American community director assistant helps foreigners settle in Chengdu

Authors: en.people.cn

2019-01-23

Deeply attracted to Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, 71-year-old American John O’Connell decided to settle in the city. Since then, he has become a community director assistant, offering help to foreigners in Tongzilin Community, Wuhou District of Chengdu, Chinanews.com reported on Jan. 10.
Public-spirited O'Connell was named a community director assistant of Tongzilin Community about three months after he settled in the community, where he now lives alongside 4,300 foreigners from over 30 countries and regions including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.
As a community director assistant, O'Connell's primary role is to help foreigners solve problems they come up against in everyday life, like how to take a bus or use apps such as WeChat and Alipay. Furthermore, O'Connell also explains Chinese law to foreigners in the community, to help them adapt to life in China as quickly as possible.
People can call him anytime, whether they need to find a new apartment, find a school for their children, or figure out legal issues, said O'Connell.
Keen on causes for the public good, O'Connell voluntarily donates blood every month, picks up litter, and actively takes part in various public benefit activities in his spare time. He explained that as this city has given him so much, he wants to repay it in his own way.
"We often see him taking part in public benefit activities," said Zhang Jiarong, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tongzilin Community Committee, noting that warm-hearted O'Connell has deeply impressed people in the community, and that his interest in volunteering was an important factor in naming him a community director assistant.
Since O'Connell currently doesn't know Chinese, he asks his Chinese friends to translate for him. Now, he says that he is trying hard to learn the language, and hopes to master it as soon as possible.
According to Chengdu Economic Daily, O'Connell and his wife came to Chengdu in August 2016, at which point Chengdu was meant to be their first stop on a tour of the whole country. However, the couple fell in love with the city, and quickly decided to settle in Tongzilin Community.
O'Connell found a part-time job not long after they settled in Chengdu, teaching English at an international school, while his wife became a physics teacher in another international school.
"Chengdu is as modern as New York, and it is a pleasant city to live in just like where I'm from in California. More importantly, the people here are very friendly and generous," said O'Connell, adding that instead of seeing the city as tourists, they wanted to enjoy real Chengdu life.
(source: en.people.cn, January 11, 2019)

How Do Foreigners Work Legally in China?

Since the full implementation of the Work Permit System for Foreigners Working in China nationwide on April 1, 2017, it has played a positive role in facilitating foreigners' working in China and standardizing management. To explain the system in a more concise and accurate way, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) made this “Illustrated Work Permit System” in both Chinese and English versions to present to our readers.

Oct 26, 2018

3 Things Foreigners Should Know about Landing Jobs in Chengdu

Chengdu is seeing an ever-increasing inflow of foreigners from all over the world to live and work in the city, due to its dynamic economy, laid-back life-style and delicious food. For those who want to land a job here, there are a few things they should know and prepare.

Oct 23, 2018

What Foreigners Should Know about the 144-Hour Visa-Free Transit

Starting from January 1, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport has implemented the transit visa exemption policy of 144 hours for foreign travelers from the 53 foreign countries with valid international travel documents and an interline ticket with a confirmed date and seat to a third country (region).

Jan 10, 2019

【Video】 How Foreigners Celebrate Christmas and the New Year

Foreign nationals in Chengdu tell stories about how they celebrate their Christmas and the New Year's holiday in the city.

Jan 01, 2019

Chengdu in Lens of Foreigners

In the course of building itself into a world famous cultural city, Chengdu, with a history of some 3,000 years, is exerting a stronger appeal to people from all over the globe due to its splendid Tianfu Culture.

Nov 29, 2018

Share to WeChat Close
Scan via WeChat!

About Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Link to Us | Contact Us

蜀ICP备14024942号-1 Go成都 www.gochengdu.cn