provide an abundance of information and have held various events; such as Q&A sessions, brought in police and immigration officials to speak with the community, organized tours to the local fire department and museums and often hold workshops relating to Chinese culture at their center; all free-of-charge.



During the ceremony, the head of the Shekou Subdistrict government, Zhou Jiangtao, congratulated those involved with establishing and running the MSCE and expressed his gratitude to those foreigners who have contributed to the community. 



In a heartfelt and touching speech, MSCE Director Rita Yan thanked everyone who has contributed to the success of the center and mentioned that if it wasn't for Mr. Zhou, there wouldn't be a center like this here today; so if you're lucky enough to see him around, be sure to shake his hand and thank him.



After the ceremony, those honored during the ceremony, along with their friends and family, stuck around to mix and mingle with the service center staff and other government officials and representatives from local media.



The MSCE is located at the corner of Nanshui Road and Shiyun Road in Shekou. They're open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at 0755-2667-8381.




If you don't live in the service area, don't worry. The MSCE has been so successful that plans are already underway to have a total of eight centers and stations open in the city by the end of the year to provide comprehensive service from various government branches to foreigners.



Click here for more details about the expansion plans or scan the QR Code above using WeChat to contact the MSCE.


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